The play “Antigone” written by Sophocles in 441 BC represents the conflict between religious beliefs and state rule which is still a relevant issue in modern society. As rules in faith can contradict the law made by the state.
In the play, Greek ruler, Creon, denies justice in society in order to maintain power. The play “Antigone” centers on a woman living in ancient Greece, who defies the laws of the state in order to give her brother a burial. As a result of this action, she faces punishment at the hands of the state. Antigone feels her defiance against the state is justified because of her love towards her brother and belief in justice and humanity rather than the state laws. Through the use of imagery and diction and Structure, Sophocles shows the contrast between divine and state laws in order to illustrate the idea that justice within society.Response through in justice is represented emphasized by the break in the line.
“And now- have the told you a new decree of King Creon.
No one shall bury him, no one shall mourn him. Enjambment and repetition is used in the same sentence in order to provide emphasis to his order whereas repetition and use of “decree” can also signify Creon imperious nature. (Line 5, Prologue)Ismene fear against the laws which stops her from joining Antigone for burying Polyneices, The sentence “I beg the dead to forgive me, but I am helpless : I must yield to those in authority” represent the conflict between justice is denied when state laws overpower religious laws for Ismene. Use of words such as I am helpless represents her fear. Whereas Antigone’s reaction was contradictory towards Ismene. (Line 45, prologue)“ It is the dead, who make the longest demands not the living: We die for ever…” . Antigone’s statement is presented by confidence whereas Ismene’s was with fear.
In this statement Antigone condems state and Creon who is abducting antigone from burying her brother. Use of ellipses in the sentence focuses on the fact that dead lives forever whereas living does not which can emphasis that the rule of dead or god matters more. (Line 55, prologue)Use of god by creon for his power “I have honor to inform you that our ship of state which recent storms have threatened to destroy …. Guided by the merciful wisdom of heaven”. This statement is uses a metaphor which shows comparison between state and a a ship facing storms, and attack of Polynices. By using “merciful wisdom of heaven” represents his beliefs in Gods but is contradictory to his actions of providing Justice. Line 10 scene 1“I call for God to witness” is use of God for making belief in of state in people.
When the sentry first arrives to see Creon his words are broken because of fear and use of slashes and long pauses representsThe sentence used by Choragus in order to represent justice and god’s action “ can it be gods who have done this” shows that Choragus tries to convince Creon that his decision could be wrong. 95Through use of words such as “The Gods!” Intolerable” “pious thought” it represents Creon’s arrogance and his viewpoint of being above Gods.Reference of corruption of mankind could be represented by statement such as “Money! ..Homes gone, men gone, honest heart corrupted” it shows parallelism between corruption by money and power as by power to, Homes and money can also be destroyed through corruption of power.“The wisest Have sometimes been known to count a few coins too many” This also represents irony in the statement as Creon interprets that he has too much power which resultsIt is ironical that Creon uses God in order to represent his own justice or the justice of the state. “I swear by God and by the throne of God”.
Use of oxymoron “ a fortune won is often is fortune” is used for the sentry here but it it could be foreshadowed to Creon who is corrupted by the power provided to him.First sign of Justice is interpreted in the play when the Sentry reacts to Creon in order to signify the justice “your very voice distresses me, Are you sure it’s not your conscience”This represents the feeling frustration and anger of Creon is blowed up on the Sentry without being his fault. The use of conscience could be for explaining Creon to question his decision and denial of Justice towards the Sentry. However, it could also indicate for denial of Justice towards Antigone for burying her brother polynieces. It could also indicated the denial of justice for burying Polyneices for Antigone. “How dreadful it is when the right judge judges you wrong”? 125The use of word dreadfulBibliographySophocles, Antigone, Greece
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