Discussion Board Responses
There are three discussion posts from fellow classmates below. I need thoughtful and intellectual replies to each post. Each reply should be a short paragraph of 5-7 sentences and can include insightful questions posed to the student being replied to.
The document returned to me should identify Post: XX XX with the respective response.
Post: #1 WE DA
I believe the climax of Antigone is when Creon returns to his palace, after finding the bodies of both Antigone and his son Haemon. Creon returns with the leader of the citizens to be told by a messenger that his wife has committed suicide after learning of the death of her son. The tension had been building prior to this point when the audience learned of the deaths of both Haemon and Antigone through the conversation between the messenger, the leader of the citizens, and Eurydice.
On the surface it would appear that Antigone is about duty, duty to state or government vs duty to a higher power. Both Antigone and Creon make decisions during the course of the play as to which duty they place above the others. I don’t know a great deal about ancient Greek burial customs but from the footnotes in our text, Drama, A Pocket Anthology I gather that burial was regarded as a duty to your family member and apparently was required by the gods. Creon decided to break with this tradition when he declared that Polynices was to be left on the battlefield to rot. Antigone on the other hand finds her duty to the gods and her family more important than the duty to obey the laws of her state, and attempts to bury Polynices.
However I feel a deeper message than this is also embedded in this story. Both Antigone and Creon end up victims of their own pride and hubris. Creon makes a decree which I’m sure he knew flew in the faces of the gods and tradition, very likely to just to show his new subjects that he had such power. He must have known how this decree would affect his nieces; however he refused to be moved, even by the pleas of his own son. Antigone’s character is portrayed as prideful throughout. She condemns her sister for not being willing to perform the illegal act of burying their brother and still refuses to forgive her even when her sister is wrongly accused along side her. Her confession to Creon is unapologetic, and demonstrates pride and a feeling of superiority in the deed she just committed. In the end pride and hubris bring down both Antigone and Creon, Antigone loses her life and Creon loses his family.
Post: #2 DO CO
Antigone is a Greek tragedy that was written by Sophocles and follows the form of climatic drama. King Oedipus has died and his sons, Eteocles and Polynices, are engaged in a civil war to determine who will be king of Thebes and they end up killing each other (Wilson & Goldfarb, 2012, p. 40). Antigone’s uncle Creon becomes the king of Thebes and issues an edict that “Eteocles, who died defending the city, is to be buried with full honors, while Polynices, the invader is left to rot. Furthermore, Creon has declared that anyone attempting to bury Polynices shall be publicly stoned to death” (Higgins & Higgins, 2017, para. 2). The play opens with Antigone telling her sister Ismene that she plans to defy Creon’s order and give her brother Polynices an honorable burial (Wilson & Goldfarb, 2012, p. 40).
The philosophical questions of human law versus divine law, fate versus free will, and wisdom versus power are all addressed in the play Antigone. Although there are multiple themes, the main one seems to be the dangers of pride (Bachelorandmaster.com, 2017). Creon, full of the power of his new position as king of Thebes, decrees that Polynices is not to be given burial and in doing so defies the divine law of giving humans a proper burial after death. His pride also plays a role in his initial unwillingness to pardon Antigone for defying his orders. Women occupied a very low position in ancient Greek society (Bachelorandmaster.com, 2017). The fact that Antigone, a woman, dared to defy a man’s and king’s orders prevents him from acknowledging that she is right to adhere to divine law. When Creon finally puts his pride aside and listens to reason, it is already too late. His actions have precipitated a series of calamities that cannot be stopped and will leave him alone and mourning the lives of those he holds most dear (Wilson & Goldfarb, 2012).
Wilson and Goldfarb (2012) explain that in a crisis drama the action begins with the characters in the midst of their struggles near the climax, or high point, of the story (p. 38). The climax of the story comes when Creon admits the error of his ways and decides to free Antigone from the rock vault only to discover that she has hung herself. This is the emotional high point of the story. The tragic results of King Creon’s pride are revealed in the death of the heroine Antigone which further leads to Creon’s son, Haemon, killing himself due to grief over Antigone and Creon’s wife killing herself due to grief over Haemon (Magher, 2017, para. 2).
Post: #3 DI TW
The climax of Antigone is when Creon sentences his niece Antigone to imprisonment in a rock vault for breaking the law, the oracle Teiresias tells Creon that if he does not bury his nephew Polyneices’ body and freeing Antigone, the gods will forever curse the city of Thebes. He immediately swallows his pride, buries Polyneices’ body and heads to the vault to free Antigone. Unfortunately, Creon’s change of heart is too late to save Antigone, which ends up setting off a fatal chain of events.
The main themes of Antigone are Power and Loyalty. Creon was a reasonable man, whereas when he inherits the role of king, he becomes arrogant and cruel. The character Creon honors the brother who defends Thebes but forbids the removal of the corpse of the second, condemning it to rot as a traitor. Creon feels that his laws are higher than the divine laws. Antigone, moved by loyalty for her brother and convinced of the injustice of the command, which she believes violates divine law, buries his body secretly. For this crime, Creon orders she be buried alive in a cave, just because her views are different from his.