Analysis Of Antigone Essay, Research Paper
Antigone is Greek Mythology written by Sophocles that is different from most other writings of this specific time. Antigone is a play that is in a trilogy with Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus. In his play, Sophocles deals with topics such as rebellion, mutiny and pride. The protagonist that drives this action is Antigone, daughter of Oedipus. Throughout reading the drama feelings of compassion for the characters are very much around but we never are really sure whether the drama is a tragedy or a just ending to mutiny and rebellion.
Antigone begins with the death of Eteocles and Polynices, brothers to Antigone and Ismene. As Polynices army retreats the two men are left dead. Creon, Antigone s uncle and King of Thebes decides that he will bury Eteocles and that anyone who tries to give Polynices a proper burial will be killed. Creon argues that anyone who tries to defeat Thebes such as Polynices should not and will not have a proper burial. Antigone disagrees with this very much because they are both her brothers and she wants both to have proper burial. After her unsuccessful attempts to convince her sister Ismene to help her bury Polynices, Antigone decides to bury him on her own. Towards the end of the first section Creon learns that someone has disobeyed him. Enraged Creon sends out a sentry to find and bring him the perpetrator. The theme of pride becomes very important in this theme and drives a lot of the action between characters. While Antigone claims she is being prideful to the gods Creon is also holding a firm stand because of his own pride. However, Antigone s pride seems for some reason to be the better of the two.
The next scene begins with the sentry accompanied by Antigone into the palace of Creon. As Creon enters the sentry explains that Antigone is the one that had set off to bury Polynices. When Creon asks Antigone if she has done this she does not deny it. Antigone argues that she is not going against Creon s rule but acting morally and for the right cause. Creon then orders Antigone and Ismene to their death. Ismene tries to go along with it and says she is guilty but Antigone assures Creon she has acted alone. Creon determines that both are mad and still orders them to their death. Throughout this scene the characters seem to be a little different then how they are portrayed. For example, Creon puts off a front that he is the absolute ruler and tough guy but in fact he is extremely worried about what others think and he is never as harsh as he always states he is going to be.
In the next scene Haemon, son of Creon states that the public feels Antigone s punishment is too harsh. Creon becomes enraged and asks his son how he feels about it. Haemon then backups the public, saying that his father is acting to harshly. Creon says that Haemon is acting as if he was a woman and kicks him out of his house. However, Haemon had some effect on his father because Creon chooses to spare Ismene s life. Creon then sends for Antigone to go to her tomb in which she would be buried alive. On her way to the tomb Antigone describes and says that her death is going to be noble and good and that the house in which Creon rules is a disgrace. The most important event in this scene is the introduction of Haemon. He is a disrupter. He goes against everything that is known, he questions his father and tells him that the people in the street are talking about him. He proposes the question, is the chorus really telling the audience the truth about what is going on?
At the end of the play a prophet enters the house of Creon. The prophet states that the city of Thebes will be cursed for the death of Antigone. Creon says the prophet is wrong and has no idea what he is talking about and kicks him out of his house. Sure enough, everyone begins to die at the end and Creon is left to feel miserable. The last scene of this drama is very important. While reading most people side with Antigone and feel that this story is a tragedy but at the end I wonder if Creon did not do the right thing. After all, Antigone did defy his wishes and the law. In our society today people are put to death every day for the same thing and usually we do not think of them as heroes, but as people whom received a just punishment for going against the law, just as Antigone did.