What is loyalty? Loyalty can be interpreted in different ways by different people; one way to look at it is allegiance which is the feeling of devoted attachment and affection. This can be related to the fact that in both books Antigone has the feeling of attachment and affection towards her brother Polynices, and thinks that he deserves the proper burial. Both versions are very different and are each meant to engage the audience and make them think about how the character develops/ changes throughout the stories. These plays can be interpreted in various ways by looking at the themes, conflicts and elements.
In both the Sophocles version of Antigone as well as the John Anouilh, Antigone’s love and honour that she possesses towards her brother compels her to dishonour her family by going against the law. Within the Sophocles account, Creon the king declared that one of her two brothers would have a proper burial and the other “… is not to be buried, not be mourned; to be left unburied, unwept, a feast of flesh for keen-eyed carrion birds. ”(127, Sophocles). This Antigone does not feel is fair that just one that one of her brothers gets the burial while the other left to rot and to be eaten by dogs and carrion birds.
Within both versions of this Play Ismene, Antigone’s sister attempts to persuade her not to go against the laws that Creon has put into place, because she does not want to go through the pain of losing her last family member. In the Anouilh book Antigone shows her...
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...will say that you are not well and you have not been out since yesterday… And I will dispose of those three men” (Anouilh, 42). Creon does not want to see another person that he loves die, and shows Antigone how much she means to him and she still would rather die than live.
Through the critical theory lens, we can see how loyalty can decide our fate, for the good and for the bad. Everyone displays some sort of loyalty in his or her everyday lives, even if we do not know it. Through the Sophocles version of Antigone we can see that the loyalty she showed caused her, her life but let her brother rest in peace. In the Anouilh version of Antigone, her loyalty and love towards Haemon caused them their relationship. The affection that is displayed by numerous characters during the course of this story shows just how strong and important the trait of loyalty is.
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