Antigone

Antigone BY bb0Y310 Antigone by Sophocles is an interesting play that I enjoyed reading. It was something different for me since I don’t ever read plays. After reading the play I thought this story would fit under a feminist approach, until I fully began to understand and analyze each character of the play. In this paper I will discuss how the major events of Antigone can be analyzed through the psychological approach point of view. I as well read each critic about Antigone and found some similarity and dissimilarity opinions about the play.

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I will also discuss rather if I agree or not with the critics on Antigone. It is a great play that I am looking forward to analyzing. My favorite character in the play is Antigone. I know that she is a strong young girl who believes in what is right must be done, even if it means breaking the law and going against her uncle Creon. If it means risking her life to give her brother Polynices a proper burial she is willing to do it. Using the psychological approach I thought about what would influence Antigone to be so brave and risk her life.

She knew the orders Creon gave was against the orders of the Gods, and her brother deserved a burial. Antigone doesnt feel that it is right for one brother (Eteocles) to be honored, though they were both killed under the same circumstances, and the other brother (Polynices) should be cursed and called a traitor. She knows that it is her flesh and blood out there without a burial and she refuses abandon him. When Antigone ask her sister Ismene to help with the burial of their brother, and Ismene reply it’s been made a crime in all of Thebes to do so, Antigone tells Ismene mies.

I’ll do my duty to my brother/ and yours as well, if you’re not prepared to. II won’t be aught betraying him” (Ant 57-59). Antigone will not desert her brother because of the love she has for him, and her religious faith in Gods laws were the two biggest factors which influenced her behavior to do the right thing and bury her brother Polynices. The drama of the play is caused by the characters attempt to access power. I believe in the attempt to gain power and authority Creon, Polynices, and Eteocles, all lost sense of the fact that they were family.

Eteocles and Polynices kill each other to takeover and rule Thebes, and Creon sends his own niece Antigone off to die in order o make a point he is the leader and no one should go up against his orders. The only one who had sense was Antigone, because she knew that the real power and leader was God. She decided she would rather do the right thing and obey the orders of God by giving her brother a burial than to listen to Creon and leave him out there to rot. Emotionally Antigone knows what she did was right and but what is being done to her in return is unjust.

Psychologically Antigone knows her time is over and has accepted it saying “I’m the last one, dying here/ the most evil death by far, as I move own/ before the time allotted for my life is done (Ant 1003-1005). Tiresias the prophet trys to warn Creon what he is doing is wrong “your luck is once more on fate’s razor edge” (Tir 1107). It seems as everyone knows what Creon is doing is wrong and that the dead should have a burial because that is God’s law. Psychologically Creon feels his power and authority are higher than the power of Gods laws which influences him to not listen to others and do as he wishes.

Creon thinks everyone is aiming at him to scare him and doesn’t take the news serious. He replys to Tiresias and says “Old man, you’re all like archers shooting at me/ For you all IVe now become your target/ even prophets have been aiming at me (Cre 1183). He has too much pride and he knows he may be wrong but he is showing that he will not back down from his original orders. Unfortunately Creon’s stubbornness and his pride leads to the tragedy of the play. Even after Tiresias warns Creon that the Gods will make him suffer by the death of his son, he still brushes it off.

By the time he finally realizes that he is wrong it is too late. Antigone hung herself after I believe she was depressed and preferred to die sooner than later in that cave. It was too much for her to go through. Losing her father Oedipus, mother, brothers, being sent to death by her uncle Creon, and not being able get married to Haemon was a real struggle. Mentally she Just wanted everything to end and to be with her loved ones in the afterlife, so she hung herself. When Haemon seen her body, he felt her pain and was disgusted with his father so he too decided to kill himself.

With now Antigone and Haemon dead, Eurydice mad at er husband and mourning her son also kills herself. It was so much pain and suffrage that could have been avoided if Creon Just wouldVe buried the body of Polynices. At the end of the play is the peripeteia where Creon goes from having the power, being happy, and having a family, to having no power, feeling guilty, and having no family. This is where there is a reversal from fortune to disaster. Creon is now lonely with himself to blame, and doesn’t know what to do. He says, “l killed you, my son, without intending to, land you, as well, my wife. How useless I am now. I don’t know where to look or find support” (Cre 1488). He has turned on everyone, but most importantly he has turned on God so he has no idea what to do. He has to live knowing he basically killed his son and wife, and mentally I don’t think he will be able to live with himself. Moving on to the criticism, I feel that I have much in common with the some of the critics and may disagree on others. After reading the excerpts by Hagel I believe his arguments was that it all couldVe been avoided if Creon would have not went up gainst the religious orders of God, and if Antigone Just wouldVe listened to Creon by obeying his command.

In the excerpts by Hegel, Hegel says “she ought to pay obedience to the royal command. But Creon too, as father and husband, should have respected the sacred tie of blood and not ordered anything against its pious observance” (handout). I disagree when he says Antigone should have obeyed his royal commands. That was her brother, and she had every right to do what she did in my opinion. After reading the criticism of Bernard Knox in the “Introduction to The Three Theban Plays” I agreed with Just about everything he stated.

One of the quotes I used from Knox says “The opening scenes show us the conflicting claims and loyalties of the two adversaries, solidly, in both cases, on opposed political and religious principles (Knox pg. 2108). I agree with him that it is a political and religious battle going between Creon and Antigone. Its man’s law or state law vs. Gods law. A part where I disagree with Knox is where he says, “The Gods do not praise Antigone, nor does anyone else in the play except the young man who loves her so passionately hat he cannot bear to live without her” (pg. 112). Haemon wasn’t the only one who praises her. I think that the Gods were proud of her for her courage, and using her religion to do the right thing. I also think in my opinion as time passes the city will celebrate her as a hero. Another critic I disagree with is Martha Nussbaum. In her critic she stated “Antigone, like Creon, has engaged in a ruthless simplification of the world of value which effectively eliminates conflicting obligations. Like Creon she can be blamed for refusal of vision” (pg. 2113). In my eyes Antigone cant be blamed for what happened.

What Creon did was not right and unfair. The prophets warned him over and over, but he put himself in that position. Antigone was Just doing the right thing because of her religion and she couldn’t stand the thought of her brothers dead body in the streets unburied. A part where I do agree with her is where she says “We have, two narrowly limited practical worlds, two strategies of avoidance and simplification. In one a single human value has become the final end; in the other, a single set of duties eclipsed all others. We admire Antigone in a way we do not admire Creon” (pg. 2116).

I agree that Creon wanted to hold on to his value of power, and Antigone made it her duty to carry out her brother’s burial, and it was her priority. Most of the critics were saying I felt the same way about the play. It’s a deep play that has so many different and interesting views. In conclusion “Antigone” by Sophocles was a great play. I know I would enjoy the performance of the play even more. This is how I was able to break the play down from a psychological point of view. The attempt of power, dominance, and tubbornness led Creon to make the decisions he made in the play.

Antigone made her decisions off of faith, and what was the morally right thing to do. The decisions they made back in the time of this play, are the same decisions people make now to either do right thing or wrong thing. I think a lot of people can relate to making bad decisions off being stubborn like Creon and not listening, and a lot of people can relate to making the right decisions Just off of having faith and being religiously strong like Antigone. I enjoyed reading the play, and I believe it’s a story that I will not forget.

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