AP Lit Prompts Antigone
Introductory Paragraphs for Antigone 2. Antigone violated the laws set forth the land of Thebes by her uncle Creon and planned to defy Creon’s order and bury Polynices. Antigone possesses a remarkable ability to remember the past. Whereas her father Oedipus defies Tiresias, the prophet who has helped him so many times, and whereas he seems almost to have forgotten his encounter with Laius at the three-way crossroads, Antigone begins her play by talking about the many griefs that her father handed down to his children. With such acknowledgment, readers cannot help to sympathize for Antigone.
Sympathy not only divides the people of Thebes to want sympathize for the Antigone but want to support the principles of society but also the readers. a)Antigone captured the public imagination immediately after the first performance of the play more than 2,500 years ago, as her deeds expanded the possibilities of human action, reconceived the role of women in society, and delineated a new type of character, one who sets her individual conscience and belief in divine principle above and against the power and authority of the state 4.
Ismene serves as a foil for Antigone; she is the “compliant citizen” to her sister’s “conscientious objector. ” While she is loyal and willing to die at her sister’s side, she does not make the same bold, defiant stand that Antigone does. She is a reasonable, sympathetic person whose fate is tied to the far more fanatical Antigone and Creon. The thought of death at Creon’s hands that so terrifies Ismene does not even faze Antigone, who looks forward to the glory of dying for her brother. Antigone refused to let her be martyred for a cause she did not stand up for.
She even seems to forget her sister exists, calling herself the ‘last descendant of Oedipus. The relationship between Antigone and Ismene evokes a wide range of emotions and insight that helps to illuminates due to their district characters and qualities. a)The differences between the two sisters, Antigone and Ismene, are their very different personalities. Antigone is a risk-taker that is willing to stand fast to her convictions, and also is willing to follow through on the actions necessary to fight for her beliefs. Ismene is a passive and easily intimidated by power.
She accepts the status quo and defends a male dominated society. b)In comparison to Antigone she has almost no agency, primarily because she is utterly terrified of disobeying men in power. She does not believe that women should ever violate the laws of men, since they are stronger and deserve subservience. Ismene does not help to bury Polyneices, but tries to claim responsibility for the burial later so that she can die with Antigone. Antigone refuses her help and Ismene is spared. This reflects both her great love for her family and her place as a symbol of the status quo who is rewarded for remembering her place. . Within the play Antigone, the conflict between father and son, Creon and Haemon illuminates the struggle between paternal and Eros love and written law. 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. 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. )Theban King Creon and his son Haemon are comparable in their beliefs of respect of a son for his father and of a citizen for his city’s laws. But they contrast in their priorities and in their commitments. For example, Creon makes the consolidation of his rule the top priority. But Haemon prioritizes people’s feelings. He therefore considers love and the lessening of suffering important. b)Creon the bureaucrat believes that a commitment must be honored to the bitter end. He doesn’t believe in changing horses in midstream.
He therefore holds fast to his refusal to bury disloyal Thebans no matter the misery, pain and suffering among his people. But Haemon the humanitarian believes that a commitment must be dropped if it goes against the will of the gods and if it results in widespread suffering, pain and misery. 8. Sophocles uses The Chorus as device to evoke certain emotions and reactions in response to the actions of central characters: a direction for the audience. The Chorus reacts to events as they happen, generally in a predictable, though not consistent, way.
The Chorus seeks to maintain the status quo, which is generally seen to be the wrong thing. The Chorus is not cowardly so much as nervous and complacent—above all, it hopes to prevent upheaval. a)The chorus questions the wisdom of Antigone’s actions in Antigone (909–962). The final chorus of Antigone, seems on the surface more hopeful as compared to the Chorus of Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus but is actually much more ominous and ambivalent. Antigone ends with a hope for knowledge—specifically the knowledge that comes out of suffering.
The audience can agree with and believe in a statement like “Wisdom is by far the greatest part of joy,” and perhaps feel that Creon has learned from his suffering, like Antigone seemingly did at the beginning of the play. b)The Chrous convinces Creon to set Antigone free and bury Polyneicdes free. Creon agrees yet this “noble” act is what marks this story a tragedy- even after this decision by Creon he loses both his son and wife. Yet again, the Chorus provides the audience with an epilogue. Leaving them to ponder over something and highlighting the theme of the play “Although the gods punish the proud, punishment brings wisdom”.