Essay on Antigone, by Sophocles

Essay on Antigone, by Sophocles

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Sophocles’ “Antigone” was a Greek tragedy written for entertainment, but it also served as a social commentary for what was happening in ancient Greek city-states during that time it was written. “Antigone” was a prime example of art imitating life in Greek culture. The play was rife with themes relating to individual versus state, women’s roles in the city-state, the significance of elders in society, pride, tyranny, and human law versus moral or divine law. In this essay I’d like to pose and answer the questions: Did the outcome of Antigone lead us to believe that Creon was wrong from the start? Was Creon blasphemous in making the decree denying Polynices the holy rite of burial? Did Creon deserve all the consequences that happed as a result of his decree?
Sophocles’ “Antigone” accurately reflects ancient Greek society as being a man’s world. Women were not considered citizens, let alone allowed to mingle about the polis without a man at their side. They did not have a large role in society. The role of a Greek woman was to be subservient to men. The Greeks had developed into a patriarchal society in this time period. Husbands were the head of household and their wives and children were under their direct authority. An educated woman was considered very dangerous to Greek society and government; therefore women were only given basic education, compared to that of their male counterparts. Antigone’s own sister Ismene played perfectly the role of a traditional Greek woman. Ismene feared incurring the wrath of male elders, and chose to remain steadfastly obedient, even though her sister Antigone had asked her to help in the funeral of their brother. It was Ismene that told Antigone,”Men are stronger and must be obeyed.”
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...s way the only way. Pride reared its ugly head. The gods despised pride. They punished it. Even after Creon was warned that he would suffer, his pride prevented him from admitting he was wrong.
The outcome of this play reaffirms that Creon was in fact wrong. He should not have taken it upon himself to make a law banning a sibling from burying another sibling. It’s not in his jurisdiction to dictate a family funeral. (At least it shouldn’t have been.) He crossed the line by first making the proclamation and then enforcing it. What was the harm in Antigone burying her brother? How was that affecting the city-state? It didn’t. It affected the pride of King Creon. Pride led him into believing what he was doing was right and just.
It was completely blasphemous for Creon to have enacted such a law. The gods were not in agreement with his with such an audacious rule.

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