Meghan Brockmeyer Mrs.

Lake AP Literature, A4 12/13/08 Foil: A secondary or minor character in a literary work that contrasts or clashes with the main character. He/She may be a secondary or minor character with personal qualities that are the opposite of, or markedly different from, those of another character. He/She can simply be the antagonist in a play or another literary work. A foil sometimes resembles his or her contrasting character in many respects, such as age, dress, social class, and educational background. But he or she is different in other respects, including personality, moral outlook, and decisiveness. “And I find intolerable the man who puts his country second to his friends” (350). The two characters of Creon and Antigone function as foil characters. Not only are they opposing in gender and age, but philosophies as well. Creon values the divine law and male dominance over personal affairs and insignificant women. Antigone, on the other hand, is a strong feminist, grounded in the opinion that human law is above all other beliefs. These stark and strong opposing views between the two conflicting characters appropriately creates their foil. When the two crash in the Second Episode, their striking differences are emphasized, as Antigone and Creon firmly argue their opinions and positions, each character offsetting the other. Their quarrel reveals each character’s defined position in how human’s should conduct themselves, and more specifically how Polyneices burial should be handled.

Example: Function: