Oedipus Just Passed Away In Clonus

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Plot summary

Oedipus just passed away in Clonus when Antigone together the sister decided of returning to Thebes to help their brothers, Polyneices and Eteocles in avoiding the prophecy predicting their death. Upon the arrival in Thebes, Antigone realizes that the brothers are already dead. The throne has already been inherited by Creon after the death and the burial of Eteocles. The chorus explains the existed battle that transmitted between Eteocles and Polyneices. Upon the arrival of Creon, he arrives and announces to the crowd on how Eteocles honourably defended the city on his behavior and how Polyneices dishonoured the exile. He gives out this as the reason on why Polyneices is left out for the birds while Eteocles is buried. This made Antigone define the law when she was caught burying the brother. This contributed to her death by killing herself when she was locked in prison by Creon. The blind prophet unknowingly of the death of Antigone went on to plead Creon for her release. Creon experiences distress and sorrow due to the death of Antigone in the cell which contributed to the death of his wife and Haemon by killing themselves. The messenger then arrives to inform the royal gang concerning the stuck of more tragedy. Eteocles takes her own life due to enraged with Creon and the despair over the lost son.

The scene shows the here conflicts which include the individual verse the state, conscience verse law; and the moral or divine law verse the human law. These three conflicts existing from the scene are too much related and help in tangling with the central issues within the play. The value of Antigone gets to line up with every pair in the first entity, i.e., the individual versus the state. While the values of Creon on the other hand line up with the aspect of conscience versus law. Antigone continuous in herself to become the underground and power within the play, she acts under the generation inspiration for the rebels and the dissidents.

The conflict existing between Antigone and Creon shows the existing conflict between power and the individual. Antigone is the main threat to the status quo. She moves on and invokes the divine law as the source of her defence actions, despite her also implicit in her position while a discerning power of her conscience. Her actions and moves make her sacrifice her own life as the devotion to principle which is higher as compared to human law. Creon moves on and also makes a serious mistake when he sentences Antigone because of burying the brother. During the new reign of Creon, the war emerges accompanied by deaths and mistreatment of the civilians since Creon has established his authority as the supreme power. This makes him have the desire of defeating Antigone at personal level hence sentencing her. The action does not only become the order of the state, but the pride and sense Creon is like the king and more fundamentally the man (Honig, 2013). .

The conflict arising from the state shows how the gender position of women is carried out in the city. The gender of Antigone has the profound effects in all her actions. Creon as a man confirms that he must defeat Antigone because she is just a woman. This shows on how the freedom of the Greek women was highly limited based on the rules and the restrictive nature of the state. The structures and the rules placed on the women were very great and deserved to be rebelled at. The revolutionary action of Antigone highly threatens the city as a whole based on the upset gender roles and the hierarchy. She knowingly refuses to follow the rules hence rebelling against being passive making her overturn all the fundamental rules of her culture and the state.

Ismene becomes the foil of Antigone because she becomes completely cowed by believes and the rules of men based on the assumption that women should be subservient to men or chose to risk while incurring the wrath. Men are generally considered stronger as compared to women in the city. Based on this assumption, Creon fight for the respect of men from women which makes him sentence the woman. The action takes by the ruler from the scene is seen to be the problematic concept which has espoused. When Creon realizes that he is possibly wrong, he quickly switches his defence by making the reasonable arguments that even if he were very incorrect, he could not admit at all to the defeat of a woman. He considers admitting defeat to the woman as an upsetting the divine law. Such fundamental untruth makes the play to seek for correction, possibly through any form of punishment that God can inflict on Creon, the ruler due to his misogynistic thinking and obtuse.

Reference

  • Honig, B. (2013). Antigone, interrupted. Cambridge University Press.

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