Critical Analysis of the Play - Antigone

Published: 2021-07-27 12:09:13
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From an individual perspective, similarly to most of the stories on the Greek gods, Antigone depicts tragedy as one of its main themes. It is one of the most interesting plays that I have seen so far with respect to the Greek mythology. In brief, the brothers, Eteocles and Polynices, who were brothers killed each other during the war against Thebes as per the curse from Oedipus who is their father. Before the death of Oedipus, he stated that each son would take leadership each year. However, Eteocles refused to step down after the first year which made Polynices attack Thebes and hence resulting in their deaths and hence making Creon the king. Creon makes an order for Eteocles to be buried in honor while Polynices to be left unburied and decay. However, Antigone is against the order whereby she also wants Polynices to receive an honorable burial. Ismene. Antigones sister is not in support of her plan because of the death penalty but is certain that she cannot change Antigones mind. Creon then seeks to get approval from the elders on Polynices being left to rot whereby the elders agree to back him up. A sentry then informs Creon that the Polynices body has already been buried by which he reacts by ordering the sentry to look for the offender or for the sentry to face the death penalty. Antigone is then brought in by the sentry and accepts that fact that she was the one who buried his body. Antigone argues on the basis of morality, but Creon insists that she should face the charges. Ismene tries to intervene but is also arrested and locked up with her sister. Haemon, who is Antigones fiance tries to convince his father to release Antigone, but the conversation ends up with insults and Haemon telling his father that he does not want to see him. Ismene is released while Antigone is put in a cave for her to die of hunger. Teiresias, who is a blind prophet later warns Creon that the gods support Antigone and that because of his mistakes, Creon will lose one of his sons in addition to being despised by the entire Greece and his gifts being rejected by the gods. Creon changes his mind and decides to free Antigone. However, it becomes too late as both Antigone and Haemon take their lives. Creons wife also kills herself when she receives news of her sons death.

The most compelling aspect about Antigone is that it begins with a climax. Before the play begins, a warlike song is played and hence possibly, illustrating to the audience that bloodshed or death is an inevitable aspect of the play. The lighting is also dark with a bit of illumination; possibly to create a gloomy environment as per the context of the story. The play first begins with a narration whereby classical music is played and intensify as the narrator proceeds presenting the story. Sounds from drums are also heard. It can be perceived that the use of music and the creation of a gloomy environment purposes to prepare the audience for the nature of the play. From an individual perspective, the narration was interesting whereby it increased my interest in watching the play.

The play begins with Antigone coming out of a door and heads and kneels in front of a well. Her expression depicts sorrow which implies that something dreadful has taken place. Sad music also plays in the background which I believe purposes in capturing and maintaining the attention of the audience. The sound of blowing wind is also heard when Antigone views the body lying next to her. From an individual viewpoint, such sound depicts the dead or rather the departure of the soul from the living. From my perspective, what makes the piece more interesting is the use of music and sound in each scene whereby each musical aspect aligns with the content of the scene. I found myself empathizing with Antigone especially on how she expressed herself when being talked to by Creon. The use of music in illustrating her sorrow also sparked sadness and pity in me as I would frequently empathize with her situation. The costumes also align with the character by whereby one can tell the nature or rather the position that one holds in the story.

I view the whole play as a masterpiece particularly on the ability of the actors to make emotional connections with the audience. I believe that being able to raise emotions in the audience is one of the main qualities of good actors and the scriptwriters. For example, I would feel annoyed whenever Creon spoke because of his bad nature in the play. Furthermore, it was difficult for me to empathize with him at the end of the play where tragedy surrounded him. I empathized more with Antigone and Haemon. Nonetheless, I was not surprised by the ending since it aligns with the ending of most tragic stories whereby the two lovers die as a consequence of their families actions.

 

 

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