Antigone: an Assessment of Antigone’s and Creon’s Deeply Held Beliefs and Views on Familial and State Responsibilities

Topics: Sophocles, Oedipus, Ancient Greece Pages: 7 (2381 words) Published: January 22, 2013
Antigone: An Assessment of Antigone’s and Creon’s Deeply Held Beliefs and Views On Familial and State Responsibilities

Contents

Reflective Statement – Page 3

Main Essay – Page 5

Bibliography – Page 11

How was your understanding of cultural and contextual considerations of the work developed through the interactive oral?

After taking part in the interactive oral presentation carried out by Sonia’s group, I now believe that I have gained a much greater understanding of the play Antigone. Themes commented on by the presentation were women, religion and tragedy; further examining their place in society at the time the play was written by contrasting it to society today. Obstacles hindering my understanding of the play, including its time and setting, have been removed. After comparing so vividly the society of Ancient Greece and that of the one I live in, I can now empathize with Antigone and the rest of the characters in the play, consequently broadening my understanding of the hard times that they had to endure. Many of the issues regarding women, religion and politics in the country during the period were observed in Sophocles’ Antigone, clearly displaying their importance. The contemporary issues that shaped the play deserve further exploration.

Women’s roles in ancient Greek society were shockingly different in comparison to that of today. Before the presentation, I was aware of some differences between their society and ours but I was unaware that they were so extreme. Although she seems extremely negative and erratic, Ismene was shown to be a leading example of a woman at the time – the first difference between their society and ours. Although she is elevated in society she doesn't hear about anything important - "No one has told me anything, Antigone, I have heard nothing..." Before the presentation, the irrelevant positions of women were unknown to me. As well as seen to be worthless, women were also presented as being a negative influence on men – “Don’t let any woman ensnare you…” was Creon’s advice to Haemon, displaying the general consensus on women. We examined Creon’s motives, prospecting that if Antigone weren’t a woman, would the punishment be the same?

Another important theme that was brought to my attention during the interactive oral presentation was that of religion. The religious laws in this time and country were incredibly significant. This society’s view on religion is a major influence in the play Antigone. It would have affected how the people in the country (the characters in the play) acted and what they thought, a large contrast to today. The themes examined by Antigone would have been incredibly shocking to the original audience as they were the social norms. After being informed, I was then able to make connections in the text, as to why certain things were said and insinuated about being rewarded in the afterlife and why specific acts were committed – all under the influence of religion. Prior to the presentation, I was completely uninformed as to the religion and many other cultural aspects of Ancient Greece.

Antigone: An Assessment of Antigone’s and Creon’s Deeply Held Beliefs and Views On Familial and State Responsibilities

In his play Antigone, Sophocles explores the ethical integrity of familial and state ties through the opposing viewpoints and beliefs of the central characters, Antigone and Creon. By pitching these two individuals against each other, Sophocles also successfully reveals the raw and multi-faceted nature of humanity. The tragic consequences that conclude Antigone emphasize the deadly differences between each character’s views on the unwritten duty towards family and the binding laws of the city-state, a conflict that would very likely be less of an issue in modern society. Sophocles promotes Antigone’s character, as she is the traditional protagonist of the play. By doing so, Sophocles succeeds in building the audience’s compassion towards...

Bibliography: 1. An analysis of the play by Sophocles – The Tragic Drama of the Greeks - A.E. Haigh -Oxford: Clarendon Press 1896
2. Sophocles - Antigone
3. Sophocles: A Reading – G. H. Gellie - Melbourne University Press 1972
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