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Sophocles’ “Antigone”: The Synopsis of the Play Essay

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Updated: Jan 14th, 2022

Introduction

The plays of Ancient Greece represent an integral part of the world’s cultural heritage. Works created by Greek playwright Sophocles are famous for their eventful plot and detailed description of the characters. Antigone is one of the most famous plays of the dramatist. The synopsis of the play as well as the reasons and consequences of actions taken by its main characters are considered in the essay.

Main body

The plot of the majority of ancient plays is based on mythology. Sophocles’ Antigone is not an exception. The play describes the events which underlie one of the most famous myths of Ancient Greece. Special attention is paid to the characters of Antigone and Creon. Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus, the king of Thebes. Her strong moral beliefs and brave nature became the primary reasons for her disobedience to Creon, the heir and consequently the king of Thebes.

The conflict between Antigone and Creon is a background of Sophocles’ play. Polyneices, the brother of Antigone betrayed Thebes and he was killed in the fight with his brother. Creon, the king of Thebes at that time, prohibited burying Polyneices because he was a traitor. The actions of Creon are based on the law of Thebes which states that the body of a traitor must be given to the tearing of animals. The controversy between the adherence to the state law and the moral norms maintains the conflict between Antigone and Creon in Sophocles’ play.

Antigone thinks that the moral norm is the highest value and decides to bury the body of her brother. Despite the prohibition of Creon, she embodies her plan with the help of Polyneices’ widow.

In contrast to Antigone, Creon considers law as the highest value in the state. The disobedience of Antigone vexed Creon. Despite family bonds, he orders to bury Antigone alive. As the conflict upholds we see that Creon is willing to avenge Antigone. He does not consider her actions as her fulfillment of moral obligations. Moral does not matter to him. On the one hand, he is right that the law violators must be punished. On the other hand, his actions to Antigone cannot be justified. Creon became a victim of the frameworks which he created for himself and he cannot break these limits.

It should be mentioned that the reaction of Creation to Antigone’s disobedience was caused not only by his weak will and unwillingness to come against the state law but also by his desire to strengthen his position in the state. To some extent, he was governed by his political ambitions.

The actions of Creon often become the main issues of the literature research. Beyond all doubt, Creon is one of the most controversial characters in Greek mythology and literature. However, the law should be based on moral values.

Perhaps the controversy between the imperfect law and strong moral beliefs became the background for the conflict between Creon and Antigone. The conflict caused the tragic deaths of other people. When Antigone knew about her verdict, she decided to commit suicide. The son of Creon and bridegroom of Antigone killed himself after Antigone’s death.

Conclusion

To sum up it should be said that imperfect law should not justify moral norms. Moral values are the highest values and the law must be based on them. That is why the actions of Creon led to the deaths of many people. Even nowadays the issues underlying Sophocles’ play are urgent and the improvement in the law of many countries should be made to prevent consequences illustrated by Sophocles.

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IvyPanda. (2022, January 14). Sophocles’ “Antigone”: The Synopsis of the Play. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sophocles-antigone-the-synopsis-of-the-play/

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IvyPanda. (2022, January 14). Sophocles’ “Antigone”: The Synopsis of the Play. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/sophocles-antigone-the-synopsis-of-the-play/

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IvyPanda. "Sophocles’ “Antigone”: The Synopsis of the Play." January 14, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sophocles-antigone-the-synopsis-of-the-play/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Sophocles’ “Antigone”: The Synopsis of the Play." January 14, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sophocles-antigone-the-synopsis-of-the-play/.

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