He does not recognize that other forms of justice exist, and in his pride he condemns Antigone, defies the gods, and brings ruin on himself. The core difference between the two of them lies in Antigone’s willingness to create change and Ismene’s hope that she can make it through life without creating waves. This reflects both her great love for her family and her place as a symbol of the status quo who is rewarded for remembering her place. For most plays, the role of the Chorus involves a small number of people, usually between 7-67, who make commentary on the unfolding events and serve as foreshadowers to the action to come. When Antigone laments that she must die so young and alone, the Chorus comments that she has done a noble deed for her brother, and Such loyalty is a holy thing/ Yet none that holds authority/ Can brook disobedience. He says to the city counselors: It is the city that protects us all / She bears us through the storm only when she/ Rides safe and sound can we make loyal friends (lines 688-695). Instead of being portrayed as a group of people, the chorus is merely one person, who aligns himself with the audience.
The Sentry brings the news that Polyneices has been buried, and later captures Antigone. The Chorus is comprised of the Theban elders, vital for maintaining order in the city, and Creon summons them to win their loyalty. They are usually apart from the action, yet also apart from the audience they function best as an uninvolved narrator. In a dramatic dialogue with his father, Haemon defends the moral basis of Antigone s actions while warning his father that the people of Thebes sympathize with her determination to bury Polyneices. Antigone individual vs state essay. This difference manifests itself most brilliantly in the burial of Polynices. However, Antigone is also referring to herself, emphasizing that she does not fear death because if she is killed for burying Polynices she will die with glory because she is following the will of the Gods even at great person danger. He and his father part in anger, as he simply asks his father to do what s right for Thebes, and his father stubbornly follows the path of least resistance. While Creon's status as King of Thebes means he has supreme authority in the world of the living, Antigone reminds her sister that this authority is ephemeral in comparison to the eternal power of the gods. You are, of course, free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them for your essay. Antigone is decisive, moody, brave and impulsive, while Ismene is beautiful, timid and beautiful. Note that Antigone views morality as an act of pleasing, suggesting that the imperative to act in an ethical manner is less a matter of individual agency and more submission to the laws that the gods have determined. Antigone replies that honoring the dead is more important than the living, as life is only brief and temporary, whereas death lasts forever. Furthermore, Antigone's choice of words suggests she does not fear death indeed, this lack of fear is arguably what allows her to behave so courageously over the course of the play. However, despite this fierce rivalry between the two sisters, when Creon is threatening Ismene with death and imprisonment if she does not stop her attempts to bury her brother, Ismene is quick to jump to her defense, stating that if Creon locks Antigone up, Ismene will simply take over and die alongside her for their treason. Antigone refuses her help and Ismene is spared. The rivalry between Ismene and Antigone is strong, because both girls are similar in age with very contrasting personalities.
O my child, / Your self-willed pride has been your ruin (lines 877-875). What feelings towards the play are created when the audience takes on the role of the chorus? Antigone's words highlight the way in which the Ancient Greek belief in the afterlife could cause a conflicting sense of duty to the world of the gods versus the state. Ismene and Antigone vary greatly in their respective attributes, Ismene is breathtakingly beautiful, while Antigone is plain Antigone is brave while Ismene is frightened. When the body of Polyneices is mysteriously buried against Creon s will, the Chorus hints, Do we not see in this the hand of God? Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #9: The Individual Versus the State in Antigone Creon has to admit in the end that I fear it may be wisest to observe/ Throughout one s life the laws that are established (lines 6668-69). Furthermore, since he represents the city-state of Thebes as its king, his will is sovereign. Below you will find five outstanding thesis statements for Antigone by Sophocles that can be used as essay starters or paper topics. In early Greek literature, Fate was all-powerful, even more powerful than the gods, for even Zeus did not know when his reign would end. Antigone s last surviving sibling, Ismene is the foil for her stronger sister. She does not believe that women should ever violate the laws of men, since they are stronger and deserve subservience. They watch the unfolding events with sympathy and a discerning eye: they pity Creon and Antigone, but also comment critically on their faults. Does Sophocles seem to advocate this position, despite the death of Antigone? Antigone's words here have a double significance. Haemon s devotion to Antigone is clear at her death, he is so distraught that he tries to kill his father and then kills himself. He explains the decree against burying Polyneices to the elders, and they agree that You, being sovereign, make what laws you will / Both for the dead and those of us who live (lines 768-69).
Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes from Antigone at the bottom of the page, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay. All five incorporate at least one of the themes in Antigone and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. Haemon is the son of Creon and Eurydice and is engaged to be married to Antigone. Ismene is shocked and frightened by her sister's words, and says she hopes the dead will forgive her, but she won't defy Creon. Creon, on the other hand, believes the state is supreme. Antigone and Ismene have discussed the grief they feel as a result of the death of their two brothers, Polynices and Eteocles, who killed each other in battle. They point out here that the two laws are in conflict civil and religious. Creon unwisely forces the issue, and it does not come out in his favor, for the people choose Antigone s side of the argument. Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Antigone quote. The gods also weigh in through omens, and the prophesy of the seer, Teiresias. On one level, they refer to Polynices, who will suffer a death without glory unless Antigone intervenes and buries him properly. The ruler of Thebes in the wake of war, Creon cherishes order and loyalty above all else. Together the fates were called the Moirae, the ones who apportioned human destiny. Ismene has told Antigone that she is terrified for her, and has promised not to tell anyone about Antigone's plan to bury Polynices. He cannot bear to be defied any more than he can bear to watch the laws of the state defied. These thesis statements offer a short summary of Antigone by Sophocles in terms of different elements that could be important in an essay. In the end of the play, Antigone even takes her life in her own terms. What can be said about the desire to make life happen, the ability to not sit idly by?
He quite frequently refers to the audience and himself as the collective “we and by doing so, makes the audience a part of his chorus. Antigone is willing to risk anything to have her brother buried with honor, while Ismene worries solely for the safety of her sister. Tragedy is bound to occur when these two vital laws are set against one another, for both sacred law and civil law are necessary for the welfare of the people. Antigone, however, dismisses Ismene's promise, exclaiming that Ismene should tell everyone. The two are set up as classic “good girl and “bad girl stereotypes, with Antigone eventually tying Ismene to a tree, and stealing her sister’s makeup and other items to make herself more attractive to Haemon. The Chorus comments on the action and interacts with Creon, actively interceding with advice at a critical moment late in the play. (line 779). When Ismene expresses doubt that Antigone will be able to go through with her plan, Antigone declares that she is not afraid to carry it out, even if it means dying, because there is nothing worse than death without glory. This behavior continues throughout the novel, with Ismene acceding to Creon’s demands, and Antigone taking brave but stupid risks. Why is this important? Necessity was a goddess of Fate (Anangke), but there were also the goddesses of past (Clotho), present (Lachesis), and future (Atropos) who spun the threads of an individual s life. Antigone has announced that she plans to give Polynices proper burial rites, despite the fact that her uncle Creon, the king of Thebes, has forbidden it and decreed that any person who attempts to do so will be killed. However, in Antigone, the chorus breaks most literary conventions. He has Polyneices body defiled while Eteocles is honored because he feels that he cannot give equal to share to both brothers when one was a traitor and the other was loyal. Is their rivalry perhaps less fierce than expected because of their bond of sisterhood? He proves by example the will of the gods overrides human law. In comparison to Antigone she has almost no agency, primarily because she is utterly terrified of disobeying men in power. His speech is an interesting experiment in the history of Greek drama, as it attempts to approximate the rhythms and diction of natural speech. Ismene does not help to bury Polyneices, but tries to claim responsibility for the burial later so that she can die with Antigone.