The Tragedy Antigone by Sophocles

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The play “Antigone” by Sophocles is a good tragedy and its quality can be supported by one of the most influential philosophers, Aristotle. Aristotle composed a list of criteria required for a good tragedy. This composition is called the “Theory of Tragedy”. This is a summary of qualities has withheld the test of time and can still be used to analyze a written tragedy. This summary breaks down the essentials for a good tragedy including specific requirements for plot, character, thought, dicition, chorus and spectacle. All of these specific requirements can be identified in Sophocles’ play. In Aristotle’s “Theory of Tragedy”, he listed the plot as the first and most important requirement for a good tragedy. The plot must be unified and contain a beginning, middle and end. The beginning, or incentive moment, needs to initiate a cause and effect chain that cannot be dependent on an incident that occurred outside of the time span of the play. The middle, or climax, of the plot stresses the cause and effect chain as it continues. The resolution should be cause by previous events and conclude the conflict presented in the incentive moment. In Sophocles’ play, the incentive moment occurs when Creon makes a royal decree to forbid the burial of one of the two fallen brothers. The climax is experienced when Creon sentences Antigone to death. The resolution concludes the play when Creon decides to let Antigone go, but instead finds that she, Haemon and his wife have committed suicide. All the events within the play must be relevant to each other and a part of the cause and effect chain. A good tragedy should also contain peripeteia and anagnorsis, but both are not always present. The pair of these aspects can be found in the play “Antigone... ... middle of paper ... ... and has minimal association with the literature. Aristotle mentioned that the emotions felt by the audience should be inspired by the literature and substance of the play writes not the staging of the set. Meaning a tragedy should be written so that even if the story is told or read it will have emotional value. These final aspects can also be identified in “Antigone”. The characters, including the chorus, consistently respond to events based on their personalities and the vocabulary is interesting and relevant to the set time period. In conclusion, “Antigone” possesses all the requirements listed in Aristotle’s “Theory of Tragedy” and also includes the specific aspects within those requirements. This proves and upholds the quality of this play write. It would seem that a tragedy of this quality will with stand time just as long as the criteria used to analyze it.
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