Cultural Influences In Antigone

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Sophocles’ background influenced him to write Antigone. One important influence on the drama was the author’s life in the “golden era” of Athens during fifth century BCE. In that time, Athens was experiencing much change in all facets, and drama was a major factor in Athenian culture. In his essay “Sophocles,” Ed Downey reports that Sophocles was born at the beginning of the “golden era” in Athens and lived a long life influenced by “the artistic and cultural achievements in the ancient Greek world”. Sophocles was a wealthy and highly educated, “happy man.” As a young man, Sophocles began his playwright career, eventually becoming one of the greatest writers in history although only seven of his works are still intact (1). Similarly, the setting…show more content…
You shall leave him without burial...” (222). Opposing the king, she neglects the decree and is now to die at the orders of the law for being disobedient; yet Antigone proudly states her crime. There is no sign of remorse shown by Creon as he states: “No; though she were my sister’s child or closer in blood than all that my hearth god acknowledges as mine, neither she nor her sister should escape the utmost sentence-death” (530-33). Bobrick, explains that Creon values the love for his land more than he values family and this becomes a struggle for Antigone as it becomes a fight between obeying the laws of man and the laws of the god’s. The second struggle Antigone faces comes when she realizes she is alone. Antigone confides in her sister Ismene with her plans to disobey Creon; but Ismene, a clear example of how a lady was obliged to be in this time, urges Antigone not to commit the act. Antigone rejects her advice and declares that Ismene is an enemy to her now (41): “If you talk like this I will loathe you, and you will be adjudged an enemy…” (109-10). Antigone must fight on her own. Thirdly, per Bobrick, Antigone…show more content…
The protagonist is convincingly characterized because she is constantly determined to fight for what she believes is right. Antigone’s belief that burying her brother is the right thing to do is distinct in the drama and comes to light when Antigone, as Bobrick puts it, “proudly” admits to going against Creon’s decree when put before him and states as a fact that “religious rituals justify her actions.” Antigone is determined to bury her brother, Polyneices, no matter the consequences. Bobrick suggests that this defiance is Antigone’s “first act of self- isolation” and further explains that self- isolation and her doing what is right go hand in hand (41). Antigone views the burial of her sibling as a duty and must be completed; Lansky illustrates this with the comment that “Creon is the guardian of the honor of the polis and Antigone of that of the family” (49). Besides being convincing because she behaves consistently, the protagonist is a convincing character because the love for her brother motivates her to disobey the decree of her king to do what she believes is right. Kirkpatrick points out that Antigone is aligned with her family over the nation and that it is not an inquiry of whether to bury her brother or not but more along the lines of how (407). In “Polis and Tragedy in the Antigone”, Philip Holt says that because
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