Antigone Essay Research Paper Antigoneby Sophocles442 BCApplause

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Antigone Essay, Research Paper Antigone by Sophocles 442 BC Applause Theatre Books Publishers 1990 Lydia Durant Theatre History 10-23-00 When Oedipus’s sons are kill each other in the war, King Creon decrees that Polynices the traitor is not to be buried under penalty of death by stoning, but their sister Antigone believes it would be a sin against the gods not to and defies the order. She is caught, and sentenced by Creon to be buried alive – even though he loves her and she is betrothed to his son Haemon. After the blind prophet Tiresias proves that the gods are on Antigone’s side, Creon sees the folly of his ways and changes his mind – but too late. He goes first to bury Polynices and give the body proper respect, but by the time he arrives at Antigone’s tomb,

she has already hanged herself. When Creon tries to speak to Haemon who is at Antigone’s tomb, Haemon attacks him and then kills himself. When the news of their death is reported, Creon’s wife Eurydice takes her own life. Creon is left sad and alone because of his lack of ability to exercise compassion. The play is set outside Creon’s palace with the main door to the palace upstage center. It is early morning the day after the Argive army was successfully repulsed from their assault on Thebes, and the sun is just coming up when the play starts. The end of the play is reached by the night of the same day. Sophocles, an Athenian politician and dramatist, was born in 496 B.C. and died in 406 BC. His ninety-year lifespan covered the rise and fall of the Athenian Golden Age. He

held several public offices throughout his life in addition to being a leading dramatist. Unlike many other dramatists and thinkers of his time, Sophocles did not abstain from politics. He was completely immersed in it, serving as an elected official for several years. He did not favor the politician’s life—he restricted his involvement with the state to his minor military and civil offices. He was uninterested in the intrigues and politics of the courts either, and he is thought to have refused several invitations to stay with royalty. He was considered the most beautiful man in Athens and was well respected for his work. He died just before Athens surrendered to Sparta in 404 BC. Dramatically speaking, Sophocles’ great achievement was to reinterpret the ancient myths

through a fuller development of individual character, and he is best known for his adoption of the third actor in his Greek tragedies. This made it possible to include complex dialogues and character interactions in Antigone and other plays. Before this idea dominated drama, only two actors were included in each scene. It is thought that he wrote 125 plays in his lifetime, yet we have only seven. Sophocles wrote Antigone before Oedipus the King, and it is here that he establishes the connection of tragedy between generations of his characters. Antigone’s fate is shaped not only through her own actions, but through Oedipus’ sin as well. Since I had both seen and read this play before, I was familiar enough with it to read it not only as an audience member, but also as an

analyst. I got to know the characters in a deeper way than I have with any of the other plays I’ve read for this class. Particularly, I noticed that Antigone treats her sister Ismene with very little respect, and that lead me to believe that their relationship must not have been a close and supporting one. Also, since I had recently read Oedipus the King, I was able to see different sides of Creon; not only was he intelligent and honorable, he was stubborn and blind. Another thing I liked about Antigone was the power given to a young woman to create such a moral dilemma. She acted out of love for her brother and no one could say that she was unjustified in the way she felt. Creon tried to humiliate Haemon for believing that a woman could violate the law and still be right, but