King Creone and Antigone
Antigone play starts from the Thebes Civil War where two brothers died while fighting each other for the throne. The new ruler in charge decides that Polyneices would be shamed while Eteocles receiving honor. Oedipus leaves while Antigone with the sister returns to Thebes. Upon arriving, Antigone faces the bitter truth where the brothers’ killing each other with one being labeled a traitor and his burial is banned. Antigone decided to defy the given law on Polyneices’ burial by doing it herself. She was caught. Creon decides to lock her in prison and this makes her kill herself. Teiresias, the blind prophet, pleads with Creon to release her without knowledge of her death. After the late acceptance, they find out her actions. Haemon and the wife to Creon kill themselves leaving him in sorrow and distress. Antigone depiction of power, rules and order as well as fate are clear reminiscent issue facing the society today.
In the play Antigone, power is the central theme that recurs among the characters. Power is known to corrupt and metaphorical blind people as well as changing their characteristics in the quest to achieve it. For example, Oedipus and Polyneices all had claim for the power in Thebes. It led to their rivalry and killing of each other in the process. On the other hand, Creon had been a reasonable and understanding man in the society. Once he received power as the king, he changed drastically (Gibbons and Segal 19). It was evidenced by his call for the burial rights of Polyneices. Drawing with the parallels from the society today, power has been known to alter different values and human rights. Issues of waged wars and struggles in the clamor for power and rights are a common feature. In the end, various individuals lose their lives in the process and their dignity.
The contrast of law and justice in Antigone is responsible for the plot development. The divine sets of laws in comparison to that established by men lead to numerous decisions regarding characters’ lives. According to the fate of Oedipus and Polyneices, the nature of law and justice was established regarding the latter’s burial. After Creon had deemed him as a traitor, he was not allowed a proper burial unlike his brother. On the other hand, once Antigone decided to bury her brother, she had to face the consequences. After carrying out the process in secrecy, she was found out and sent away to prison. In the society today, forms of laws and regulations are used in conjunction with decrees from the rulers. Any individual who defies any of them is sure to face the dire consequences. Conflict in either, adds up to conflict and adherence.
The tension realized between fate and individual action is a central theme in Antigone. In the trilogy, influence of fate is measured depending on the character’s deliberate actions and those of the devastating events. For example, Antigone’s decision to bury her brother had the fate pre-determined as passed on by Creon. Ahrensdorf and Pangle (17) note that the quest for the title of leadership and subsequent battle among the brothers was significant according to fate. In the latter’s case, fate had it that the rivalry would influence the play’s destiny. In some of the happenings, Sophocles was ideally right in stating that responsibility of the events did not rest entirely on the characters. In the world today, fate determines a huge percentage of events, for example, death and issues like sickness, however, deliberate actions are left to the individual’s choice and liking.
Antigone delivers the reality in the roles of women and femininity. There is a contrast in the play towards expectations of women versus that of men, as well as the reality. Creon expected men in the play to have the primary roles and functions according to their placing in the community. However, Antigone decided to challenge the notion of women as having a secondary role. Instead of having a subservient role, she challenged the men in a formidable manner and took the centre stage in the proceedings. In direct contrast to the society today, women have been seen to face the challenge on their roles and contribution. Several success stories are witnessed in terms of leadership, management, active roles in determining of society’s direction as enabled by strong-willed women (Human 47). The trend is on a continuous scale, as more women are getting active in facets of leadership and management in the society.
depiction of power, rules and order as well as fate are clear reminiscent
issues facing the society today. Issues regarding the struggle for power, contrast
of law and justice, tension realized through fate and destiny of individuals
and the role of women in the society are all important. Once the two brothers
kill each other and subject their sister to prison sentencing due to defied
order, the society today is reflected from the basic ensembles. Cultural and
social associations as well as roles delivered by the women should guide as a
constant reminder of challenges that need to be overcome.
Ahrensdorf, Peter J., Thomas L. Pangle. The Theban Plays. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2014. Print.
Gibbons, Reginald, and Charles Segal. Antigone. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Print.
Human, Oliver. “Potential Novelty: Towards an Understanding of Novelty within the Society, Power, and Justice.” SAGE Journal 32 (2012): 45-63. Print.