Antigone – Paper 7
Antigone, by Sophocles, is a play with many themes. So, I will be talking about , what some critics have said about the themes, state laws versus Individual rights, Morals, stubborness and Love. Antigone and her values line up with the first entity in each pair, while Creon and his values line up with the second. Ismene chooses to do nothing under the threat of the law whereas Antigone chooses to act despite the possible penalties. Antigone and Creon are both championing what is right, but they define rightness through different sets of values.
In Antigone, Creon finally recognized that he has been misguided and that his actions have led to the death of his wife and son. Antigone decides that she must disobey Creons orders arguing that a law of man, which violates religious law, is no law at all. The moral focus of the play Antigone is the conflict between physis (nature) and nomos (law), with physis ultimately presiding over nomos. “Throughout Antigone, King Creon is the symbol for nomos, while Antigone stands on the side of physis.
To portray these ideas, light and dark images are used as a recurring motif to reinforce the theme. As the play is carried out, the chorus is constantly changing its opinions, first believing in the actions of Creon with respect to nomos, then unsure of what to believe, and finally seeing that Antigone’s actions are more consistent with the morality of the gods and the truths of physis. Light and darkness are used to support in an emotional way the action of whoever the chorus is siding with at these various stages of the play” (Wilf 1).
In the first scenes, these light and dark images show the reign of Creon. These are followed by the indistinct and ironic middle scenes, and ending with the gods choosing Antigone’s actions over Creon’s, leaving Creon spiritually dead and paying for his poor choices and conduct. Antigone’s determination and persistence challenge the status quo and Antigone continues to be a subversive and powerful play. Creon makes a mistake in sentencing her but his position is an understandable one. Antigone stands as one of the best works of literature to this day.
The reader is drawn into their last look of the Oedipus, where nothing is ever as it should be. and My first critic added that because, of Creon’s mandated law and , what Antigone believes , made the situation to be more intense . He pointed that Antigone’s strong will to this conflict , introduces another theme which develops throughout the play; acknowledging the fact that Antigone risks death in performing the burial of her brother and prefers to lie with the copse rather than apologizing to Creon , reasoning that , Antigone willfully combine the living with the dead .
To him , this act of Antigone , creates an atmosphere which is more like that of Oedipus the king which he refer as the immorality origin of the tragedy. He belives Sophocles wanted people to view Antigone’s position as the morally proper one but to his own view, both Antigone and Creon plays the part of defying the law, in their own way . He said Creon defy the rules of the Gods by obeying his own rules while Antigone did hers by listening to her conscience. To him, the definiteness and power in which the play puts the case on each sides, are absolute proofs that the question had an apparent shape before the poet’s mind.
Finally he concluded that it is the only example of a Greek play which it central themes have a practical problem of conduct which involve the issues of moral and political views, that might be acquired on similar grounds at any age and in any country of the world. Second Critic begin with a question , if Antigone was a noble heroic victim or a biased stubborn individual who causes the deaths of two innocent people? Well , the answers to his question describes Antogone as the first heroine of western drama and, at the same time called her a stubborness and a wrong which when combined with another wrong does not makes a right.
He also sees Antigone as a loner who is isolated from the gods and people. So he relate that Antigone and Creon are central of the play because of the commitments to ones house and, the duty to the city state , his examples include the image Creon used to address the state which Creon belives must run well for citizen to find the value of friendship, while Antogone main concern is with her father’s house . He extended that the dramatic sense and arguments in the play makes strong cases for both kinship and loyalty .
He also make note that sophocles postion in Antigone , is a complicated situation which conflicted the scenes that shows a group of elders presented as the chorus of the play, but are unable to make decisions because of Creon’s tyrannical rules. Finally he concluded that the play remain popular and important but not providing a universal outcome . He Pointed out that Antigone offers one possible and tragic result of personal and political encounter that conflicted. And , lastly he noted that the above sense of the play has a significant application to modern society .
Third critic also agree with the others that the main theme of the play is the conflict between Antigone and creon . In his version , the fight is seen as a kind of disagreement among two sorts of rights , the right of an individual against the right of the state . So he come to end that , regardless of the circumstances , the point in question is settled without the actual facts in favor of Antigone , and , though total calamity befalls Creon and his family , it never save Antigone from death either.