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The play "Antigone" by Sophocles can be admired an analyzed by many different critics. This interesting ancient Greek play can be studied from many different angles. Some critics look into Antigone's incest motives, Creon's behaviorism, Ismene as a victim, multiple purposes of the chorus, and the ethics of the play. This paper will closely examines each one of these concepts.
In a recent article in the Explicator, "Sophocles' Antigone", Christopher S. Nassaar suggests that "the incest motif of Sophocles' Oedipus the King extends beyond the oracle's predictions and manifests itself in Oedipus's over-fondness for his daughters." For instance, the critic reveals that the extensions of the prophecy are all the more evident in "Antigone." We can come to see from the very opening lines, as she is speaking to Ismene, how incest mentally traumatizes Antigone:
"Dear sister! Dear Ismene! How many evils/Our father, Oedipus, bequeathed to us!"
Also the writer conveys that much has been made of "Antigone's turning from justifying her defiance by the laws of the gods to recognition of her personal motives." We could interpret her remarkable lack of interest in her fiance Haemon, as an attempt to "disengage" herself from the incest of her family's past. Haemon, after all, is both her cousin and uncle. She readily dismisses her forthcoming marriage:
"Not mine the hymeneal chant, not mine the bridal song, /For I, a bride to Acheron belong."
Moreover, the author illustrates that even though "she is not mentally stable," due to the curse of incest in the family; she invokes the laws of the gods to defy Creon and to bury her slain brother Polyneices. The incest stirs up feelings, but she knows when to control herself and do what is right:
"Born of such parents, with them henceforth I abide, wretched, accursed, unwed. And you, Polyneices, you found as ill-fated bride, and I the living, am suffering by you, the dead."
In conclusion, in Christopher S. Nassaar's article "Sophocles' Antigone" we come to see how Antigone's incest motives affected her and the other characters in this play.
The book Sophocles written by Ruth Scodel portrays many interesting points and various views on how Creon's character is presented. Creon is stubborn, rigid, self willed, prideful, and unbendable. All these characteristics are summed up in how he perceives Creon. Creon is obsessed with "social definitions" such as the king should rule, the son obeys and does not disrespect, and that the woman should be subordinate. For example, the critic shows how Creon is obsessed with having absolute power. He is thinking of and referring to personal demands of his own character and attitude, not from anyone else:
"It is my job to rule this land. There is no one else/Nations belong to the men with power. I am the king."
Quotes talked about in this paper
Names referenced in this research paper
Ismene, King Creon, Frank Marini, Oedipus, Polyneices, Christopher S. Nassaar, Ruth Scodel, Bernard Knox, G.M. Kirkwood, Haemon,
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Keywords referenced in this research paper
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