Symbol of Antigone

Selfless or Selfish?


  • Neomi Chen


After reading Sophocles’ play Antigone, one may believe that Antigone selflessly defied an anti-burial law by burying her brother because she loved him and wanted to honor the gods. However, this paper examines the various instances before and after the burial in which Antigone constantly seeks external validation and attention from her peers, thereby asserting that Antigone selfishly wanted to become a symbol of martyrdom.

For additional context, listen to the author's reflection on the piece below.

Author Biography

Neomi Chen

Neomi Chen is a member of Vanderbilt’s Class of 2025. Although currently undecided in the College of Arts and Science, Neomi is pursuing the pre-dental track. She was born and raised in New York along with her three siblings and nine goldfish. In her free time, she loves embarking on both familiar and fresh food adventures with her family or friends in Nashville—especially since cheesecake is her favorite dessert.

Author's Reflection



How to Cite

Chen, N. (2022). Symbol of Antigone: Selfless or Selfish?. SCAFFOLD: A SHOWCASE OF VANDERBILT FIRST-YEAR WRITING, 4. Retrieved from