Family Relationships : Sophocles ' Antigone Essay

809 Words May 4th, 2015 4 Pages
The study of family relationships is both fascinating and complex because every family has a different dynamic and connection. Within the family itself, there are different relationships between the individual members. A sister and brother have a different connection than two brothers do; a mother and a daughter have a different dynamic than a father and a daughter, and spouses interact differently with one another than they do with their children. Every member of the family brings something different to the table. Just as interfamilial relationships differ, relationships outside of the family are unique. For instance, one responds differently to their family than to their government. Both institutions require a certain amount of loyalty, but what happens when these two come into conflict? What happens when one is forced to make the decision between family loyalty and adherence to the law? Sophocles’ Antigone presents us with this very problem.
Antigone demonstrates the significance of the oikos over the polis in choosing to defy her government in order to preserve her family’s honor. The oikos and the polis both played crucial roles in ancient Greek culture. In previous epics, like The Odyssey, the oikos is the central focus of the story. Odysseus wishes to return home to restore order to his household, Telemakhos tries with all his might to fix what has been shattered, and Penelope loses hope because her once seemingly perfect home life has been torn from her. A major…

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