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Comparing and Contrasting Sophocles' Antigone and Shakespeare's Othello

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The tragedies of Antigone and Othello were written with great depth and are structured in such a way that both characters are victims, in spite of their crimes. Antigone and Othello are tragedy plays created by using many techniques to create the feelings of fear and pity. There are differences and similarities in characters, action, and themes between Antigone and Othello.

First, the major characters in both of the plays are suffering through great pain and end up with death. The drama Antigone which is written by Sophocles, tells the story of Antigone. Antigone is a tragic heroine who doesn’t have the power to challenge the authority of the king; she has to obey the rules. However, she shows her strong will and voices her opinions and she is willing to challenge the authorities and the rules. She not only fights for her brother, she also challenges her rights to speak out her thoughts. Yet, her sister Ismene is satisfied to recognize herself as a woman in a male dominated society. Ismene argues, “I, for one, I’ll beg the dead to forgive me- I’m forced, I have no choice- I must obey the ones who stand in power” (832: 80). Ismene's words clearly state her weak and helpless character. Antigone is not happy with her sister’s response, says, “Set your own life in order"(833: 97). Antigone is telling her sister to do her own life, and that she will do what she wants to bury her brother. Antigone preferring the god's laws to man's, disobeys Creon, to bury her brother Polyneices. After her uncle found out what Antigone did, he punished her with death. However, when Creon discovered that what he did was wrong; it was too late. Antigone is already dead, and Creon is punished by Heaven with the suicide of his own wife and son.

A sim...

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Both of the plays are similar and differ in characters, themes and actions. Antigone and Desdemona stubbornness are their downfall. Both plays explore the theme of family loyalty, Antigone to her brother, and Desdemona to Othello. Yet, the themes are different, jealousy of Othello and the different view of laws between Antigone and Creon. We can learn that stubbornness sometimes blinds you to the effects of your actions. It relevant to the real life, for example, sometimes people don’t want to give up on something is because they don’t want other people to think he is weaker than others.

Work cited

Shakespeare, William. “The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice.” Literature: A

Pocket Anthology. Ed. R.S.Gwynn. New York: Longman, 2008. 829-876.

Sophocles. “Antigone.” Literature: A Pocket Anthology. Ed. R.S.Gwynn. New York:

Longman, 2008. 829-876.
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