Essay on Antigone

Essay on Antigone

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Antigone

The main theme for Antigone is that people sometimes have to learn the hard way from

their mistakes. This theme is expressed in the final four lines of the play. They read, There is no

happiness where there is no wisdom; No wisdom but in submission to the gods. Big words are

always punished, And proud men in old age learn to be wise. These lines are an important part of

the play. They symbolize Creon's bad decisions, his defiance of the gods, the punishment he

went through because of his edict, and the wisdom he gained because of all his mistakes. "There

is no happiness where there is no wisdom" demonstrates how Creon not using wisdom in his

decisions affected him.

By declaring that Polyneices could not have a proper burial, he went against the gods and

the other citizens of Thebes's beliefs. This was not a wise decision on his part, and because of it

he lost his wife, his son, and his happiness. This is what is expressed in the line, "No wisdom but

in submission to the gods."

The edict and decisions that Creon made demonstrated that his law was more important

than the laws of the gods . His defiance of the laws eventually made him believe, by talking to

Teirisias, that something bad would happen to him, so he gave in to his decision. When he gave

into the gods he gained wisdom and learned that his actions would be punished. Creons edict is

considered his big words. In the third line it says, "Big words are always punished." Creons edict

was punished by his loss of happiness. In Ancient Greece, life was full of complicated questions

centered on the expanding Field of science.

Freedom of religion was encouraged to be exercised in the city-states and man was

focused on more than the Gods or heavenly concerns. As a result many new ideals and beliefs

surfaced. These new ideals and beliefs, though good in intentions, often conflicted with One

another and created complex moral dilemmas. Such was the case in Sophocle’s play .

According to Richard Jebb, "It is the only instance in which a Greek play has for its central

theme a practical problem of conduct, involving issues, moral and political, which might be

discussed on similar grounds in any age and in any country of the world." Perhaps personal

experience is the reason why so many people can relate to this sto...


... middle of paper ...


...laws that he makes are meant to be obeyed. Even if they are of questionable moral judgment.

It is Creon's interactions with Antigone that show the central issue: the conflict between

moral laws and human laws. In the end, moral law supersedes human law, and Creon suffers as a

result. Creon's tragic suffering is what turns him into the hero. Sophocles thereby forces the

reader to feel sympathy toward him. While feeling this sympathy, the reader also learns not to

make the same mistakes Creon did, to avoid being stubborn and unwilling to compromise. Those

characteristics have been shown to signify great suffering and destruction.













Bibliography

1. Gillespie, Sheena and Fonseca, Terezinha and Sanger, Carol A.-3rd ed. (2001).Literature across cultures, Allyn & Bacon, Antigone 953-981

2. Aristotle. Poetics, XIII.3-6

3. Calder, William M. III (1968). Sophokles' Political Tragedy, Antigone.GRBS 9, 389-407

4. Hogan, James C. (1972). The Protagonists of the Antigone.Arethusa 5, 93-100

5. Sophocles (1991).Antigone (David Grene, Trans.) University of Chicago Press.

6. Sophocles (1902).Antigone (Richard Jebb, Trans.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.




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