The Reality of Love in Antigone

For many, love is defined by a marriage or a happy family. People picture a high school romance or the affection between their grandparents. Despite these commonly pictured relationships, love is often more complicated than one might think.

For some, the path love takes can be travelled at the expense of life altering results. Sophocles explores this idea in his play, Antigone, by creating love and death within one family. Although Haimonr’s affection is never directly shown on stage, he proves his love for Antigone through his actions and words.
The first way in which Haimion demonstrates his feelings for Antigone is by defending her actions to his father.

Antigone has buried the body of her brother, which Creon had previously outlawed, and Haimon is informing his father about how the people, himself included, believe this is wrong, [The people] say no woman has ever, so unreasonably,/ Died so shameful a death for a generous act:/ She covered her brotherr’s body She should have all the honor that we can give her! (218-219) By defying Creon, Haimon shows he cares more about defending Antigone than respecting his father. Although Haimon is speaking to his father on behalf of the people, not Antigone, he is still demonstrating his devotion towards her because standing up to his father takes courage and a sense of rebellion. By showing these emotions, Haimon highlights his deep, emotional feelings for Antigone.

Haimon also confirms his love for Antigone by threatening to kill himself in front of his father. While Creon and Haimon engage in numerous arguments concerning Antigoner’s punishment of death, Creon states that [Haimon will] never marry [Antigone] while she lives (222). Haimon responds to his father by stating that Antigone, must die.”But her death will cause another (222). His willingness to sacrifice his life for Antigone shows that Haimon cares more about his love interest than his father. This clear devotion is essential to Haimonr’s character. Until now, he demonstrated an intense respect for his father. Changing his stance so suddenly proves that Antigone must mean a lot to Haimon.

Since he and Creon were discussing Antigoner’s punishment, the factor that made Haimon change his mind must have been Antigone herself. This suggests that Haimon cares greatly for her. The reader also realizes that Haimon is putting the worth of his life equal, or even above, Antigoner’s. Haimon implies that if his father decides to kill Antigone, then he will be committing murder to his son as well. A person would only make a claim that drastic if they cared very passionately about what they were sacrificing themselves for. This once again leads the reader to believe that Haimon has feelings for Antigone.

A third way Haimon proves his love for Antigone is by killing himself following the death of her. After Antigone is found dead, the messenger brings the news to Creon. He also informs the king about the death of his son, stating that Haimon is dead; and the hand that killed him/ Is his own hand His own, driven mad by the murder his father had done (239).

Haimon has killed himself as a result of Antigoner’s death. Although the reader was introduced to the prospect of Haimonr’s suicide, it is now more of a reality rather than a threat. Someone would only choose to die for something if it was important to them, so the fact that Haimon has actually killed himself demonstrates that he is willing to defend Antigone with his life. He would only show this amount of care and passion towards Antigone if he were in love with her.

Haimon expresses his feeling of affection for Antigone through his dialogue and actions, rather than it being displayed openly on stage. While these feeling are often associated with happiness and care, people, including Haimon and Antigone, can experience love in an entirely different way which involves having to fight and chase after one another. Although love can often be seen as a challenge or uphill battle, it is important for people to look at it as something great and meaningful in life.

Antigone Was Willing To Take Full Responsibility

Antigone says to her sister Ismene, I am not afraid of the danger; if it means death, it will not be the worst of deaths- death without honor (Sophocles 80) when Ismene refuses to help her bury their dead brother after the king made burying their brother illegal. Antigoner’s I am not afraid of danger, shows her resolution to do the right thing, even if that meant going against the kingr’s law. Ismene is rightfully afraid to help the brother because death is the most probable consequence of defying the king.

Antigone was willing to take full responsibility for her actions because she believed that her crime is holy especially because she believed that the afterlife is more important than life on earth. This is because Antigone felt that burring her brother would honor the dead hence showing that she was willing to go against the king’s directives in order to honor the higher laws set by the gods rather than the laws set by men. Therefore Antigone expresses her will to stand up against Creon based on her belief that the Gods are superior to the king and that they were more powerful to provide her with protection if she does the right thing or destroys her submitting to Creon. Antigoner’s sister Ismene, on the contrary, finds the punishment to be too steep to risk being defiant.

By displaying fear of Creon’s law, Ismene reveals her inner thoughts about kingr’s superiority and her conviction of horrible repercussions that would ensue instantaneously if she decided to help her sister. Most importantly, Ismene is convinced that because she and Antigone are women, they cannot override the command of the man, the king.

Antigone finds her brother’s dead body undisturbed by the animals after some days, and she saw this as a sign that the gods wanted a proper burial for him. Antigoner’s it will not be the worst of deaths- death without honor shows her superstitious nature in that she believed in the afterlife and bad omen. Also, the quote shows her acknowledgment that each individual is bound to die despite the timing. Additionally, it shows her resolution to honor the dead and appease the gods rather than please a man whor’s based on her idea that dying in honor would make more sense than dying without it and having eternal troubles. On the contrary, Ismene is not as superstitious, therefore she believes that it makes more sense to follow set rules and regulations. This quote encourages people in society to be courageous enough to stand up for what they believe is right despite the negative repercussions that may ensue, whether the issue is on sexuality, on discrimination, on harassment by the police.

Creoner’s Whoever is chosen to govern should be obeyed- must be obeyed in all things, great and small, just and unjust (Sophocles 530) was said by the king, Creon following Antigoner’s defiance that made her bury her brother yet he had made it illegal. The quote whoever is chosen to govern should be obeyed is significant in the play as it reinforces the theme of rules and order within the Greek society. Finally, the quote must be obeyed in all things, great and small, just and unjust is significant as it shows how the Sophocles thought of dictatorships and how dictators ruled the people.

On the contrary, this same statement allows readers to reflect on Antigoner’s character that shows how she is driven by justice and refuses to follow the dictatorship of the king, such as directives on what she should do with her late brotherr’s body. Most importantly, this statement may explain Antigoner’s character in that she seems fed up with the tyrannical rule that required everyone to follow blindly. For this reason, she was willing to face whichever consequences so as to stand up against oppression, so as to open the eyes of others in society to see the outright oppressions that they faced, and so as to set an example to other women that the choices and directives that men make are not always great. Sophocles may have chosen the words just and unjust in this particular play to highlight that Creon was commonly unjust and that Antigone was tired of the cycle.

Today, the quotes remind all individuals to obey rules and laws regardless of how insignificant they seem so that they do not get themselves in trouble. As much as these quotes by Creon are extreme, they remind people to be courageous to stand up for what they believe in but to always try and negotiate with the governing bodies to try and find middle ground before acting on their beliefs which may get them in trouble. For example, in the play, Antigone may have approached Creon to plead or request him to allow her to bury her brother rather than being defiant. Therefore, people, today can utilize ways that are legal to achieve or lobby for what they want as well.

Genesis vs. Antigone

Throughout time, one could see the consistency on what is thought to be the womenr’s role in society. As consistent as waves washing upon a shore, society has thought that the womenr’s role is to be inferior to the men. The role of a woman is seen clearly in Sophocles Antigone and Genesis, as they both contain a convoluted view of womenr’s submission and liberation.

Even today, pieces from both works are pulled to argue for or against gender dominance, an argument that has been happening for centuries. Both works of literature portray the womenr’s role in society as lesser than the men.

In Sophocles Antigone, the main character Antigone; daughter of Oedipus, expresses her desire to stand against Creonr’s law; an urge to rebel that was rarely found in ancient societyr’s women. In ancient Greece, women were found to be shy, submissive, and passive. On the contrary, men were found to be strong, brave, and dominant. Antigoner’s bravery and passion represents a rebellion that seems to upset the hierarchy that was ancient Greek society.

Her ambition of ignoring Creonr’s law and giving her dead brother; Polyneices, a proper burial marks her as a rebel among women, this can be seen when she says He has no business keeping me from what is mine. (Antigone, Line 48), the thought of a man not being able to control a woman. Antigone is willing to risk all for Polyneices honor, this is shown when she says Let me and the ill counsel that derives from me suffer this awful fate; what I shall suffer will be far less dire than dying an ignoble death! (Antigone, Line 95-97). Antigoner’s honor and willingness to die for what she believes is the right thing to do is what gives her drive to give her brother a proper burial, even if it went against King Creonr’s law.

On the other hand, Ismene, Antigoner’s sister is found to be the submissive women that appeals to Creonr’s beliefs that women are inferior to men. Her character is the very image of how women are viewed by men in ancient Greece. Her disbelief of Antigoner’s rebellious ways can be seen when she tries to dissuade Antigone from burying Polyneices. What? You bury him- when a law forbids the city? (Antigone, Line 44), Ismene expressed horror at the very thought of overstepping the womenr’s place, as she believed women were weak and men ruled all. This also reveals that she values the menr’s laws more than the gods laws.

We must remember, first, that we two are by nature women and not fit to fight with men; second, that we are ruled by others stronger then ourselves, (Antigone, Line 61-63). She argues with Antigone throughout the play, attempting to remind her that they are women, and women lack power to defy Creonr’s law. Ismene is quite literally the juxtaposition of Antigone, one willing to risk their life for their blood, the other fears authority and death. Ismene being the foil to Antigone, their differences offering perspective to the story. Ancient Greek societyr’s belief on what the role of the women is embodied in Ismene.

The common belief of the womenr’s subordination is seen in King Creonr’s character. Creon believes that the men should be the enforcers of the law while women should be weak and easily controlled. His belief that women should never be in control is seen when he speaks to Antigone, Die then, and love the dead if thou must; No woman shall be the master while I live. (Antigone, Lines 524-525). In this quote, Creon shows that his reasoning throughout the play was never based on rationality but, instead, on sexism. Creon expressed his desire to have Antigone mother Theber’s next heir; instead, of being put to death, showing that his thoughts were not with the women herself, but with her capabilities to pass on the royal blood. He views women as objects; something to be controlled by men, this can be seen in his conversation with Ismene. When Ismene reminds him of Antigoner’s engagement to his son Haimon, Creonr’s only words were There are other plots of land for him to plow (Antigone, Line 569), implying that Antigone is easily replaceable because she is nothing more than an object to please Haimon.

Equally important, are the gender roles in Genesis, the role of the women is not too different from Antigone. In the first book of the Bible, God first creates Adam and then he creates Eve. While the order of who was created first would ideally have little effect on the gender roles in society, many see Adam being created first as him being given the position of authority. It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him. (Genesis, 2:18), this quote conveys that the role of Eve is to keep Adam company, to help him when he needs it. God made Eve from Adamr’s flesh and bone, to some this might mean that she stands as his equal, for Adam was made from God and Eve from Adam. They are all made of the same flesh, therefore, they are all equal.

However, Adam was given the privilege to name every animal and to name the woman that would be his wife. This implies that Eve is not equal to her husband, and she does not share the same power as he does. It is not until after Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit that the dynamic of roles is somewhat changed. While Adam is punished, he is not made subservient to another being. Eve, on the other hand, is told that she will have the ability to bear children, only she will feel tremendous pain during the birth. In addition, the message given from Genesis on gender roles is noticeable when God informs Eve Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you (Genesis, 3:16). The quote quite clearly states the inferior role of the woman and the superiority of the man is expressed in he shall rule over you. In the Book of Genesis, one can easily observe the role of male domination.

That said, Chapter One of Genesis view on the role of genders is embodied in Antigoner’s character; her refusal to follow the social norm, and her desire to honor her fallen brother despite being promised death if done. When God took Adamr’s rib to form Eve, he saw they were of the same flesh, therefore, the same social standing. After Chapter One of Genesis, Ismene is found to be embodying the role of genders; her willingness to take orders from men and to follow Creonr’s law. Chapter Two and Three of Genesis seems to justify the views of Ismene and Creon, as it conceptualizes the inferiority of women.

In conclusion, Sophocles Antigone and the Book of Genesis both contain male dominated gender roles. The womenr’s role, in both works of literature, is to be inferior to the men, to serve them, and be controlled by them. Antigone shows the behavior that is expected of all women, and the role they are expected to play in society, while Genesis reveals the moment of women stepping in the supporting role while the man stepped into the lead. Taking all things into consideration, Antigone and Genesis may have started with different ideas of gender roles, but in the end, they both portrayed the lesser social standings of women.

The Roles of Women in Candide vs Antigon

Throughout time the roles of women have been defined by society. As women we are told how we should behave and what is expected of women. In the past women were expected to play specific roles such as homemakers and caregivers.

Women enjoyed very few privileges because of their gender roles in society. Over time the roles of women have changed and it has become more acceptable to see women in nontraditional roles. However, in the two stories of Candide and Sophocles it is apparent that women are depicted as inferior and were perceived as tools for man’s pleasure. Both societies’ reveal discrimination, mistreatment, sexual exploitation and nontraditional behavior. We will explore the similarities and differences concerning the Weltanschauung (worldview) of the women’s role in society.

Candide and Antigone both have a sense of gender inequality in their societies as the stories show the dominance of men over women. For instance, in the play Antigone there is an intense battle between the role of men and women, Ismene informs Antigone that is has been long-established that, We must remember we are women born, unapt to cope with men; and, being ruled by mightier than ourselves, we have to hear these things and worse (Sophocles 3). Indicating the need for females to be obedient and submissive. Ismene implies women are controlled by mightier forces. The play demonstrated men’s aggressiveness and their need to dominate women by treating them as second-class citizens. Ismene is accustomed to being the inferior sex and will not compete with male forms of authority in their society. She is demonstrating the worldview of male domination and that women should fear men and be submissive. Consequently, Ismene fails to control her destiny and has a fear of male dominance over women which makes her refuse to bury her brother Polynices, as instructed by Creon (Sophocles 2).

There is a similar role of inequality demonstrated in Voltaire’s Candide. In Candide society views women as inferior being and as objects for man’s pleasure. The role of women in Candide describes how women experience suffering and mistreatment by the men in society. The female role is sexually exploited in spite of political connection and power. Women possess little importance or complexity as shown by Cunegonde, Paquette and the old women. Particularly, Cunegonde is depicted as a beautiful woman who is entirely dependent on the protection of men as she always faints at the sight of any disturbing event (Voltaire 18). She accepts the stereotypical roles as a woman and uses her beauty to her advantage as she thinks she has few options to survive as a woman in her society. For example, Cunegonde contemplates a marriage proposal of someone she does not love, You have been ravished by Bulgarians; a Jew and an Inquisitor have enjoyed your favours. Misfortune gives sufficient excuse (Voltaire 31).
Cunegonde never questions or disobeys the worldview therefore she has accepted sexual oppression and mistreatment. It is evident that the two texts display woman as sexual objects for men’s pleasure and second-class citizens whose roles are limited to stereotypical duties.

In both stories women had few options in their personal and public experiences. Antigone portrays women in ancient Greece as a neglected gender accustomed to traditional duties. Women were not consulted in matters concerning society. Their lives were dominated by male members of the family, either a father, husband or brother (Sophocles 33). In addition, women were found only valuable as mothers and wives. Antigone was described as, Unblest with any marriage, any care of children indicating that women were not blessed or worthy without a husband or children (Sophocles). It is apparent that the play Antigone presents women as inferior beings who are ruled by men and have limited roles in society.

In the play Candide, women are also considered to be sexual objects, controlled by men and less valuable to society Women endure suffering and mistreatment by males throughout the text. They are portrayed as a representation of sex in the culture. In particular, the old woman who is a victim of rape after an attack by pirates (Voltaire 25). The attackers grabbed the women in the region and enslaved them sexually. The old woman was admired by the captain consequently being raped several times. Later, she found a man to come to her aid only being betrayed and sold off in Algiers by the man (Sophocles 27). The story indicates that despite the atrocious act of rape among women, female gender considered it the customary way of doing things as rape of females was perceived as natural and the men who committed the act were branded heroes, their daughters, disemboweled and breathing their last having satisfied the natural wants of Bulgarian heroes (Voltaire 5). It is obvious that the women in Candide demonstrate that the female gender had little or no power during this period and it indicates that rape is embraced as unfortunate but a normal part of society.

Although there are many similarities regarding the worldview on the role of women in both stories, there are specific differences in the roles played by these women. The main difference is Sophocles depicts Antigone as being strong and brave. Antigone breaks away from the stereotypical role of women being obedient. She is willing to disobey her king in order to do what she feels is right.

For instance, Antigone possesses the characteristics of strong and determined female when she disobeys Creon, king of the Thebes by burying her brother Polynice who, the king instructed should be left to be devoured by dogs and fowls of the air (Sophocles 9). Therefore, by doing so, she broke away from the traditional role of a woman in a society dominated by males. She believed that the commandment of the Gods to perform a burial of the dead was more important than the instructions of King Creon. Sophocles depicts woman as highly motivate and morally courageous by fighting for her religious and political viewpoints. Antigone is brave as she places her family and beliefs above her life by refusing to allow man to interfere with responsibility of maintaining her principle values (Sophocles 17). Plagued by her loyalty to her brother buries Polynices even when her sister Ismene refuses to help her. Despite the negative stereotype of women in the society, Antigone has been depicted as strong, courageous and loyal.

Voltaire’s Candide is contrary to Antigone as Candide focuses on the exploitation woman as sexual objects for men and women tend to embrace it as traditions of their society. Not a single woman in Candide was brave enough to fight for their place, rights, and freedom in the social order in spite of women being enslaved to sex, controlled and mistreated by men. Cunegonde, Paquette, and the Old Woman are forced into prostitution, raped, and sexually exploited by the men. Women are valued for their beauty as it stated, But what is worse still is, that she has lost her beauty and has become horribly ugly (Voltaire 77). Women of this society exist as subjects of beauty and to please man. Despite the suffering and mistreatment that these three women have experience, they possess no power to protect themselves against the dominance of men. They are perceived to be weak and submissive. Unlike Antigone who fights to defend her beliefs, the women Candide accept the hand they are dealt and are faced with the atrocities of their time period.

It is obvious that the two tales depict women as lesser being in society whose roles have been restricted in both worldviews. The women in Candide accepted suffering and mistreatment as a norm of society. Whereas Sophocles created a character who defies the normal traditional role of a women. Antigone was willing to risk her life to standby her beliefs. Although the roles of women have changed throughout time women are still considered to be the inferior sex. Women have been able to embrace any role that one chooses but at times it is still be met with difficulty. It is apparent that even in the 21st century women are still faced with the adversities of the past. The difference is how one decides to handle their situation. Will you be an Antigone and fight for your beliefs or will you be a Cunegonde and fall victim to the worldview of society?

Works Cited

  1. Sophocles. Antigone. Dover Publications, 1993.
  2. Voltaire. Candide. Dover., 1991.

John Locke Core Belief

John Locke values the idea of natural right, which he divulged in his book Two Treatises of Government. A shown in Sophocles’ play Antigone the character Creon idealized the opposite philosophy. The idea of natural right, as developed by John Locke is that all people have the right to life, meaning, having a basis of equality within a society.

the liberty of basic freedoms, and the right to property. On the other hand, Creon, the king of Thebes leads with an iron fist, and in his own foolishness gets everyone he cares about killed. Transition. The character of Creon in Sophocles’ play Antigone illustrates the importance of John Locke’s core belief in natural right of life, liberty, and property.        

John Locke grew up in the 1630s and 40s in Wrington, Somerset, England with his father and brother and was raised as a Puritan (John Locke Biography). Unlike many children of his time, Locke received an outstanding education because his father served as a captain in the British Civil War (John Locke). He graduated Westminster School in 1648, earning the rank of being king scholar. Afterward Locke attended Christ Church, Oxford In 1658. While there he studied medicine and natural science under the wing of Robert Boyle, founder of the royal society. Later in 1666 Locke became a member of this society. In 1674 Locke graduated with a degree in medicine, and began working as a personal physician to Lord Ashley, Earl of Shaftesbury. Over time, the two became great friends and Locke became more like Lord Ashley’s political adviser. Locke also went with him to some political affairs in France. Even in 1683 when Lord Asheley was exiled and fled to holland, locke joined him. Later in 1689 after the downfall of King James in 1688 Locke returned to England and finally began to document his ideas and core beliefs (John Locke Biography).        

In the year 1690 John locke published his first book Two Treatises of Government. This was a collection of over twenty years of intellectual work and self reflection, aimed to “inquire into the origin, certainty, and extent of human knowledge, together with the grounds of belief, opinion, and assent” (John Locke Biography). In it, Locke recounts his stance on the overthrowing of King James the previous year. He said it is the duty of the government to protect its citizens natural rights, these include, the right to life, liberty and property. He believed in the formation of a government these rights were protected. Locke also stood by the notion that the government is decided by the people, not through divine right (Littell, 25). Locke’s natural rights of life, liberty and property in the form of a democratic government is most important for society today. He said it is the duty of the government to protect its citizens natural rights, not feed off them due to divine right. We can see that here in the United State’s government because Locke inspired founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson to write the constitution.

Some may argue that Locke’s Opinion are too anti monarchy but it needs to be considered how he was raised and how the government of his time treated him and those around him. Locke grew up during the british civil war, so he experienced how the war affected even those not on the front line. His father was a captain so his family was given many privileges including an education beyond the average citizen. This gave him time in his developing years to ponder philosophy. Over time he grew fond of the idea of natural rights given by the government to ensure the safety of its people. He also felt it was important to have a system in which the people can overthrow the government when the king is not doing his job to represent and protect the people. The core belief of John Locke is that all people under a government have a natural right proves essential when compared to how Creon the new king of Thebes in Antigone rules.

As soon as Creon takes rule of the city of Thebes after the death of Polynices and Eteocles, he has strict policies and refuses to take others opinion into consideration. despite several omens sent from the gods he keeps his foot down and refuses to see any way other than his own. This comes back to bite him when everyone he had loved dies a gory death. While fighting with Antigone about performing the burial ritual on Polynices, he remains stubborn and unwilling to see reason stating, You will see! The toughest is first to break and decides to also punish Antigone’s sister Ismene, for the crime as well her sister will not now escape the utmost penalty (Sophocles 211). From this point forward Creon is enraged and abuses his power against Antigone by not listening or respecting her morals. On the other hand John Locke thinks it is the duty of the ruler to serve the people it is impossible that the rulers now on earth should make any benefit (Locke 105). Locke firmly stands by the notion if a ruler or king does not uphold the duty of protecting his people’s right to life, liberty and property the people may overthrow him. The reason Creon did what he wanted and hardly even listened to the council is because as king whatever he said goes. But he comes to regret it later, therefore by providing the country with the authority to speak out, Creon could have avoided much hardship. Earlier in the play Antigone, after Creon had just heard the news of Polyneices burial he attacks Sentry, the man only responsible for bringing the information to him Either you find the man who did this burial or Hades itself will be too good for you (Sophocles 203).

This tyrant behavior that creon is exposing about himself only shows that he cares less about what happened and more about making an example of someone who disobeyed him. This directly violates John Locke’s social contract in which makes the community, and brings men out of the loose state of Nature into one politic society (Locke 197). How Creon treated the people of thebes shows why John Locke’s ideas of natural right are so important to society. The tyranny of Creon’s rule and the fact that no one could stand in his way goes to show that instead of watching a ruler or king have their way unt

The story of Oedipus

The story of Oedipus is a true Greek tragedy in that the main character, Oedipus, rises to power in the city of Thebes only to be told of a prophecy saying he, although unknowingly, committed fratricide and his wife, Jocasta, is his biological mother. When all of this information gets to Oedipus he is rightfully shocked, but his mother/wife commits suicide and with her pin, Oedipus blinds himself. Oedipus is the framework of a tragic Greek character because he has redeeming qualities such as his ability to think, like when dealing with the Sphinx, he has issues with keeping his pride in check due to his own intelligence and stubbornness.

Ultimately, what makes Oedipus such a tragic character is that he wanted no part in his prophecy but he was doomed to fail from the start. We can see that the theme of Oedipus was about self-knowledge, and how well he could handle the truth and what he could do with the information.

To truly understand what makes Oedipus’ story tragic we must look into the element that holds the most relevance throughout the story; Oedipus’ prophecy. The prophecy was made to Oedipus’ father, King Laius, that his child would eventually kill him so he sought to get rid of his son in hopes of avoiding this prophecy. This becomes a trend with Oedipus as well as he also gets the same prophecy from an oracle; because of this prophecy, Oedipus leaves Corinth and heads towards Thebes, where his real parents were. Both of these men’s undoing is their blind belief that they can escape prophecy or change fate. This ignorance is juxtaposed by Oedipus’ intelligence, especially when solving the Sphinx’s riddle to become the king of Thebes. Oedipus is a smart man, but by trying to fight fate and running from the truth he only succeeded in accomplishing the prophecy. The true tragedy of Oedipus is that despite all of his intelligence and quick thinking, he denied the truth of which he was, he ran away from home in hopes of not being part of his own prophecy and ended up a blind man wandering the world due to his own foolishness.

Oedipus is not the only one to blame for his fate. All this happened because Oedipus’s parents’ choice to abandon him because of a prophecy. If they had taken care of him from a young age and told him what the prophecy said when he reached adulthood, then none of what happened to Oedipus would have happened. Oedipus would have been the next king in line, and the prophecy would not have come true. The man Oedipus ran to at the dance was also to blame. If he wasn’t drunk, then he would have not said all those mean things to Oedipus and he would have never mentioned the fact that the parents Oedipus think he had was never his real parents. Oedipus would have never gone out to seek the truth to prove that man wrong. Oedipus would have never run away and killed his father on the road.

What makes Oedipus a true tragedy? Oedipus had a sudden reversal of fortune and a change in circumstances. This was when the Messenger shows up from Corinth. The man tries to ease the King’s mind by telling him that he’s not really king Polybos’ son. This ends up driving Oedipus toward his horrible fate. Then there was a moment when Oedipus recognizes his true identity and discovers his own situation. In Oedipus the King this was when the testimonies of the Messenger and the Theban Shepherd make Oedipus realize that he fulfilled the prophecy that he’s tried to avoid so bad unwilling. Then later there was a catastrophe which caused great and sudden damage and suffering to Oedipus and his family. When he found out he murdered his father and married his mother, which leads him to stabbing his eyes out and his mother and wife hanging herself.

The story of Oedipus is a tragedy of a man who is ruined by forces he could not run from or he could not have been expected to have understood, which makes Oedipus not responsible for his misery in any way. He was more of a puppet of his own life, and his fate was meant to be a tragedy. In Oedipus, you can see that what Oedipus wasn’t just running from his fate but he wanted his free will to do as he, please. Oedipus is innocent in his own story, and because of that free will to run away from it and not confront his parents; he runs into his tragic fate and murdered and married his mother. Oedipus intentions towards his parents were good; we see that he wasn’t into killing his parents, but his actions towards avoiding it were bad. He also didn’t have all the truth before running away. If he knew that the parents he was with weren’t his real parents than I don’t think he would have run away, because he would have realized that he’s not with his actual parents, so the prophesy would have never came true.

During the time when Sophocles wrote Oedipus the king, we see that they believed so much in gods, and how humans were placed on earth to do as commanded by the gods. We see that they have no free will to do say they want but rather to obey the gods. With this, we can see that during the Ancient Greek time period they don’t have the will to do anything they want like we do in this time period. If Oedipus was during this time period and all those tragedies happened to him, then we can say he had his free will to no fulfill the Prophesy, but the choice to do it anyways. That wouldn’t consider him a tragic story, but we see ancient Greek gods were in control of the people and what fate is set for someone they cannot change. For Oedipus to be responsible for what he did; we would have to identify what the ancient Greek mean by responsible. The word means to act accordingly to one’s own wishes, and having control over. Which he couldn’t do because his fate was already set, and when he tried to fight it by running the run straight into his fate unable to escape from it. This proves that Oedipus wasn’t responsible for his fate, and had no control over it making him a tragedy.

Greek mythology believed in gods and believed that things that happened were not in the natural will, but it was the intentions of the gods, and they do say they please. We could say his destiny chooses him, and there were divine powers from the gods in it. For him to be at the ball and find out that he wasn’t who he thought he was. To me, there were supernatural powers involved. Why did it have to be at that moment he finds out? Also at the moment, he was running away. He runs in the direction of his father, and why was his father on the road? How could he have killed his father’s guards and his father without any injuries? All this is the power of the gods with no free will for Oedipus to run away from his tragic. If he had found out that his adopted parent was not the parent he should have ran from then I believe things would have been different for Oedipus. He would have never killed his father and marry his mother. Oedipus faced the issues of justice and morality, innocence, guilt, and criminal intent. All the things he was trying to fight; he ended up doing against his will. This makes Oedipus a Tragedy.

There were elements in Oedipus that appear in a story and have a deeper meaning than what appears to be. The first symbol that appears in the plot was eyes. This symbol was introduced when Tiresias, a blind prophet, was trying to explain to Oedipus that Oedipus himself was actually the one who killed King Laius who was his father. Oedipus refuses to believe what Tiresias was saying or see the evidence right in front of him; instead, he tries to blame the murder on someone else. This makes Oedipus blind to the truth. A Tiresias end up telling Oedipus that not only is he the murderer, but he will end up physically blind once he finally accepts the truth.

This comes true. The Second symbol that appears in the plot was his foot. The name Oedipus is swollen foot, which happens to Oedipus when king Laius his father pins his ankles together as an infant. The scars on his ankles make him different from others, making his fate different than others. The injury symbolizes Oedipus being limited and controlled by the prophecy. His control to the prophecy means he cannot run away his fate. The last symbol that appears in the plot was the crossroads. Crossroads symbolized a huge decision for Oedipus where each path would lead him to a different outcome. At the crossroads in the story, Oedipus was faced with a decision of whether to kill or obey king Laius and move out the way for him. Which he chooses to kill King Laius. Making his fate sealed. The crossroads symbolize fate and the power of prophecy rather than freedom/choice.

During my research, I found out that all the tragedy that was in Oedipus’s family or what happened to Oedipus was by King Laius. King Laius was said to have tutored the son of a king. It was said that eternal suffering was cast on all future blood relations to King Laius meaning Oedipus is son and grandsons, and it happened. Oedipus after wondered the earth till he died. The suffering didn’t just stop with Oedipus. It went on to his children. Eteocles and Polynices, decided to share the kingdom, each taking one-year to rule. Which Eteocles refused to step down from his throne after his year as king.

Polynices was mad and brought in an army to fight Eteocles from his position. At the end of the war the brothers killed each other. Which Jocasta’s brother, Creon, took over the throne. He decided that Polynices was a traitor, and should not be given burial rites. Antigone didn’t like it and attempted to bury her brother. Creon found out and had Antigone buried in a rock cavern for defying him, where has she hanged herself as soon as she was put in the cave, and Creon son, Haemon was hiding in the cave ahead of time, trying to free her and then to run away with Antigone and live happily ever after. Which Antigone did not know about. When Haemon discovers Antigone’s dead body; he was unhappy, and he commits suicide too. This shows that the curse upon Oedipus family didn’t just end with him but also with his children. Each one of them dies in a cruel way. Oedipus wasn’t the only one affected by the tragedy and proving that the fate of Oedipus and his family were sealed from the very beginning, which they could not run away from.

To conclude this essay, what makes Oedipus such a tragic character is that he wanted no part in his prophecy, but he was doomed to fail from the start, beginning with his injury in his foot, to the crossroad, and to the blindness of his eyes. Oedipus was a smart man, who tried fighting fate and running from the truth.

He tried to run from who he thought he was because he was afraid to hurt is parent only to run into who he was meant to be from the very beginning, and fulfill his purpose against his will by killing his real father and marrying his mother, and I believed if King Laius and his wife jocasta had loved Laius and never tried to kill him, but they let Oedipus live with them till the point where he is responsible enough to understand things. That’s when they should have talked to him about the prophecy, and I’m pretty sure Oedipus would have never killed his father and married his mother. That to me is why I picked Oedipus the king has a true Greek tragedy story that had no will over his own life.

Critical Lens       

One may think it is unfair to try so hard to accomplish a goal, and in the end it seems that all their hard work and everything they lost paid off for nothing. David Mamet once said “…it is the human lot to try and fail… ” I agree with this quotation because it cannot be truer in my own life, as well as the tragedy Antigone by Sophocles in which two tragic heroes Creon and Antigone have to endure the pain of trying and failing. To the naked eye it may seem although Creon and Antigone are the complete opposite of one another, however Creon and Antigone are enduring the similar experiences throughout the play despite the despise they have for one another. Creon and Antigone both have the characteristics of tragic heroes but demonstrate those characteristics in different ways. Both Antigone and Creon have belief in their freedom, Antigone believes that her stature to decide what’s right should not be compromised because of the fact that she is a woman; While Creon believes he has the freedom to do whatever is necessary to assert his authority. Creon and Anitgone  exhibit extreme pride or “hubris” in which Creon believes that his power over rides the power of the gods and Antigone is willing to give up her own life just to ensure her pride that she would do whatever it takes to honor her brother. A sense of commitment is demonstrated when Creon is determined no matter what to carry out his punishment on Antigone, and Antigone is willing to withstand that punishment by Creon. Both characters exhibit a capacity for suffering or “pathos”. Antigone is willing to withstand the pain of killing herself when placed in a tomb. Creon does not feel any guilt when sending Antigone to her death in the tomb, however after Creon’s son, Haimon , kills himself Creon shows his vulnerability and that he does in fact have the capacity to suffer. A sense of vigorous protest is shown in both characters as well. Antigone feels betrayed because she carried out the will of the gods but was punished for carrying out the right thing to do, and believes that the gods and the senators of the government should have supported her in her time of great suffering. Creon blames his own weaknesses for the tragic death of his wife and son this exhibits the vigorous protest he has towards his past completed actions. Throughout the play a Transfiguration occurs in both Antigone and Creon in with purification or “catharsis” is exhibited within the character. By the time Antigone is being sent to her death her view starts to change in which she starts to question the power of the gods and why they did not help her and why she was robbed of the rest of life by not being able to have a family or grow old. Creon starts to question his own authority and whether or not he made a justifiable decision for the state as well as his own family. In both of these instances the character undergoes severe suffering which causes them to change their hearts and undergo purification and purges them of their original feelings. Literary elements consisting of irony and metaphors play a distant role in this play by Sophocles. Irony is found in the fate of Antigone when she is engaged to be married to her cousin, Haimon, but her engagement is ended with her being sentenced to death by her uncle and future father-in-law  Creon. The outfit she wears at the time of her death is described, dramatically and ironically, as her wedding dress “This search, at our despairing master’s word, we went to make; and in the furthest part of the tomb we described her hanging by the neck, slung by a thread-wrought halter of fine linen: while he was embracing her with arms thrown around her waist, bewailing the loss of his bride who is with the dead, and his father’s deeds, and his own ill-starred love”. Metaphors are also found in the play “Sirs, the vessel of our State, after being tossed on wild waves, hath once more been safely steadied by the gods: and ye, out of all the folk, have been called apart by my summons… ” Creon’s speech contains a metaphor calling Thebes a ship of state and that a king and his citizens must put the state above all. In the lifes of Antigone and Creon in the play Antigone by Sophocles display hardships to the greatest extent, and it seems as though they fail at everything they try. David Mamet said “…it is the human lot to try and fail… ” though these characters may fail at their attempts in the play they give readers the power to gain pathos which provides insight to the true suffering in their lives.

Antigone: A Tragedy

Antigone is a Greek tragedy written by Sophocles set in the Bronze Age at the dawn of day in the royal palace of Thebes. It is story of a driven young girl named Antigone who is determined to bury her recently deceased brother, Polynices, by defying the orders of the new king of Thebes’, Creon. . The definition of an Ancient Greek tragedy thought up by Aristotle explains that tragedy is “an imitation of an action that is serious, complete possessing magnitude: In embellished language, each kind of which is used separately in the different parts; In the mode of action and not narrated; and affecting through pity and fear” (Aristotle 780). Therefore, there are merely six parts to its meaning, plot, characters, diction, thought, spectacle, and melody. The most important part of the definition is the plot, the soul to the tragedy. The plot must be complete with “unity of action. ” By this Aristotle means that it must be structured as whole having a beginning, middle, and end. The next important part of the definition is character. The character defines the characters of the story and should arouse pity and fear in order to be a tragedy. The third importance part of the definition deals with thought, where something is proved to be or not to be. Diction is how the speeches reveal the character and the theme of the play. Next important part is diction and the stylistic elements of tragedy. Metaphors mainly fall under this category. Aristotle says that good use of metaphors implies and eye for resemblance. The fifth part of the Aristotle’s definition deals with chorus. The chorus she be like an actor of the play and function as a character. Most importantly, it should contribute to the emotional action of the plot. The last part of its definition explains the emotional attraction of the spectacle by the arousal of pity and fear. By the means of pity and fear, relying on the spectacle brings a sense of, not only the terrible, but the monstrous. This brings about the ending or the cleansing of the tragic emotions, catharsis. Halfway through the plot of the play is where the tragedy begins. For example when a sentry under the orders of Creon reveals to him about the burial of Polynices and the violator who took place in his burial is the part of the rising action up to the climax of the plot. When Creon asks how they knew it was Antigone, they explained everything they saw. By following the Greek law of the gods, Creon will only bury the undead whereas Antigone thinks otherwise when it comes to her dead brother. Because of Antigone’s stubbornness to follow Creon’s rule, he experiences a great deal of suffering when Creon threatens her life due to her burying her brother. She starts to realize everything she will lose in life which sums up her character as the protagonist. The speeches given by Creon and Antigone begin to reveal their true character and shows how similar their personalities. They are almost the same person personality wise given the fact that they are both stubborn and are blind to their own faults. Creon and his blindness to his sons argument is an example of this. Through the chorus shows a sense of a good girl/bad girl scenario when it comes to a sister’s rivalry and not to mention a number of sentimental scenes. Antigone’s sister Ismene tries to tell Antigone that they’re just little girls and what would out Thebes so what would make Antigone think that she could get away with doing such a thing? The chorus mainly represents the intermediate members of the play, the death messenger dancing, and singing and commenting throughout the scenes.

Antigone Moral Obligation and Civil Disobedience

Greek tragedy often teaches moral lessons at the expense of human life and political will. Antigone is the tragic story of the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta of Thebes after the army of Argos vanishes and her brothers have killed each other on opposite sides of the battle. While the Greeks were well-aware of the literary history, the tragedy still provides a historical and modern perspective for one of the oldest questions in society: how does one protest an unjust and cruel law that is contrary to moral obligation? The tragic conflict between Creon, Antigone and Ismene illustrates the struggle between the unjust laws of kings and the Greek gods.

Creon, as the king, represents the dictator of human laws; Ismene represents the frail human emotion of submission to power; and Antigone illustrates the concept of facing unjust and tragic death without doubting its purpose. Antigone is the quintessential character who risks her life to comply with divine order, familial loyalty and social decency in the face of political power. In the process, her actions demonstrate how to follow ones moral soul to do the right thing.Historically, Greeks held burial of the dead as the most sacred of acts.

Honoring the dead and their valor plays a significant role in their literature and mythology. Homer provided examples in the Iliad regarding an agreement and ceasefire during the Trojan War to pay homage to the bodies of fallen soldiers and conduct their funerals with admirable rituals. The extraordinary sense of duty and honor continued centuries later in Greek Theatre. Respect and burial of the dead played a significant role between the democratic city and those who fought for it. Sophocles wrote in an era of democracy, but the laws of the gods were still powerful. The citys and the individuals fate were one in the same and even after death, they would be remembered as honorable men continuing to live in the city. The legend of Oedipus and his children was well-known by all of Greece. The conflict between the brothers seeking to rule was a story that repeats throughout history. Thebes was a divine monarchy under attack. Against this landscape, the stories of Antigone begin after the armies of Argos has vanished and the two sons of Oedipus, Polynices and Eteocles, have killed each other in war. Each brother believed his actions were just.

Sophocles interprets the ancient story with the Chorus, whose role changes throughout the play. The city, represented by the Chorus, is summoned by the new ruler, Creon. Creon thanks the citizens for their loyal service and dictates a proper burial for Eteocles to honor his loyalty as a defender of his city. He then prohibits, under punishment of death, any burial of Polynices as a punishment for his treason. The city is aware this law is an assault on their religious laws, but ultimately, they submit to Creons law and are convinced that no one would sacrifice their own life to violate it.In the first scene, Antigone asks her sister, Ismene, to help her bury her brother Polynices. When she sees that Ismene does not have her convictions, Antigone argues that her family has suffered enough. She explains that her father, died in hatred for his actions killing his father and marrying his mother. Then his mother hung herself and their brothers killed each other in war. Ismene can only see the authority of the King and refuses to help Antigone. Antigone challenges Ismene to be a true sister instead of a traditional female who obeys male guardians, especially the king. (Moral and Civil Disobedience. PowerPoint). Antigones purpose is to inject morality into the conflict.

Rejected by her sister, Antigone acts with her conscience and buries her brother. She felt it was morally wrong to leave her brother without a proper burial. The rituals did not change the outcome of the battle or dishonor the City. Thus, Antigones rituals with Polynices body in no way harmed anyone. She accepts the consequences of defying the king and the risk to her life. Antigone followed natural law over political law.Creon believes his rules must be obeyed, even if those rules are against the gods he is the almighty ruler and his rule over every man transcends natural law. Creon is arrogant and his power and excessive pride does not allow him to see beyond his own political will. He described his power to his son,you ought to feel within your heart, subordinate to your fathers will in every way. (Fagles, 202). Creon was fully aware of the natural law and custom of burial when he issued his order. He believed he was justified when he determined that Polynices should not be buried, as an appropriate punishment. He does not consider the moral consequences of his decision because he believes his authority is unquestioned among men. Creon believed disobeying his orders carried grave consequences. This belief combined with his excessive pride and paranoia led him to view and act at the extremes. Whomever the gods placed on the throne should be obeyed, no matter how small the matter. He judges as a male chauvinist, imploring his followers to never lose your sense of judgment over a woman (Fagles, 203).never let some woman triumph over us. Better to fall from power, if fall we must, in the hands of a man never be rated inferior to a woman, never. (Fagles, 205-206). When Creon finds out Antigone has disobeyed her, he orders her death. No mortal, especially a woman, has the power to disobey him.

While her actions were to follow natural law, Antigones decision to contradict political law conforms to the idea of civil disobedience. To further the basic definition of Civil Disobedience: The main elements of Civil Disobedience include a non-violent protest of unjust actions or laws. (Jones, lecture Antigone). In the play, Antigone followed her personal beliefs to defy state authority because she believed she was following a higher authority. She was not protesting the law to challenge Creons law, she was performing her moral obligation to a higher authority. She accepted the consequences because she believed no mortal had the power to contradict divine laws. Thebes response to her actions is the same goal of any civil disobedience: to question the justness of the law. The tragedy was that Creon could punish her with death, but that he was still powerless to overcome natural law and custom. Antigone takes a position against the political rules and against the state, positioning the natural law of burial for everyone versus the political law of burying everyone but Polynices. Thebes sides with Creons law, not because they believe, but out of fear of death. Antigones actions lead the city to question that fear with their beliefs.Creon is confronted by his human failure to appreciate divine authority. After Creon sentences Antigone to death, blind prophet confronts him and foreshadows the folly of his acts.

Creon realizes his mistake but is too late to save Antigone or his son. This is the triumph of natural law over his political decree. Pious Antigone loses her life but wins a moral victory against Creon. Creon tragically loses his son, his wife and his moral authority in the process. Creons political strength is undermined by his second-guessing, lack of leadership, and ultimately his failure to act. In traditional Greek Society during the Classical Age, women are shown to be submissive in political life. Sophocles Antigone takes on what were traditional male characteristics of strength, leadership and conviction under moral authority. This portrayal was unique during this period of history. Antigone is a strong woman who went beyond death by a tyrant to do what her heart dictated, that is, follow the ethical and moral laws that go beyond human beings. Because she never gave in, she remains true to her beliefs actively chooses to act in a way that guarantees her death.

Greek Mythology 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 Ismene, who confronts the world of politics, the world of the dead and of the gods.

At the beginning, Antigone is seen as a fierce and strong woman; however, in the end we see a fragile and terrified character who accepts her death. The antagonist, Creon, represented as the dictator of human laws, fights against Antigone as she defends divine justice against Creons moral justice to the bitter end. Her actions are uncompromising. She actively participates in the decisions she has taken and obtains her strength from the nature of the divine laws, that is, honor the dead and family values. Historically, Greeks held burial of the dead as the most sacred of acts. Even after the Trojan War, an agreement and ceasefire were made to pay homage to the bodies of fallen soldiers and conduct their funerals with admirable rituals.

There was extraordinary sense of identity that existed and played a significant role between the democratic city and those who fought for it. The citys and the individuals fate were one in the same and even after death, they would be remembered as honorable men continuing to live in the city. The story of Antigone begins after the armies of Argos has vanished and the two sons of Oedipus, Polynices and Eteocles, have killed each other in war. The city, represented by the Chorus, is summoned by the new ruler, Creon. It is here when Creon thanks the City for their loyal service and before announcing his first order of business, he dictates a proper burial for Eteocles to honor his loyalty as a defender of his city. He then prohibits, under punishment of death, any burial of Polynices as a punishment for his treason. The City is aware the gravity of this law is an assault on their religious laws, but ultimately, they submit to Creons law and are convinced that no one would sacrifice their own life to violate it.

Creon believes he is the almighty ruler and his rule over every man transcends natural law. Creon is an arrogant man and his power does not allow him to see beyond his own political will. He described his power to his son,you ought to feel within your heart, subordinate to your fathers will in every way. (Fagles, 202). Creon was fully aware of the natural law and custom of burial when he issued his order. He believed he was within reason when he determined that Polynices should not be buried, as an appropriate punishment. He does not consider the moral consequences of his decisions. In the first scene, Antigone asks her sister, Ismene, to help her bury her brother Polynices. When she sees that Ismene does not have her convictions, Antigone argues that her family has suffered enough. She explains that her father, died in hatred for his actions killing his father and marrying his mother. Then his mother hung herself and their brothers killed each other in war. Ismene can only see the authority of the King and refuses to help Antigone. Antigone challenges Ismene to be a true sister instead of a traditional female who obeys male guardians, especially the king. (Moral and Civil Disob. Powerpoint)Rejected by her sister, Antigone acts with her conscience and buries her brother.

She felt it was morally wrong to leave her brother without a proper burial. The rituals did not change the outcome of the battle or dishonor the City. Thus, Antigones rituals with Polynices body in no way harmed anyone. She accepts the consequences of defying the king and the risk to her life. Antigone followed natural law over political law.Creon believed disobeying his orders carried grave consequences Whomever the city placed on the throne should be obeyed, no matter how small the matter. He came across as a male chauvinist who believed one should never lose your sense of judgment over a woman (Fagles, 203).never let some woman triumph over us. Better to fall from power, if fall we must, in the hands of a man never be rated inferior to a woman, never. (Fagles, 205-206). When Creon finds out Antigone has disobeyed her, he orders her death.While her actions were to follow natural law, Antigones decision to contradict political law conforms to the idea of civil disobedience. Professor Jones indicated in her Antigone outline, the main elements of Civil Disobedience include a non-violent protest of unjust actions or laws.

In the play, Antigone followed her personal beliefs to defy state authority because she believed she was following a higher authority. She was not protesting the law to challenge Creons law, she was performing her moral obligation to a higher authority. She accepted the consequences because she believed no mortal had the power to contradict divine laws. The Citys response to her actions is the same goal of any civil disobedience: to question the justness of the law. The tragedy was that Creon could punish her with death, but that he was still powerless to overcome natural law and custom. Antigone is taking a position against the political rules, thus pitted against the state–the natural law of burial for everyone versus the political law of burying everyone but Polynices. The Chorus sides with Creons laws, not because they believe in them but out of fear of death. After Creon sentences Antigone to death, he is confronted by a blind prophet who foreshadows the folly of his acts. Creon realizes his mistake but is too late to save Antigone or his son. This is the triumph of natural law over his political decree. Pious Antigone loses her life but wins a moral victory against Creon. Creon loses his son, his wife and his moral authority in the process.

Creons political strength was undermined by his second-guessing and lack of leadership, and ultimately failure to act. Women are shown to be submissive and unimportant in political life. Antigone took on traditional male characteristics of strength, leadership and conviction under moral authority. This is a strong woman who went beyond death by a tyrant to do what her heart dictated, that is, follow the ethical and moral laws that go beyond human beings. Because she never gave him, she remains true to her beliefs actively chooses to act in a way that guarantees her death.