Comparing Oedipus and Antigone

756 Words2 Pages

Sophocles’ play Oedipus and Antigone have many parallel themes and conflicts. Certain characters and events are mirrored and go through similar sequences in both plays. One conflict that is prevalent in both plays is the idea of loyalty. In Oedipus, many are loyal to Oedipus, including the city of Thebes itself. In Antigone, there is much strife in the relationships as well, and the idea of loyalty arises.

In the play Antigone, there are many situations in which loyalty is involved, and in some, conflicts arise. The first example of this is the relationship between Haimon and his father Creon. This unusual relationship between them is incredibly superficial in that Creon is only proud of him because he is kissing up and says what his father wants to hear. It is blatantly obvious during their conversation where Haimon states; “I am your son father. You are my guide. You make things clear for me, and I obey you. No marriage means more to me than you continuing wisdom.” This statement is basically what Creon expects to hear out of his son. His reply of, ”Good. That is the way to behave: subordinate everything else, my son, to your father’s will.” Creon is used to having people do everything he wants them to do. The second example is the relationship between Antigone and her dead brother Polyneices. She is incredibly loyal to him and is willing to risk her life in order to preserve his honor as a warrior and bury her against Creons order. It is evident in her statement of, “But I will bury him; and if I must die, I say that this crime is holy: I shall die down with him in death, and I shall be as dear to him as he to me.” She will do whatever it takes, even if it is death, to bury her violated brother. The third example is the relationship between Haimon and Antigone. Although Haimon was loyal to his father, he later broke away from his grasp and went to the aid of his fiancée Antigone. He felt that he betrayed her by siding with his father when he was obviously wrong and being stubborn. He signifies his loyalty to Antigone with the statement of, “But her death will cause another.” He will openly defy his father in order to stand by her side. There are numerous examples of loyalty in the play Antigone.

Open Document