Themes of Antigone

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  • Created by: Leah A
  • Created on: 08-06-14 20:13
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  • Antigone
    • Oikos/Philoi
      • Creon is in fact Antigone and Ismene's uncle, and to condemn them both to a barbaric death is going a little too far.
        • Creon: "The most barbaric deaths"
      • Ismene cares for Antigone a lot. She is willing to share the blame and die with Antigone despite not doing anything.
        • Ismene: "Oh no, my sister, don't reject me please, let me die beside you"
        • Antigone will not let Ismene die with her. Although she fell out with Ismene she still loves her a lot.
      • Haemon and Creon have good Philoi at the start of the play, even when Creon tells him he is about to kill his Fiancée
        • Creon: "Son, you've heard the final verdict on your bride?"   "Do you love me, no matter what I do?"
          • Haemon: "Father, I'm your son, you in your wisdom set me bearings for me - I obey you."
            • Haemon and Creon have good Philoi at the start of the play, even when Creon tells him he is about to kill his Fiancée
              • Creon: "Son, you've heard the final verdict on your bride?"   "Do you love me, no matter what I do?"
                • Haemon: "Father, I'm your son, you in your wisdom set me bearings for me - I obey you."
                • However, Haemon gets increasingly agitated with his father's behaviour.
                  • Haemon: "It's no city at all, owned by one man alone."
                    • Talking about how his father is acting like a tyrant. This is brave coming from him, and the Philoi is turning sour.
                      • The audience would also be on Haemon's side, because he is standing up to the tyrant-like king, and helping Antigone appease the Cthonic gods.
                  • Haemon eventually tries to kill Creon but misses, then kills himself. The Philoi is completely destroyed here.
                    • Messenger about Haemon: "But the boy gave him a wild burning glance, not a word in reply, he drew his sword"
                    • Creon's reluctant efforts to save Antigone are wasted, because she has already killed herself when he gets there.
                      • This would cause the audience to really not like Creon, because he is to blame for all the deaths; his son, Antigone and his wife.
                        • Creon was just trying to uphold the laws of the state - after all, he is king! But he should know that religion in this case was more important than the Polis? The city, the chorus, his own son was against him but he was too stubborn.
                          • Here we can see that yet again, just like Oedipus, Creon's Hubris was his downfall.
          • However, Haemon gets increasingly agitated with his father's behaviour.
            • Haemon: "It's no city at all, owned by one man alone."
              • Talking about how his father is acting like a tyrant. This is brave coming from him, and the Philoi is turning sour.
                • The audience would also be on Haemon's side, because he is standing up to the tyrant-like king, and helping Antigone appease the Cthonic gods.
            • Haemon eventually tries to kill Creon but misses, then kills himself. The Philoi is completely destroyed here.
              • Messenger about Haemon: "But the boy gave him a wild burning glance, not a word in reply, he drew his sword"
              • Creon's reluctant efforts to save Antigone are wasted, because she has already killed herself when he gets there.
                • This would cause the audience to really not like Creon, because he is to blame for all the deaths; his son, Antigone and his wife.
                  • Creon was just trying to uphold the laws of the state - after all, he is king! But he should know that religion in this case was more important than the Polis? The city, the chorus, his own son was against him but he was too stubborn.
                    • Here we can see that yet again, just like Oedipus, Creon's Hubris was his downfall.
        • Creon's wife, Eurydice, commits suicide after hearing of her son's death and the barbaric acts of her husband.
      • Polis
        • Creon acts a bit like a tyrant, accusing the Sentry of just wanting money rather than genuinely just bringing him news.
          • Creon to Sentry: "What's more, you squandered your life for silver!"
          • We can see that this is quite common of him by the way the Sentry approaches him.
            • Sentry: "First, myself, I've got to tell you, I didn't do it, didn't see who did - Be fair, don't take it out on me"
        • The law states that a traitor to Thebes should not be buried and given full rites.
          • Is Creon doing right by the Polis carrying out this law? To an Athenian audience, religion would be more important when it comes to burying, so they would side with Antigone.
        • Because he followed the laws of the Polis and not religion, Creon is eventually left with nobody.
      • Cthonic vs.Tutillary gods
        • Antigone seeks to appease the Cthonic gods (Gods of the underworld) more than the Tutillary (Gods of the city) gods.
          • She does this by burying Polynices so he could go to the underworld. However, this goes against the laws of the state
          • Ismene: "what? You'd bury him even though a law forbids the city?"
            • Ismene is shown as quite a submissive and innocent character; she refuses to break the law unlike Antigone.
          • Antigone comes across as very headstrong. She is determined to bury Polynices, and even falls out with her sister because she won't help her.
            • Antigone to Ismene: "If you say so, you will make me hate you"
        • Creon wants to appease the Tutillary gods.
          • Creon: "A proclamation has forbidden the city to dignify him with burial, mourn him at all"
          • He comes across as slightly tyrant-like from the start, consumed in the powers of kingship.
            • Creon: "I now possess the throne and all its powers"
        • Teiresias tries to bring Creon to his senses.
          • Teiresias: "Take these things to heart, my son, I warn you"
            • Creon: "You'll never bury that body in the grave"
              • But, not learning from Oedipus, he doesn't believe him.
                • SYNOPTIC LINK BETWEEN ANT + OED!
      • Women's place in society
        • Ismene knows where she stands as a woman.
          • Ismene: "What? You'd bury him when a law forbids the city?"
          • Ismene: "Remember we are women, we're not born to contend with men"
          • Ismene does want to appease the Cthonic gods but is too scared to defy the state.
        • Antigone challenges her standing as a woman.
          • Antigone: "I will bury him myself"
          • Antigone: "I will suffer nothing as great as death without glory"
          • Antigone values religion a lot more than the polis.

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