Essays on Antigone

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27 essay examples found

Antigone: Tragic Figure Essay

Out of all the characters in the tale Antigone, I saw Creon as the perfect example of a Tragic Figure. While the play itself is titled Antigone, the tragic hero in this story is no other than Creon. Creon the anti-hero in the story, faces many conflicts internally and externally as well as changes in […]

Pages: 3 Words: 1031

Antigone: Women Repreentation 

Antigone is about a woman with the same name as the title who is willing to die as she goes against the king’s rule to bury her brother while A Doll’s House focuses on the Helmer Family especially Nora who tries to balance being a mother and a secret she is keeping. We see different […]

Pages: 11 Words: 3154
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Antigone Ethos Essay

Antigone, the daughter of King Oedipus, is the primary protagonist of the Ancient Greek writer Sophocles’ play: Antigone. Throughout the play, Antigone fights against her uncle (the new king of Thebes) to exercise her principles as an individual and uses many examples of rhetoric to support her claims throughout the play. Some background information: Thebes […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1315

Antigone: Opposing Rights

William Wilberforce, an English politician during the late 1700’s, strongly believed his morals should be incorporated into the law. People were being ripped from their homes in West Africa and forced into slavery. But, there was no law preventing these inhumane acts. The law at the time reflected the popular opinion that slavery was beneficial […]

Pages: 7 Words: 1995

Antigone Moral Obligation and Civil Disobedience

Antigone is the quintessential character who knowingly risks her life to comply with divine order, familial loyalty and social decency. Antigone, with her defensive posture of sacred laws that no human will can prohibit, is the heroine that will die to defend divine order. The conflict is with Creon, king and uncle of Antigone and […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1122

Antigone: Creon The Good Guy

Antigone is a tragedy that deals with conflict and despair at the end of the story. Creon who is the King, creates a law that states no one is to bury the body of Polyneices because Polyneices was the brother who started the fight between him and Eteocles in Thebes. Eteocles was the only brother […]

Pages: 6 Words: 1766

Why Antigone Is Considered a Role Model

In Antigone, written by Bertolt Brecht and Sophocles, a character who has a successful quest for justice is Antigone herself because, even though she dies in the end, her message has a lasting effect on all the characters. Antigone becomes a symbol of a female fighting for her personal beliefs, even in spite of the […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1195

The Defiance of Man’S Law to Please The Gods in Antigone

Throughout time it has been debated whether or not man’s law is higher than God’s law. In the play Antigone by Sophocles, Antigone goes against man’s law to please a higher power, the gods. Creon, the king, had set a law inhibiting anyone from burying Polyneices body. Antigone was afraid of the consequences from the […]

Pages: 2 Words: 547

The Character of Creon As The Real Tragic Hero in Antigone

In the tragic play titled Antigone by Sophocles, it is debated on whether Creon or Antigone is the real tragic hero. By definition, a tragic hero is one who undergoes a reversal of fortune as a result of their own tragic flaw or fate. The play Antigone describes how the terrible curse of Oedipus greatly […]

Pages: 3 Words: 833

Love and Family in The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster and Antigone by Sophocles

Inspiration can come from anything, but one of the most frequently used sources is the past. Pulling successful aspects of previous creations allows for the new artist to mold their own unique version. This is especially true for writers and playwrights. During the renaissance period playwrights primarily took influences from classical Greek and Roman theater […]

Pages: 2 Words: 673

The Ideals of Sophocles on What Values The Greek Community Should Hold in Antigone

Sophocles presents Antigone as a strong woman who is both dedicated to her family and her community. Much conflict arises between these two dedications. In this paper, I will give examples of Antigone’s different individual responsibilities and her philosophies and explain how they conflict with the commitment that she is to have to her community […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1302

Genesis V. Antigone and The Role of Women

Throughout time, one could see the consistency on what is thought to be the women’s role in society. As consistent as waves washing upon a shore, society has thought that the women’s role is to be inferior to the men. The role of a woman is seen clearly in Sophocles’ Antigone and “Genesis”, as they […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1297

Analysis of Antigone

Antigone is a tragic play written by Sophocles in 442 BCE. Antigone was based off when the Theban Civil War had ended. Two brothers, Polynices and Eteocles, both died in the Theban war while fighting against each other to be the holder of the throne of Thebes. Instead of them ruling the throne, a man […]

Pages: 5 Words: 1555

Family Affairs in Antigone, a Play by Sophocles

Antigone, written by the great philosopher Sophocles around BC 440, may seem to be a simple tragic story at first glance, but upon deeper scrutiny, it reveals itself to be a labyrinth of ambiguity and basic characteristics of humanity. Antigone, the protagonist of Antigone, is an over-confident, determined girl who is the “glue” of her […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1122

Analysis of Heroes in Antigone

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”; It proves this throughout the story through a tragic hero. In Sophocles’ Antigone, it’s a story of the conflict between Antigone, who is the daughter of Oedipus, and Creon which whom is the ruler of Thebes and […]

Pages: 2 Words: 741

Conflict in The Play Antigone

The play Antigone presents the conflict between Antigone and king Creon. Antigone holds religious beliefs and respect of the dead while king Creon stood for the rule of law. Antigone made the choice to give her brother a proper burial after he was killed, hereby disobeying the orders of king Creon which eventually let to […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1298

The Tragic Character of Antigone, a Play by Sophocles

“Antigone” by Sophocles is a play about a girl who was born cursed to meet a terrible fate. This curse led to a life of misery, and eventually her death. Antigone and her three siblings were fathered by Oedipus, the king of Thebes, and a man who was prophesied to marry his own mother. After […]

Pages: 3 Words: 771

Reality of Interpretation Between Antigone and Creon

While reading and studying Antigone, I believe that Antigone and Creon are both stubborn, self-centered people. They both remind me of how a lot of humans do these days. . Each one is knows they are righteous and is going to stick to that no matter what. The unwillingness to change or compromise is also […]

Pages: 2 Words: 501

A Short Summary of Antigone, a Play by Sophocles

The play Antigone begins with two sisters, Antigone and Ismene discussing their brothers, Polyneices and Eteocles’, most recent deaths. They both died in a war, and Antigone argues with Ismene because Eteocles was given a proper burial, while Polyneices was banned to be buried by anyone, a law that their uncle, Creon, had announced. Antigone […]

Pages: 2 Words: 653

The Issue of Feminism in Antigone, a Play by Sophocles

Sophocles’ Antigone displays a wide variety of issues within a government. Comparing these issues with present day issues is an effective way to see how society still struggles with conflicts that were going on as early as 440 B.C. Feminism is defined by Mirriam-Webster dictionary as “the belief that men and women should have equal […]

Pages: 2 Words: 645

A Review of The Play Antigone by Sophocles

Antigone is a tragic play by Sophocles. This play bears the deaths of many throughout the story. In the story, Creon takes on the role of the king after Oedipus and his two sons, Eteocles and Polyneices die in battle. Creon must face the gods after his decision to sentence Antigone to death after breaking […]

Pages: 2 Words: 523

Arrogance and Wisdom in The Tragedy of Antigone

Sophocles advocates a life that should not be filled with excessive pride, but rather a devotion and dedication to the gods. One example of arrogance that Sophocles portrayed in Antigone was through the character of Creon, who was prideful in his laws against the burial of Polyneices. After punishing Antigone and continuing to be stubborn […]

Pages: 3 Words: 985

The Tragic Character of Creon in Sophocles’S Antigone

In the play “Antigone”, Sophocles at first portrays Creon as a just leader. He has good, rational reasons for his laws and punishments. By the end of the play Creon’s hubris, or excessive pride, has taken over him, which leads to his demise. He does not realize how bad his hubris has interfered with his […]

Pages: 1 Words: 421

The Role of The Individual in Sophocles’ Antigone

The role of the individual is very important in Antigone. Both Protagonist and Antagonist are strong individuals believing the other wrong and himself/herself correct in action and reason. Throughout the play Creon and Antigone are in constant contention with one another leading to their ultimate destruction by the law. The lines between which is Protagonist […]

Pages: 2 Words: 632

Civil Disobedience Has Consequences

Though the play ‘Antigone,’ is from ancient times, it possess many modern elements. The struggles displayed in the play have survived time and are still relevant today. A popular conflict we see in both ‘Antigone’ and modern day life is the issue of civil disobedience. In the play, we are first introduced to Antigone and […]

Pages: 2 Words: 509

Hubris: Creon’S Ultimate Enemy

Power can cause a leader to neglect his conscience. In Sophocle’s Antigone, Creon unexpectedly becomes king over Thebes. He opens up his inaugural address by stating three qualities that make a king an efficient leader. He additionally makes a law stating that it is forbidden for anyone to bury Polyneices, the former prince, for he […]

Pages: 3 Words: 801

The ancient Greek play Antigone, written by Sophocles in 441 BC, is one of the most important and influential texts ever written, responsible for introducing the concept of natural laws (which was later mentioned in the Declaration of Independence), and being still significant in our modern society. Natural laws are defined on page 21 of Sophocles’ play as: “laws [that] weren’t made now or yesterday. They live for all time, and no one knows when they came into the light.” The Greek tragedy takes place in Thebes, and it tells the story of Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus.

The play explores important and somewhat out of the ordinary themes for the time it was released, such as the relationship between written and unwritten laws, women’s power and role in society, and the challenge of state authorities. Sophocles’ original story has many modern readings, one done by the French dramatist Jean Anouilh, in 1944. When comparing Anouilh’s and Sophocles’ editions of Antigone, some differences are clear, such as the values followed by Antigone and Creon, and morality and men’s unyielding authority.

Jean Anouilh created a free translation of the original play by Sophocles, which tried to breakthrough the barriers of time and space, providing a new perspective in the ancient story for the society then. The characters, in Anouilh’s edition, are more humanized, showing more complicated feelings and emotions toward each other. One example of this “humanization” of Sophocles’ characters is the meeting that happens between Haemon and Antigone in Anouilh’s movie.

The moment that the couple meets shows the vulnerability and emotions behind the heroic and brave Antigone, exploring her true feelings toward her fiance. Creon, in Anouilh’s rendition, is also more emotional. He, not like Sophocles described, is willing to lie and kill to save Antigone, and even begs her to let him help her, his niece. It gives the tyrant leader a family-oriented ideal, and changes our original perception of the king. Another example would be the addition of the Nurse, a character who exists solely to act as a friend and trustworthy person to Antigone, which also shows Antigone’s need for affection, not depicted in Sophocles’ original play.

Antigone is an important figure in both Anouilh’s and Sophocles’ versions, however, the character has differing ideas and personalities throughout the stories. In the original rendition, Antigone is a strong, cold, powerful woman who has a carefully planned strategy to bury her brother and is not afraid to die and suffer the consequences of defying the authority. She has many lines in which she proves her fearlessness, such as “because you choose life, and I choose death,” directed at Creon (26). Antigone acts strategically and follows the so called “natural laws,” the argument she uses to justify her actions of burying her brother regardless of Creon’s orders. She has less fire and more coldness guiding her actions, sure of herself, and confident that she will get a fair verdict with Hades and Persephone.

In Anouilh’s edition, there is a clear difference between Antigone and Ismene, her sister, something not emphasized in the original version. Antigone is the abnormal, the one who disrespects rules and goes against authority in an irrational way, described as the “Tense, sallow, willful girl” (13), while Ismene is the pretty, behaved girl, described as “The beautiful Ismene… She’s certainly more beautiful than Antigone” (14). This abrupt description creates an unnecessary description between the two sisters. Also, Antigone has a different drive behind her actions.

Since the beginning, it seems like the character, without the idea of the natural laws, only wants to defy the authority and bury her brother. She is more passionate than subtle, acting on impulses and not thinking it through. The dialogue between Antigone and the Guard in the end of Anouilh’s play illustrates this idea, when Antigone was surprised about how she was going to die, asking questions such as: “Do you think it hurts to die?” and “How are they going to put me death?” (67).

Creon also has significant differences in the two forms of the story. Sophocles described Creon as a tyrant multiple times throughout his book, representing his immature personality, unprepared to rule Thebes. When Creon and Haemon are arguing, Creon states: “So you think the people should tell me what orders to give? So I should rule this country for someone other than myself?”, which illustrates Creon’s expectations of his governing, believing that Thebes is his property and the citizens are thee to serve him (34). In the book, even after receiving advice from a lot of different people, Creon keeps Antigone’s death verdict, regardless of the consequences. The phrase “Talk, talk, talk! Why don’t you ever want to listen?” exemplify the king’s actions in the play.

On the other hand, Jean Anouilh has a distinct view of the character. On the 1944 version of Antigone, the king is overall softer, not only towards his niece, but also towards his leadership of Thebes. He is portrayed as an aristocrat, someone who is more of a bourgeois than a leader: “I’ll tell you something about Creon. Now and then, when he goes to bed weary with the day’s work, he wonders whether this business of being a leader of men is worth the trouble” (15). Perhaps the scene with the most vivid differences between the two authors’ editions of Antigone is the argument of Creon and Antigone in Anouilh’s play. In the dialogue, Creon is clearly showing mercy towards his niece, which is something unexpected of the tyrant king. He states that “there is still a chance that I can save you [Antigone]; but only if you keep this to yourself and give up your crazy purpose” (47), and that “I want to save you, Antigone”, exposing his sentimental side.

Another clear difference between the two renditions of the Greek story is the idea of men’s unyielding authority. In the book, Creon and Haemon have an interesting dialogue in which Creon states many sexist phrases, such as “as long as I live, I will not be pulled by a woman” (24), “If she is not punished for taking the upper hand, then I am not a man, she would be a man!” (22), and “And there must be no surrender to a woman, no! If we fall, better a man should take us down. Never say that a woman bested us!” (31), illustrating not only his prejudice against women, but also his fear of being defeated by the one of the opposite sex.

In the French author’s edition, however, this scene was differently written. Creon is trying to justify himself to his son, and explain that he did everything he could to save Antigone. Creon, in the modern play, tried to keep Antigone alive so she could marry Haemon, but she would not change her mind, and took the death sentence in the end. The dialogue does not contain sexist lines as the original version does, and therefore represents a new era in the play-writing world. Another aspect of difference between the two versions of Antigone, is the emphasis on the love between Haemon and Antigone on Anouilh’s edition. The couple is clearly in love, illustrated by Haemon’s lines such as “Live! For what? A life without Antigone? Not without Antigone. I love Antigone” (62). This and other lines by Creon’s son represent Haemon’s vulnerability and sentiments toward Antigone, a woman, and is not afraid to announce and show it.

Overall, the two editions of the play Antigone are similar in the general plot, but differ in the character development, and story development. Regardless of the edition, Antigone talks about surprisingly relevant subjects in today’s society, and it is possible for us, modern readers, to identify compatible personalities in the contemporary U.S. (and world) politics, such as Creon and Trump, Antigone (Anouilh) and Alexandria Cortez, and Antigone (Sophocles) and Nancy Pelosi. The idea of natural laws is firstly explained in Sophocles’ edition of Antigone, later in the Declaration of Independence of the U.S. and is still relevant in subjects such as women running for president.

The differences between the two editions represent the different ideals and norms of the periods in which each of the versions were written, 441 BC and 1994, and what the authors wished to accomplish with their editions. Sophocles, as a pre-socratic philosopher, attempted to employ logic, scientific thinking to natural phenomenon, and determined that the universe is governed by natural laws, which is the reasoning behind Antigone. Jean Anouilh, on the other hand, tried to come up with a timeless rendition of the ancient story, breaking up barriers and modernizing ideas and ideals presented on the original play to the society he lived in.