The Family Tragedy: Antigone Essay

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A tragedy is defined as a dramatic composition, often in verse, dealing with a serious or somber theme, typically that of a great person destined through a flaw of character or conflict with some overpowering force, as fate or society, to downfall or destruction. The play Antigone by Sophocles displays many qualities that prove to form into the epitome of a tragedy. Tragedy is usually marked with a person of great standing—in this case, a King—who falls because of hubris, or extreme pride. Antigone proves to live up to both of these definitions which is proven through its themes. Sophocles uses many techniques in this tragedy to contribute to the overall theme. This theme is accomplished by creating emotions in the readers to evoke the …show more content…
Their autonomy is manifest in their repeated rejections of living filial association and it is marked by the singularity of their respective laws…Antigone is ‘manifestly unable to articulate anything remotely resembling a ‘universal rule’ by which her conduct would have been guided.’” Frank’s description of Antigone’s and Creon’s behavior shows that both characters have chosen to guide themselves on contrasting self-laws, which form the conflict that the characters have with each other. Antigone’s civil disobedience is a refusal to obey the law made by the King on moral grounds. Antigone states, “Nor could I think that a decree of yours-- / A man—could override the laws of Heaven / Unwritten and unchanging” (453-455). She also states that the laws of the Gods “are eternal; no man saw their birth” (457). She fears “the gods’ tribunal” (458) more than she fears Creon’s judgments on her. Although she knows that she will be punished by losing her life due to her disobedience, she knows that this is more morally sound that if she does obey him. Creon makes the mistake of sentencing Antigone and is therefore punished by the Gods. Had Creon not denied Antigone the right to bury her brother, the tragic events that unfold, such as Antigone’s, Haemon’s, and Eurydice’s tragic suicide.
Another major theme in Antigone is the struggle with power due to femininity issues. In ancient Greek culture, it was common for

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