The Classical Greek Literature Relationship

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The Classical Greek Literature Relationship to Tragedy in Antigone

What is the relationship between Antigone and Classical Greek literature related to tragedy? The relationship between Antigone in Classical Greek literature is evident through the story line in which two characters disagreement and personal choices lead to an notable twist of unexpected tragic events. Tragedy is defined as the an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophes (Merriam dictionary). The Antigone tragedy introduced new ideas which questioned the Gods, philosophy, morals, values, fate and destiny, mystical powers and laws.

Classical Greek literatures earliest interpretation of Tragedy, as Aristotle pointed out, was the representation of an action worthy of attention, and once there was an actor, there could be an imitation of the action, though the chorus still sang the story line. (Greek tragedy ). Sophocles is important in classic Greek literature because he introduced tragedy early in his career, in which he is credited for adding a third actor, scenery and imaginative portraits of the characters. Sophocles introduced the convention of a third actor in tragedy productions early in his career (previous tragedies had only two actors with a chorus), and Aeschylus soon followed his lead by including three actors in his Oresteia. Sophocles also introduced scenery of some imaginative portrait of Sophocles. () Antigone is important in Classic Greek literature because it was based on doing the what she believed was the right thing to do by the gods.

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Not by the new laws the king had just created which were unjust. Sophocles writings include philosophical questions of self, mortality fate, destiny, etc.. () Antigone is a tragedy due to the amount of unfortunate events that took place in the story line. The tragedies that occurred of Antigoner’s family include the deaths of her entire family. She choose to burry her brother. In order to protect her family name and allow him to join the gods in the after life. Her love and devotion for her family caused her to disobey the new kings orders. The recurring theme of his tragedies is the suffering of men and women”sometimes suffering they bring on themselves by flaws in their characters, or suffering that results from being in the wrong place at the wrong time.( Edward I. Bleiberg, et al.

In every tragedy there is a power struggle between two characters the antagonist and the protagonist. The protagonist is the main character that is heroic. Antigone is the protagonist because she is a woman good person doing the right thing for the brother she loves. Therefore she choose to disregard Creonr’s ruthless orders. Creon is the antagonist because he is against the protagonist. The characters dilemma Both Antigone and Creon represent immoderate, inflexible viewpoints, and their immoderation leads to the destruction of Antigone; Creon’s son, Haemon, who was betrothed to Antigone; and Creon’s wife, who commits suicide. The play ends with Creon bowed down with grief. ( )
Antigone is one of the most famous tragic plays in Classic Greek literature written by Sophocles around 442 B.C. Sophocles wrote a three act play named Oedipus Rex. Antigoner’s tragic family history is due to a curse placed by the gods on Oedipus? According to Greek mythology Oedipus represented the king of Thebes.

According to the myth Oedipus killed his father and married his mother Jocasta. Oedipus and Jocasta were the parents of Antigone and her siblings. Oedipus found out Jocasta was his long lost mother and he had committed incest, causing him to rip his own eyes out of shame and despair. After Jocasta discovers Oedipus was her son she could not bear with her guilt and shame. Leaving Eteocles and Polyneices as the new rulers to share the throne. After Eteocles decided he wanted to be the only ruler; Polyneices chose to go to war against his own brother resulting in a civil war. During the civil war both brothers fought to the death leading to the 3rd and last act Antigone.
The first tragedy occurs in the beginning due to the death of Polyneices and Eteocles. Leaving Creon to become the new King after the civil war naming Polyneices the enemy of the state. Creon ruled that Polyneices would not have a proper burial and decided to threaten the citizens to there deaths if they disobey his order.

Antigone found this unjust and decided to defy Creon by burring her brother; causing a ripple effect of death due to Creonr’s ruthless behavior. Ancient Greek society was male dominate; therefore Antigone a woman disobeyed the new Kings orders being a shocking occurrence. Since it was not an equal society Antigoner’s actions were seen as a rebellious act against the King. Creonr’s pride was so big he decided to kill her. After her death her future husband Haemon committed suicide. The queen decided to hang herself because her son had died due to the husbands rules. Leaving Greon to live a lonely miserable life he deserved. Preventing him from joining the mythological gods. The fate of Antigone was due to her pride for her family and to allow her brother to bury her brother without the consent of the King. Antigone is a story based on several tragic events which spiral down to the worst imaginable disagreement between two characters. This caused a ripple effect of fatalities due to Creonr’s ruthless actions.

Antigoner’s character was a prideful, rebellious, determined woman who was not fearless while following her heart. Antigone, humorless and domineering is a female copy of Oedipus (Knox, Bernard, Nassaar, Christopher 187-189) Thought Antigoner’s life she encountered many tragedies which lead her to become a pessimistic individual. Antigone expressed realization of the gods powers were stronger than any human on earth because humans are mortals. My sister Ismene, do you know of any suffering from our father sprung that Zeus does not achieve for us survivors ? therer’s nothing free from doom, not shameful, not dishonored, Ive not seen.( Sophocles , 495-406 B.C.) The importance of a proper burial determined whether Polyneices was able to join the gods.

The list of tragedies that occurred in the first two acts of Oedipus rex are summarized by Ismene Alas. Remember , sister, how our father perished abhorred, ill famed. Himself with his own hands, through his own curse destroying both eyes. Remember next his mother and his wife finished life in shame of the twisted strings. And third two brothers on a single day, poor creatures, murdering , a common doom each with his arm accomplished on the other . and now look at the two of us alone. Well perish terribly if we force the law and try to cross the royal vote and power. We must remember we are two woman so not fight with men. (Antigone)

In 442 B.C.E the Dionysius celebrations began in Athens as the cultural center in Ancient Greece. During Spring the citizens would honor the God of Dionysus. Dionysus is the Greek God of wine. The symbolic statues of the God Dionysus were placed outside to watch over the festivities over the course of three days. The festivities included endless supply of wine, animal sacrifices, and people dressed in colorful attire, played games, sung songs and theater. The festivities took on Acropolis south slope rocky amphitheater . One of the favorite parts of the festival was the completion for the best plays writers. The winner got to wear a crown during the Dionysus festival. The elite members of society and the judges would choose the winner that wears the crown . At the age of 27 Sophocles competed for the first time and succeeded over his predecessors. According to historians Sophocles won the Dionysian crown eighteen times through his lifetime. Sophocles lived from 497-406 BCE. Over his life he wrote over 123 plays which made him a legend in classical Greek literature. (Wins the festival of Dionysus 22)

Antigone as a tragedy is famous because the story has stood the test of time in history and it can still be relevant in our current society. As woman we have been portrayed as weak docile individualr’s. In this story for the first time a woman stood up to the king with out fear. Which was a great introduction to woman seen as doing heroic acts of good. Antigone is though to be the earliest of these enduring popularity highlights the importance of the work as an example of classical Greek theater that is sophisticated enough in its staging and character development to appeal to modern audiences (wins festival)

Sophocles writings influenced the many cultures around the world and it has shaped the way theater has developed into an artistic form of expression. The innovations of Sophocles and other early Greek playwrights were instrumental in shaping the development of western European and north American theatrical entertainment for centuries( wins the festival). The relationship between Antigone in Classical Greek literature related to tragedy is evident through out the story by the characters actions and moral dilemma against the rules placed by the new king. Sophocles addiction of a third actor , scenery and imagetry of the characters transformed the world of entertainment that is still relevant in our present modern society.

Work Cited

Keri Walsh. Mosaic: A journal for the interdisciplinary study of literature. 41.3 (Sept. 2008): p1+. From Literature Resource Center.
Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2008 University of Manitoba, Mosaic
https://www.umanitoba.ca/mosaic/

Knox, Bernard. Introduction to Sophocles: the three Theban plays. New York , penguin, 1984. Nassaar, Christopher S. Sophocles Oedipus the king explicator 55(1997): 187-89. Sophocles. Antigone. World masterpieces. New York : Norton, 1992.
(Knox, Bernard and Nassaar, Christopher S. 187-189)

Gardner, Janet E., Beverly Lawn, Jack Ridl, and peter Schakle, eds. Literature: a portable anthology, 4th ed. Bedford/ St. Martinr’s, 2016.

“Greek Tragedy.” Arts and Humanities Through the Eras, edited by Edward I. Bleiberg, et al., vol. 2: Ancient Greece and Rome 1200 B.C.E.-476 C.E. Gale, 2005, pp. 144-154. Gale Virtual, Reference Library, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX3427400251/GVRL?u=cuny_york&sid=GVRL&xid=09d3be45.
(Edward I. Bleiberg, et al. 144-154)

Hemmingway, Colette and Sean Hemmingway. Greek gods and religious practices. In timeline of art history. NY: Heillbrunn the metropolitan museum of art 200. http:www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/grlg/hd_grlg.htm (October 2003)
(Hemmingway, Colette and Sean)
Sophocles tragedy , Antigone, wins the festival of Dionysus. Global events: milestone events throughout history, edited by Jennifer Stock, vol. 4: Europe, Gale, 2014, pp. 22- 24. context, https://link.galegroup.com/app/doc/cx3728000509/GIC?u=cuny_york&sid=GIC&xid=113b13e1.
(Stock, Jennifer 22-24)
Augst, Therese. Tragic Effects: Ethics and Tragedy in the Age of Translation. Ohio State UP, 2012. Classical Memories/Modern Identities. MLA International Bibliography, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/N2812664936/GLS?u=cuny_york&sid=GLS&xid=525d8919. Accessed 20 November. 2018.

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