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Antigone depicts the human stubbornness towards accepting what is supposed to be good for him and hence in the later part shows the pain and suffering man goes through by disobeying his Almighty which is the result of man refusing to accept destiny and circumstances. The counter side of human behavior shown in this dramatic poetry is that man, instead following his creator, listens to an inside character that is part of his conscious and gives in to his inner needs, desires and compulsions which leads to the ultimate and mysterious justification of man's actions, behavior and eventually his life.
Comparison and Contrast of the Two Antigones
Sophocles is known to create his work in a sense where the protagonist is often than not struggling through an important but moral war within, which always concludes itself to be tragic due to a very particular yet extreme quality. In his greatest work known to date "Antigone," he has executed the task of a poetic drama in a beautiful tragedy. In this drama the typical Sopholean theme is evident throughout, which has always been about the fate of man when he defies from the rules and destiny already put in places by God, it depicts the human stubbornness towards accepting what is supposed to be good for him and hence in the later part shows the pain and suffering man goes through by disobeying his Almighty which is the result of man refusing to accept destiny and circumstances. The counter side of human behavior shown in this dramatic poetry is that man, instead following his creator, listens to an inside character that is part of his conscious and gives in to his inner needs, desires and compulsions which leads to the ultimate and mysterious justification of man's actions, behavior and eventually his life. In Antigone, by Sophocles, Creon is used to describe the role of a hero who is met with tragedy in every path of his life and this tragic hero has a tragic flaw, hence we can see that the fat of Gods are responsible for his downfall and possess a Hubris (Harkin. 2008).
There have been several adaptations of this play; the most prominent is by Jean Anouilh's and his version of Antigone. The play was adapted in 1942; this was the time when the Nazi forces had occupied most of France, hence taking the original theme of the play Anouilh has written the play in relation to the human sentiments and state at that time. Making Antigone an idealist, a conflict is shown between her and her strict and unbending uncle Creon, on the pending issue of providing her dead brother Polynices a proper burial, this provides for the main conflict in the play. However there are also other interpretations revealed in the play, for instance the struggle of the French Resistance Movement going against the Vichy government during the success of the Nazi government. Antigone is just one of the many plays adapted by Anouilh which are based on Greek mythology. This play was the outcome of the utter disappointment and surprise on the World War II and is one among a series of plays adapted during this by the dramatist. Other among adaptations there are Eurydice (1942) and Medee (first performed in 1937; published 1946).
In this paper we will compare and analyze both the versions of the play and explore the common themes. The main focus will be on how and what the themes represented in accordance to the time line they were written in. Also various difficult choices were made in both the plays regarding the pertaining situation, we will analyze the decisions that were made and whether they were the right decisions to be made (Glissant. 1981). We will also provide a stark analysis of all the characters in each of the plays and a comparison of both as well. Since Anouilh's version is an adaption we will also compare that what would Sophocles would have thought of the adaption. In this analysis we will also include the implications of the play in today's world and whether it has any significance. Lastly, we will decide which plays stands out more and why.
Comparison of Various Themes
Given that this play was written in two different time lines, with different strategies and motivations behind them, it still provides the same message of difficult decisions and a fate full of tragedies (Glissant. 1981). However, considering the situations in both the plays are different the themes present will provide a different approach; below we will analyze the different approaches taken towards the theme of the play.
Metaphysical vs. Social/Political
Antigone by Sophocles is a deep comparison and contrast between the two types of laws and justices that man follows; that being the divine religious laws and the one which is at hand which happens to be the law made by man, ruling states, cities and countries. The central figure in the play being that of fate, hence the law of God is shown to be the rule in all the characters fate, which include religious authority, customs and traditions which are increased to the status of the law. The curiosity and questions regarding the rules, law and justice play the main and central figure in the Antigone, it is best depicted when the average standards of the divine justice play the role of inner clash with Creon's will as he plays the role of the head of justice.
The conflicts listed above are extremely close in relation, however this basic set assists in understanding and untangling of various important issues throughout the play. In the Antigone version which was adapted by Anouilh during the Second World War, the character Antigine is as having her values lined up in priorities in each set of laws and rules mentioned above, and Creon is shown in conflict with the second set (Donellan. 1999). This adaption continues to be a dissident and extremely influential play and provides an inspiration for rebels in future generations. In this adaption which also became the most powerful literature on resistance during the Second World War, the main conflict between a person and the power which the state holds has been shown as an important and urgent matter for the people. Antigone is shown to be a massive threat to the then current status quo; she uses the supreme law as a shield for her actions, but is always couched in her position when it comes to faith and in the unrelenting power of her own personal conscience. She is shown to offer her life for sacrifice to please the principles which stand higher than average human laws (Donellan. 1999). On the other hand Creon is shown to sentence her, which proves to condemnation of his ruling.
Youth vs. Maturity
There is no denying the fact that the conflict between youth and maturity is shown by excess or no pride which is most common in Sophcles works is depicted as a trait which is heavily despised by the Gods and is worthy of being punished without any mercy. In Antigone Sophcles mentions the type of pride and arrogance that forces man to substitute divine laws with manmade laws which are limited in their thinking. In the context of the play Creon creates laws thinking that it will substitute the laws laid down by the Gods and calls it the Divine law hence showcasing pride which is worthy of punishment for no human is capable of creating laws that can substitute divine laws and claim it to be right and above any law (Saxonhouse. 1992). As a result of this when the Prophet Tiresias comes to warn Creon that he will suffer a horrible fate, he realizes what he has done but still refuses to admit that fact that he has made a horrible mistake and only bends before the Prophet because he wants his life to be spared, however he does not realize that he has pushed too far this time and as a result he must see the loss of his family in front of his
In the Anouilh version of Antigone, the Nazi occupation is compared to the king Creon as he is shown to be corrupt and blinded by ambitions just like the regime. The clearest example is arrogance, unperceptive power and downright cruelty for the people around them (Saxonhouse. 1992).
Hero vs. Ordinary Human
In both the Antigones the difference between hero and an ordinary human has always been evident and this is showcased by the will of determination to change one's current routine, rules and the policies the common people have to follow and the upper strata is left to do as they will in such times a hero is needed to show what is right and wrong. Hence in one way or the other determination is present in each and every character of the play. Even though fate plays an even more important role in the…[continue]
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