The Sophocles Play Antigone:
The Sophocles Play Antigone: All the way through this play Antigone is solely being devoted to her family. Antigone is eager to go above and beyond her limits for her family. Antigone is a vital character in this play. Antigone is a very brave, passionate, and willing character that is not enthusiastic about her brother being defiled even if it means her own life. Creon is a character that he knows all commandments and is influenced that he must abide it. Creon then has compassion for Antigone and attempts to get Antigone out of danger and suffering.
In the play Antigone, Creon was seen as a protagonist who is a leading figure or important character. Antigone was seen as an Antagonist which means a character in conflict with a hero. Many who have read the dramatic piece Antigone will disagree and say that she is the protagonist. Antigone is considered an important character in the play but she does not acknowledge her faults, sins, or any of her wrongdoings. In this play the characters were Antigone, Ismene, Creon, Haemon, Teiresias, and First messenger, Second messenger, Eurydice, and the Chorus of Theban Elders.
There are three important characters in the play Antigone. The three characters are Antigone, Creon, and the Chorus of Theban Elders. Antigone who the community saw her as a heroic woman which sets her belief opposed to power of the land. Antigone is the brave woman in this play, in the beginning of this play Antigone is revealed to be very different from her sister Ismene. Antigone’s spiritual acts, ethical acts, opinionated acts, and her feelings toward her family showed her appreciation and devoted love. At the end of the story Antigone’s acts ends her own life to a tragic death.
Not having any limitations or having any concerns about the law, she will set out to bury her brother at all cost even if it means the death of her. The next main character is Creon who is a king and also is Antigone’s uncle. Before the loss of his brother and nephews his focal point was to devote himself to support others. But once he was pronounced king he devoted himself firmly to the throne. Creon main objective is about communal and political commands. After his niece disobeyed his laws he had no intention on punishing Antigone.
After Antigone’s confession about the burial of her brother, Creon had no choice but to carry out her death. Creon is then faced with tragedy of his own, the loss of his family. The next main character is The Chorus of Elders which is a unit that has a position to sing, being a messenger, and they made comments. The Chorus of Elders plays a vital role in the play. The chorus responsibility was to narrate the story and to display the characters in their events or fatal outcomes, predict the future, become a character in the play, and to give the author’s vision.
They scrutinize proceedings with compassion, comments on events, and cooperate with Creon. Additionally, there were a lot of things that were symbolized in the play Antigone one that stands out more than the rest is loyalty. The Characters symbolize many conflicting influences such as woman versus man and the law of men versus god’s law. The entombment symbolized what Antigone became familiar with and knew that it lied ahead. It also symbolized Creon’s pride and harsh he could become. The birds’ symbolism came from the prophet Teiresias.
The birds symbolized the skill of warning by the actions of the birds. If the birds fought that indicate the discrepancy the ruler formed in the natural world. This play took place in The Ancient Thebes, a city northwest of Athens. There were two brothers that were fighting over the throne. Even though Eteocles knew that his brother Polynices was in turn to be king Eteocles did not want that to happen. Polynices seeks out help from Argos and sets up an army and returns to Thebes. Eteocles has an army as well when he returns and the two brothers’ battle.
When the war ended between the two brothers both brothers were dead. Now that the late King Oedipus sons have died the throne is now taken on by Creon the Late king’s brother. The first action taken is that Eteocles be buried with honors and ban the burial of Polynices. Paul Moliken points out that “Creon focuses exclusively on civic responsibility. He believes that a citizen’s commitment to his city comes before all else; as ruler, his duty to the city is especially sacred” (7). Creon announces that Polynices is a traitor and that he shall not be buried at all and for all the vultures to devour him.
Once Antigone has become aware of this she informs her sister Ismene. Antigone knows that since Polynices will not receive the proper burial he would not be able to be accepted into the spiritual world. Even though Antigone is in this society that is ruled or conquered by man she will still disobey him. In the Charles Eliot’s “Nine Greek Dramas,” Ismene states to Antigone “We twain shall perish, if, against the law, we brave our sovereign’s edict and his power. For this we need remember, we were born women; as such, not made to strive with men.
And next, that they who reign surpass in strength, and we must bow to this, and worse than this” (257). Ismene has expressed how she feels about disobeying the laws; Antigone will still go forth with the burial of her brother Polynices. When the night reaches, Antigone set off for the field and has a burial for her brother. Robert Milch of Brooklyn College suggests that “Antigone is determined to carry out her promise to her brother, in her view, fulfilling a higher law. ” With a hand full of dust she tosses it across the dead body of her brother.
Tossing the dust over her brothers’ body will give him a passive existence in the spiritual world. A guard notices that the body has been covered and sets out to tell Creon. Creon tells the guard that he must find out who did this or it was he that had covered the body. Once the guards find out that Antigone was the one who gave her brother the burial they arrest her and take her straight to Creon. Antigone confesses to Creon that she refused to comply with his law; she did it for her devoted love and respect of her brother.
The loyalty she had for her family was priority over any law through man. In the Charles Eliot’s “Nine Greek Dramas,” Antigone argues to Creon “Yes, for it was not Zeus who gave them forth, nor justice, dwelling with the gods below, who traced these laws for all the sons of men; Nor did I deem thy edicts strong enough, coming from mortal man, to set at naught the unwritten laws of God that know not change” (269). Antigone becomes obdurate to Creon’s rules and cooperation, that he gives his last words of her death. Antigone then becomes very brave and tries to attest that she is more man than he.
Creon will not stand for the unruly Antigone and rule punishment that she be covered alive in a burial place. Later on the prophet Teiresias tries to convince Creon to overturn his punishment. Teiresias counsels Creon that he would be calling upon the fury and rage of the god. Creon does not want this to happen so he has a burial for Polynices and overturns his punishment for Antigone. But Creon is too late when he reaches Antigone because she hung herself, still not willing to accept Creon’s punishment. Haemon which is Antigone’s fiancee and also Creon’s son becomes very outraged.
Haemon then goes after his father with a sword and missed, Haemon then decides to take his own life. Creon’s wife Eurydice becomes hysterical and kills herself, by doing this she has now damned Creon. Creon has no family and endures awful affliction that he brought upon himself by praising man’s ruling over the commandment of the gods. In his conclusion, Paul Moliken suggests that, “Neither Creon nor Antigone is the hero of this play; both are inflexible, and both cause suffering by their stubbornness. Both, however, are noble characters driven by principle towards goals the Greek audience would recognize as morally good. In conclusion, the main themes are extreme arrogance that leads to misfortune, godly law versus law by man, unfairness can incite justification to challenge another, and just like a man can be intelligent and powerful so can a woman . Relatives and compassion become a major part in this play. Antigone is an example that she will do just about anything for her family. No matter what the consequences are her family will always have her loyalty. Works Cited Applebaum, Stanley. Sophocles Antigone. New York: Dover Publications, 1993. Print Eliot, Charles, ed.
Nine Greek Dramas. Connecticut: Grolier Enterprises Corporation, 1982. Print Lawall, Sarah. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2002. Print Milch, Robert, J. Sophocles’ Oedipus The King, Oedipus at Colonus & Antigone. Lincoln, Nebraska: Cliffs Notes, 1965. Print Moliken, Paul, ed. Antigone by Sophocles. Clayton, Delaware: Prestwick House, 2005. Print Rouche, Paul. The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles. New York: Penguin Group, 1986. Print Woodruff, Paul. Sophocles Antigone. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing, 2001. Print