Date of publication: 2017-08-30 11:00
The central issue is Antigone honouring her disgraced brother by burying him against the wishes of King Creon. The audience learns that there are certain convictions worth standing up for and dying for.
For modern readers, the Chorus may be the most alien element of the play. Greek drama was not meant to be what we would consider naturalistic. It was a highly stylized art form: actors wore masks, and the performances incorporated song and dance. The Chorus delivers much of the exposition and expounds poetically on themes, but it is still meant to represent a group of characters. In the case of Antigone , the Chorus is constituted by the Theban elders, old and powerful citizens of the city who watch and comment on the action. It interacts with the actors, and in Antigone the Chorus intercedes at a crucial point near the end of the play.
The ruler of Thebes in the wake of war, Creon cherishes order and loyalty above all else. He cannot bear to be defied any more than he can bear to watch the laws of the state defied. He has Polyneices body defiled while Eteocles is honored because he feels that he cannot give equal to share to both brothers when one was a traitor and the other was loyal. He does not recognize that other forms of justice exist, and in his pride he condemns Antigone, defies the gods, and brings ruin on himself.
Haemon is the son of Creon and Eurydice and is engaged to be married to Antigone. In a dramatic dialogue with his father, Haemon defends the moral basis of Antigone s actions while warning his father that the people of Thebes sympathize with her determination to bury Polyneices. He and his father part in anger, as he simply asks his father to do what s right for Thebes, and his father stubbornly follows the path of least resistance. Haemon s devotion to Antigone is clear at her death, he is so distraught that he tries to kill his father and then kills himself.
Teiresias, or Tiresias, is a blind prophet who warns Creon that the gods do not approve of his treatment of Polyneices body or the punishment of Antigone. Creon insults Teiresias, believing that he s simply blackmailing him for money, but the prophet responds with a prophecy foretelling the death of one of Creon s children and a warning that all of Greece will despise the king if he does not relent. Creon realizes that Teiresias has never been wrong and that he must do his bidding. The prophet is an important part of Sophocles vision: through Teiresias, the will of the gods is made known, and his very existence implies that there is a definite will of the gods that is far above the domain of man s law.
Consistent with the norms of Greek drama, Antigone is not divided into acts or scenes. The action flows uninterrupted from beginning to end. However, time elapses in non-naturalistic fashion: at certain points, from reports of what has happened offstage, it is clear that a great amount of time is meant to have passed even though only a few minutes have passed for the audience. In general, as noted by Aristotle, the action of most Greek tragedies is confined to a 79-hour period.
In Phthia, Peleus was purified by the king Eurytion and married Antigone, Eurytion's daughter. During hunting, Peleus accidentally killed Eurytion and ran away from Phthia. Again, Acastus purified Peleus. In Lolcus, Peleus lost a wrestling match in the funeral games of Pelias, Acastus' father, to Atalanta. Astydameia, Acastus' wife, fell in love with Peleus but he scorned her. She informed Antigone that Peleus was to marry Acastus' daughter Antigone hanged herself.
Antigone essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Antigone by Sophocles.
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Eurydice is Creon s wife and Haemon s mother. Broken by her son s suicide, she kills herself, calling curses down on Creon for having caused the tragedy.
Aristotle defined a tragic hero as someone “between two extremes. not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is not brought about by some error or frailty” (Aristotle, Poetics). Tragedy is meant to produce catharsis by making the audience empathise with the protagonist. The purpose of a tragic character, therefore, is to produce these emotions by being raised to a great height and then sent plummeting down. An effective tragedy causes the audience’s emotions to mirror this rise and fall.
The Second Messenger reports Eurydice s suicide to the Chorus and Creon. Creon, already broken by Haemon s death, is forced to confront the suicide of his wife as well.
Creon is looking to mitigate Antigone's motivations for standing firm to bury her brother. The theme revolves around Antigone's pride of duty in the face of a King's edict.
There is also that crucial moment when the audience is assured that thinkgs will in fact, turn out well. After Creon decided to heed Teiresias’s words, he decides “’twas I imprisoned her and I will set her free”, deciding to undo the what he had done. However, Teiresias had come not with a warning, but a judgement. The audience’s emotions and hopes are sent crashing down as Creon arrives too late – Antigone is dead, his son falls on his sword before his eyes and the discovery of his wife’s body is reported by a messenger.