The Conflict Between Individual Free Will And The State Essay

2019 Words Jan 31st, 2016 9 Pages
“How does the conflict between individual free will and the state comment on the historical and social context of Antigone?”

The Greek tragedy of Antigone was written in 441B.C and encompasses important themes that were relevant to that time, such as the patriarchal setting of the society, the role of women and the conflict between individual free will and the state. Antigone follows the traditional form of a tragedy and it focuses on the protagonist with a fatal flaw that eventually leads to their downfall. Sophacles uses the play to comment on social and political issues of the time and set it 800 years before his birth as to avoid offending those in power.
Sophacles introduces the major conflict of the play between Creon and Antigone. The conflict evolves from Creon’s decision not to bury Polyneices but Antigone believes that the burial rites must be performed because it is her role under the Athenian culture. Antigone sees it as a duty to her family and feels as if she must honour the gods by completing this task. ‘’It is noble for me to die doing this” (p7). Antigone’s choice is situated within her identity and by the crippling anxiety and distress she feels over the sense of wrong she has about the issue. Both characters are proud and stubborn individuals which assists in setting up the conflict between their ideals and views. Creon’s decision is driven by his principles as a leader and he wishes to uphold his position as a great king. He believes he must take…

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