Essay on Antigone: An Interpretive Analysis on Conflicting Authority

Essay on Antigone: An Interpretive Analysis on Conflicting Authority

Length: 1234 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Antigone: An interpretive analysis on conflicting authority

Unlike poetic forms of literature, which do not require a conflict or a resolution in order to work, drama requires both elements in order to be successful. In Sophocles’ famous play, Antigone, it was conflict that drove the story along and it was the resounding resolution that left audiences with a gratifying feeling that hasn’t faltered for centuries. While the roles of both elements are indisputably important to the success of any play, however, there is still much disagreement among literary critics concerning the central conflict of Antigone. Some critics, such as Robin Fox, speculate that the main conflict is the struggle between family loyalty and “kinship rights of burial” (Allbaugh para. 5). Still others believe that the central conflict is the will of the individual verses the will of the State (DeWitt 1). While there is considerable merit to what these critics say, however, the ultimate conflict in Antigone is arguably the struggle between the will of the mortals, the will of the State, and the will of the gods.
Collectively, these points of conflict stem chiefly from three characters: Antigone, Ismene and Creon. The key here is to realize that the characters are literary symbols. Antigone—who is generally considered the protagonist of the play—primarily represents the true will of the gods expressed through well established tradition. While it is made clear that every fiber of Antigone’s humanity believes her brother (Polyneices) should be buried, her extreme reaction to Creon’s edict, coupled with a troubling scene in which Antigone claims “she would not make the same sacrifice for a husband or children” (Allbaugh para. 4), strongly hints that she is fa...


... middle of paper ...


...ile these three points of conflict stem from a variety of sources and situations, however, it is clear that Ismene, Creon, and Antigone are literary symbols which embody the core of this conflict. While there is still much contention among literary critics and experts, however, neither of the two predominant interpretations has successfully tied up all of Antigone’s loose ends. 
Works Cited
Allbaugh, Thomas. "An overview of Antigone." n.d.
Antigone. By Sophocles.
Connolly, William E. "The human predicament." Social Research (2009).
DeWitt, Norman W. "Character and Plot in the Antigone." Classical Journal March 1917.



Works Cited

Allbaugh, Thomas. "An overview of Antigone." n.d.
Antigone. By Sophocles.
Connolly, William E. "The human predicament." Social Research (2009).
DeWitt, Norman W. "Character and Plot in the Antigone." Classical Journal March 1917.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Appropriate Supporter for Political Authority Antigone Essay

- Classical plays such as [Apology] this is not a play. It is a Platonic dialogue. and Antigone are sometimes associated with English or philosophy. However, a closer look reveals two different political stand points against the government or the people. Revealed in the play Antigone, the female character is [exposed as a rebellion] awkward against the government; but in the play Apology, a male philosopher is seen as a martyr for his belief in a true justice system. Although both characters have some political standpoint, Socrates, the philosopher, has more respect for the political authority, since he supports [basic civil rights] there was no notion of rights in ancient Greece and follows...   [tags: platonic dialogue, antigone, socrates]

Strong Essays
1083 words (3.1 pages)

Challenges to Male Authority in Sophocles’ play, Antigone Essay

- Challenges to Male Authority in Sophocles’ play, Antigone In the play Antigone by Sophocles, Creon and Antigone have distinct conflicting values. Antigone first demonstrates feminist logic when she chooses to challenge a powerful male establishment. This establishment is personified by her uncle Creon, who is newly crowned as the King of Thebes. Creon poses to be a major authority figure in a patriarchal society. Creon's regard for the laws of the city causes him to abandon all other beliefs....   [tags: Antigone Essays]

Free Essays
1137 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about Political Authority in Sophocles' Antigone

- Antigone:  Political Authority Political power results from the fear of force. The individual acts out of a fear of consequences of disobedience and in accordance with the desdire for self-preservation. Political Authority results from a belief in the moral correctness of the organization in question. The individual acts of a sense of obligation and acknowledges the right of the ruler, morally, to rule and the moral correctness of the laws are accepted. The laws are obeyed for their own sake....   [tags: Antigone essays]

Free Essays
414 words (1.2 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Sophocles ' Antigone '

- Analysis of Antigone Adejumoke Bankole Lone Star Community College   Analysis of Antigone The narrator of this drama is Sophocles. In this play, Antigone unravel almost totally in the series of one day, in one spot (the Palace), and in broadly undisturbed conversation and action. Nevertheless, allotting with act distribution, Antigone so relies on the powerful unification as apportion by the French classicists. The chorus structure the misfortune with a foreword and summation. In the foreword, the chorus precisely addresses the crowd and turn out embarrassed with regards to the display; we are here this night to take part in the story of Antigone....   [tags: Sophocles, Oedipus, Antigone, Oedipus at Colonus]

Strong Essays
1345 words (3.8 pages)

Righteous Judgement in Antigone Essay

- At the beginning of the play, Antigone brought Ismene outside the city gates at night for a top secret meeting. Antigone wanted to bury her brother Polyneices' body because even though he died in dishonor he was her brother. Ismene refused to disobey the king which is also their Uncle Creon, and she failed to talk Antigone out of doing the act herself. "Consider, sister, how our father died,/hated and infamous; how he brought to light/his own offenses..Then, mother...did shame/violently on her life, with twisted cords....   [tags: Antigone, ]

Strong Essays
936 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about Antigone and Othello: Tragic Heroes

- Othello and Antigone are both tragic heroes. They do great deeds and have great power or strength. For example, Othello defeats Venice's enemies. Antigone makes sure that a Theban right is a Theban due. But fatal character flaws destroy the lives of the two heroes. Both of them suffer from pride and uncontrolled passion. Othello is so proud of his integrity and courage that he doesn't recognize his violent temper and his manipulability by Iago. Antigone is so proud of her commitment to the true, the right, the proper, and the correct that she doesn't respect differing, less passionate opinions....   [tags: Antigone, Othello, tragedy, Heroes,]

Strong Essays
971 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Authority Systems

- Nowadays almost everyone totally or partly belong to a certain organization. It can be a school, a company, a factory or a military troop. Even people who do not live or belong to these small scale organization, they still live in the society, which is also a big organization, a political entity. That is to say that every people is just member of a certain organization. As the member of the organization, people can feel the consequences of power at every level. So the power of the organizations is a highly focused topic....   [tags: Power vs Authority]

Strong Essays
2323 words (6.6 pages)

Antigone’s Judicial Hierarchy Essay

- Antigone’s Judicial Hierarchy In Antigone, one of the most renowned Greek tragedies, Sophocles constructs a conflict that questions the very definition of justice. Considering a play based almost entirely on the acts of a single individual in clear defiance of a king’s decree, questions of right and wrong necessarily persist. It is difficult, however, for one to understand justice in deciphering the opinions of the two conflicting parties, Creon and Antigone, as these two clearly have opposing biased perspectives....   [tags: Sophocles Antigone Papers]

Strong Essays
1829 words (5.2 pages)

Essay on Authority

- Authority is a basic element in the structure of social life. It is more or less effective in any human interrelation. It is functional in a spectrum from a small group of individuals to a whole population of a society. Some aspect of authority is a requirement of all communal living, and it is only the individual dwelling in isolation that is not forced to respond, with defiance or obedience, to the commands of hierarchy. In a general view, authority couples with obedience and both of them seem to be two components of one package....   [tags: Analysis Social Structure Authority]

Strong Essays
1503 words (4.3 pages)

Essay about Sophocles' Antigone

- Thebian play of Antigone has excited many debates over the years. The most prevalent being who exactly could be characterized as the tragic hero in the story. The argument that Antigone is the hero is deffinatly a strong one. There are many critics who believe that Creon, however, is the true protagonist of the play. In order to determine whether or not Creon is the tragic hero one must first examine what a tragic hero is. Aristotle states that a hero is neither purely innocent nor purely malevolent....   [tags: Sophocles Antigone]

Strong Essays
919 words (2.6 pages)