Tragedy in Antigone by Sophocles and Blackfish

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Karl Marx, the German philosopher, once said “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” For me, this quote clearly describes the overarching relationship between Blackfish and Antigone. This analogy starts with Antigone, written about an oppressed woman against the fists of tyranny. That early in history woman’s rights was often taboo at places, and democracy was only recently established. Yet, Antigone went against the norm by focusing on a heroine that challenged male authority and nobility, thus making it revolutionary. Now, an unbelievably eye-opening documentary, Blackfish has been produced about a “company-despot” that values money over life and recognition over morals. In this story, the life of a killer-whale named Tilikum is narrated, recounting his crude behavior caused by crude captivity. Even though both Blackfish and Antigone evoked feelings of sorrow and pity in me, each accomplished it in separate ways, which is embodied by their differences in using historical context, their impact on society, and their emotional toll on me.

Truly, Antigone aroused less powerful feelings in me, but still hit home several important ideas, while also affecting many other people. Keep in mind that Antigone was written over 2,000 years ago, so it undoubtedly has less of a direct effect on us, and this is why it is less impacting. Every so often I compared it to a history textbook- something based on an actual event from history -since some parts bored me. However, Antigone made this up with sheer drama and intrigue that made me wonder about the troubling times people faced in the past: war, slavery, rule- even family issues –that rocked several eras. Nevertheless, Antigone was never fully acclaimed in Athens, and sur...

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...e them, which include differences in how they used their historical setting, their impact on society, and their emotional effect on me. Antigone and Blackfish both completed their goals in some ways, and while both stories did have an effect on me, Blackfish was more gripping. The stories almost mirror each other, and share the same qualities, and this is why they are so related. In fact, the author, F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.” Both Antigone and Tilikum were heroes, and that’s important, but what truly completes the drama and its impact is the certain elements it possesses. By emphasizing certain elements in dramatic texts like Blackfish and Antigone, they have the power to change people, change communities, and change the world. Antigone and Blackfish both did that, although with some small, profound differences.
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