Antigone: a Tragedy

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Antigone is a Greek tragedy written by Sophocles set in the Bronze Age at the dawn of day in the royal palace of Thebes. It is story of a driven young girl named Antigone who is determined to bury her recently deceased brother, Polynices, by defying the orders of the new king of Thebes’, Creon. . The definition of an Ancient Greek tragedy thought up by Aristotle explains that tragedy is “an imitation of an action that is serious, complete possessing magnitude: In embellished language, each kind of which is used separately in the different parts; In the mode of action and not narrated; and affecting through pity and fear” (Aristotle 780). Therefore, there are merely six parts to its meaning, plot, characters, diction, thought, spectacle, and melody. The most important part of the definition is the plot, the soul to the tragedy. The plot must be complete with “unity of action. ” By this Aristotle means that it must be structured as whole having a beginning, middle, and end. The next important part of the definition is character. The character defines the characters of the story and should arouse pity and fear in order to be a tragedy. The third importance part of the definition deals with thought, where something is proved to be or not to be. Diction is how the speeches reveal the character and the theme of the play. Next important part is diction and the stylistic elements of tragedy. Metaphors mainly fall under this category. Aristotle says that good use of metaphors implies and eye for resemblance. The fifth part of the Aristotle’s definition deals with chorus. The chorus she be like an actor of the play and function as a character. Most importantly, it should contribute to the emotional action of the plot. The last part of its definition explains the emotional attraction of the spectacle by the arousal of pity and fear. By the means of pity and fear, relying on the spectacle brings a sense of, not only the terrible, but the monstrous. This brings about the ending or the cleansing of the tragic emotions, catharsis. Halfway through the plot of the play is where the tragedy begins. For example when a sentry under the orders of Creon reveals to him about the burial of Polynices and the violator who took place in his burial is the part of the rising action up to the climax of the plot. When Creon asks how they knew it was Antigone, they explained everything they saw. By following the Greek law of the gods, Creon will only bury the undead whereas Antigone thinks otherwise when it comes to her dead brother. Because of Antigone’s stubbornness to follow Creon’s rule, he experiences a great deal of suffering when Creon threatens her life due to her burying her brother. She starts to realize everything she will lose in life which sums up her character as the protagonist. The speeches given by Creon and Antigone begin to reveal their true character and shows how similar their personalities. They are almost the same person personality wise given the fact that they are both stubborn and are blind to their own faults. Creon and his blindness to his sons argument is an example of this. Through the chorus shows a sense of a good girl/bad girl scenario when it comes to a sister’s rivalry and not to mention a number of sentimental scenes. Antigone’s sister Ismene tries to tell Antigone that they’re just little girls and what would out Thebes so what would make Antigone think that she could get away with doing such a thing? The chorus mainly represents the intermediate members of the play, the death messenger dancing, and singing and commenting throughout the scenes.

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Antigone: A Tragedy. (2017, Sep 23). Retrieved June 7, 2023 , from

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