Antigone Themes — What Is A Universal Theme In Antigone

Antigone Themes — What Is A Universal Theme In Antigone

Sophocles, the great Greek tragedian wrote the tragedy Antigone. In the play he uses universal themes, themes the audience knows and can relate to. These universal themes, loyalty to family, to state and to the God’s cause the conflict resulting in tragedy. The audience witnesses loyalty to family, through the strong emotions of the characters. Most of the characters in Antigone are blood related. Antigone deeply loves her brother and can’t bear the thought of him not having a proper burial.

She knows that burying him is strictly against Creon’s orders, and is well aware of the consequences. Not able to live with her brother not getting a proper burial, and knowing the gods were on her side, she buries him. Haemon shows loyalty towards his father when Creon punishes his fiance for giving her brother the proper burial rights. Heamon disagrees with his father, but does not strongly contest with his authority, even though he knows that his dad is killing his love.

Also, another example of loyalty toward family is when Eurydice kills herself when she finds her son has killed himself. She really loved her son and decided she couldn’t live any longer without her son. As a result of loyalty to family, Antigone and Haemon die, Ismene loses her sister, and Creon loses his wife and son. Loyalty to state, is another key universal theme in greek tragedy. Ismene shows her loyalty to state when he disagrees with her sister, Antigone, and decides that she doesn’t ant to bury her brother.

Antigone Themes

She knows that Creon issued a decree against his burial and is not willing to accept the punishment for burring him. This universal theme can go both ways. Loyalty or or the lack of. People in the greek audience would not have agreed with Polyneices’ decisions, but they would have understood. The Audience would also pick up on Creon trying to change the state in order to show that he had the power, not the girl, Antigone. Loyalty to state is another building block of the universal themes that cause this tragedy to crumble.

Also in the work you see examples of Loyalty to the Gods. The obvious and main example of this is Antigone burying her brother. She went against the kings orders because she knew the gods had the high rule. Teiresias, the blind prophet, tells Creon what he sees in the future. He sees the Gods upset with Creon, so he came and told him to be loyal to the God’s and try to undo it. However, Creon does not listen to his warning. Also, Haemon agrees with the God’s that is was ok for Antigone to give the proper burial rights to her brother.

One can’t escape fate when dealing with the gods. Sophocles shows that three universal themes, loyalty to family, loyalty to state, and loyalty to the gods that cause conflict resulting in tragedy. Creon’s tragic flaw is that he is that he has a very big ego. This ego makes him think he can walk all over the gods, and more important, their laws. Antigone’s loyalty toward family and to the gods make Creon very angry. This causes him to sentence Antigone to death. When he does this his world falls apart.