Antigone Essay Sample
ONE To enable us to develop our knowledge of the social, cultural, historical and political aspects of Antigone, we created an off text improvisation where we played characters from Theban society -I was “A Female Citizen”- we read them out to the class so we could get an idea of people we could work with which was a good idea as it enabled us to engage with each other and incorporate more detail into our improvisation. Our improvisation was set in a market place, we each spoke of our feelings to each other, which showed the contrast in opinions towards Antigone(or her sister)/Creon.
I admired Antigone for being strong enough to voice her beliefs as not many women in these times had the confidence to do so. I also learned that the daily trips to the water well-acted as an almost therapy session for a lot of women as this was the only place they could freely to voice their opinions without consequences. We incorporated this into the improvisation along with someone playing Antigone to see the people’s reactions as she walked past.
I showed my admiration for her by bowing my head when she began walking towards me and I made my posture worse and almost cowered down as if I was scared of her; this showed that I had a lot of respect for her. TWO Our next task involved focusing on the characterisation of Creon so we re-wrote his first speech as king in our own interpretation. This was important as it helped us realise how differently his speech could be interpreted by different people. I chose to take a more modern approach to harshly juxtapose with the ancient take on the original.
I did this by disposing of elder phrases and words such as “By royal edict”, “I scorn him” and “thus” and in which place used more commonly known words to our present such as “By duty and order”, “I despise him” and “therefore” this made the audience feel more comfortable as they are familiar with the dialect. Although I took a modern approach I decided to still rely on the Gods as strong inspiration and a reason for the misfortunes that had occurred. In performing my rewrite of the speech I made Creon be seen as arrogant and cocky as in the original speech he was definitely very confident and strongly opinionated.
To do this I ensured to stand tall with my shoulders broad and my head up, this was to portray Creon as quite arrogant and cocky. I also made sure to look each member of the audience in the eye at one point to make them feel threatened so they knew the importance of who was now in power and that they couldn’t just make a mockery of him and the law he was about to place. I deepened my tone of voice to further emphasise my power by frequent gestures such as placing my hand proudly on my chest or raising my fist in the air.
For effect I included a few silent moments where I just held eye contact with the audience which was good as it added tension. By familiarising ourselves with what martyrs are and the things that make them be seen as martyr’s it helped us to understand Antigone’s role better. For example just as Martin Luther king was willing to give his life to get across his beliefs, in the same respects so was Antigone for her beliefs on her brother. To further this task we researched and became a character that was seen as a martyr.
We then used the popular technique of hot seating to extend our knowledge of them and compare their reasons for sticking to their beliefs to Antigone’s. For example I asked my partner to ask me (Martin Luther king) “Why are you so devoted to getting your beliefs heard? Regardless of the consequences? ” To which I answered “It is my duty to do what is right, not just for me but for other people too, whatever the consequences may be. ” We compared our answers to what Antigone would say if she was questioned and discussed the similarities and differences.
By doing this task we got to see the different interpretations of martyrs which helped us to consider the many different ways in which people may have seen Antigone for carrying out her beliefs by burying her brother. THREE To expand our knowledge of vocal awareness we took an extract of the script and performed it as a radio drama. This helped us move our focus onto how we used our voices and where techniques such as emphasis were needed and how they gave different effects when used differently. For example “Creon: Is she the only woman he can bed with? Ismene: The only one so joined in love with him.
Creon: I hate a son to have an evil wife. Antigone: O my dear Haemon! How your father wrongs you! ” Our next task was to analyse the language Sophocles’ used. To do this we re-wrote the argument between Creon and his son Haemon. In my version I decided to keep the traditional stichomythic theme as it seemed to create tenser atmosphere. To ensure my audience was familiar with the Lexis I used I modernised the argument. For example I changed “ Creon: Am I to rule for them, not for myself? Haemon: That is not government, but tyranny. Creon: The king is lord and master of his city. to “ Creon: Why would I rule for anyone but myself? Haemon: Because that’s not ruling! That’s tyranny! Creon: The king is lord and master of his city. ” The use of a rhetorical question shows Creon’s arrogance and his negative attitude towards anyone but himself because of his “authority”. The repetition of the word “rule” shows that Haemon is frustrated and shocked at his father for believing that he is a good “ruler”. Creon’s second sentence is another example of his arrogance. FOUR We looked at Antigone’s relationship with the chorus and the importance of it.
The Greek chorus was traditionally used in Greek tragedies, they were made up of a group of about 50 people and their role was to comment on the action and recap any important parts the audience may not have heard, they would do this by either acting, dancing, singing and even just narrating. To present her relationship with the chorus we used physical theatre this is because it is a non naturalistic technique that we believed would be more interesting than the more common approach of reading from a scrip as it can be perceived in a variety of ways.
We staged our performance outside to make it more realistic. We started circled around Antigone with our audience dotted around as if they were just onlooking civilians, we did this so they could empathise with the village members of Thebes. FIVE While exploring Aristotle’s poetics we combined this knowledge with the method of tragic form, we created a series of still images presenting our perception of Aristotle’s 5 points. For the first, “Nobility” Creon was on the middle step of stairs to symbolise him becoming king, with everyone else below him.
The second was to show Hamartia, we had Creon turned away from his people with his hands to his ears signifying his ignorance. Peripeteia was third on Aristotle’s list, we showed the reversal of situation by turning our back on Creon when he needed us. We showed anagnorisis by having Creon look upon everything he had ruined and caused –death of his family. The final point was his suffering for what he had done, so we showed him holding his son to make the audience feel sorry for him in the end.