Anitgone Essay, Research Paper
When a play-write creates a tragedy, two of the main aspects that need to be included are feelings of pity and fear on the reader?s part. In Sophocles? ?Anitgone,? the presence of fear and pity are very obvious. The people who suffer cause the reader to feel the need to comfort them. It is an example of a very strong tragedy. The main idea or theme behind ?Anitgone,? is that one should listen to other people?s opinions or advice and consider it before making any final decision or actions. This theme can be applied portrayed through the two main characters of the tragedy.
The first part of a tragedy and its plot is to engender fear, where ?bad fortune befalls someone ?like us.? Sophocles creates this fear through Creon and his role as king. When Creon sentences Antigone to death, the reader feels hate for him. The reader thinks that the reasons he is doing this are not right. The voice of the reader is in a way portrayed through the character of Haemon who is Creon?s son. He tries to convince his father to not go through with his decision and to realize what he is doing. At this point the reader is still against Creon and has now sided with Haemon. When Creon makes his final decision and has Antigone brought out to a cave to die alone, the reader feels a great deal of pity for Antigone and none for Creon. All of a sudden, Creon realizes what he has done and tries to fix everything. He buries Polyneices and then attempts to save Antigone. When he arrives. He finds out that Antigone killed herself and his son Haemon followed after her. Creon feels horrible. After this, Creon goes home and finds out that his wife has now also killed herself. This is when the reader feels absolute pity for him. The reader feels that Creon has learned his lesson and he should not have to deal with anymore. Not only does this create pity, but it also creates fear. The readers are afraid that something like this might happen to them one day. And someday they might ignore advice from others and end up paying dearly for it. Although this situation can be looked as pity or fear, Sophocles wanted this to be looked upon as fear more than pity.
The second part of a tragic plot is to engender pity, where ?bad fortune befalls someone who has erred.? Sophocles creates this pity for the reader by creating a bad fortune the reader can relate to everyday life. Antigone plans to bury her dead brother, Polyneices. Creon has ordered that his body is not to be buried by penalty of death, since he betrayed the state. On the other hand, if he is not buried, it is believed that his soul will not be allowed into the after life. Antigone refuses for this to happen and is determined to bury her brother. Antigone?s sister Ismene advises her otherwise. She knows that Antigone will not get away with it and fears that she will die as a result of her actions. Antigone like a stubborn mule refuses to take her sisters advice. Later in the tragedy, as a result of her action, Antigone is sentenced to death by Creon as Ismene predicted. When the readers find this out, they feel a great deal of pity for Antigone. After all Anitgone is being portrayed as the protagonist or the good guy. Creon sentences her to death and at this point in the play; the reader feels a lot of pity for Antigone. The pity the reader feels makes he/she want to help her out in some way. This aspect of the tragedy is very important in making it a strong tragedy.
Both Antigone and Creon regret what they did to either each other as well as themselves. If Creon could start over, he would have weighed all of the options and ideas that Haemon, the chorus, Therisius, and Antigone gave to him. If he had listened to them, his wife, son, and niece would still be alive. With this happening though, Creon has learned an important lesson in life. Sometimes the only way to learn a lesson is through pain and suffering.