Antigone: Introduction

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  • Created by: Bormerod
  • Created on: 29-02-16 19:36
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  • Political context
    • Antigone: Introduction
      • Creon's speech = an example of the ideal loyalties of a citizen & a lesson in patriotism
      • Creon
        • Practical man
        • Power poses dilemma
          • desire to rule fairly but firmly
          • desire to restore & maintain order in a chaotic situation
          • frustrated bbby a determined, fanatical, apparently irrational resistance
        • Finds it unthinkable that the gods would demand the burial of a traitor
        • Last to recognise the strength of those social & religious imperitives that Antigone obeys
        • Displays all the characteristics of the tryrant
          • A dispotic ruler who siezes power & retains it by intimidation and force
      • Chorus
        • Only express sypmathy for Antigone as she is led off to her death
        • Only criticise Creon when they hear from Tiresias
        • Even though Creon's actin is clearly a violation of divine law
        • Interests of the city are paramount
          • makes sense, few Greeks would question loyalty to the state during crisis
          • Natural sympathy with Antigone is very modern
      • Antigone
        • Feels she owes a duty to Polynices & their family relationship
        • Sacrifices her life to perform a symbolic burial for Polynices
        • From first to last, her religious devotion & duty are to the divine powers of the world below (Hades)
        • Makes 3 appearances
          • prologue: plan her action
          • Confrontation: defend her plan to Creon
          • Death: under guard, on her way to the prison that will be her tomb
        • hung herself in a sort of existential despair
        • Why didn't the Gods save her? - her actions were good
          • motives too narrow?
          • Indifference to the city & its rights
      • The play is a collision between the two highest moral powers
      • Hades
        • Has a fearful respect
        • Is a divine power, a dreadful prescence
    • Highlights the problems of the city state
    • Modern adaptations are very political

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