“Antigone” is a Greek tragedu by Sophocles written before or in 442 BC. The play expands on the Theban legend that predated it and picks up where Aeschyius’ “Seven Against Thebes” ends. “Antigone” is typical of the drama of ancient Greece and there are many evident features that support this. Ancient Greek drama is literary work with dialogue written in verse (really) and by actors such as Creon and Haeman speak in shifted tones of tension that prevail conflict. Another element of Ancient Greek drama is dramatic irony and this is the failure of a character to see or understand what has been obvious to the audience.
Oedipus for example was unaware early of what the audience knew: that he killed his father then married his mother, Jucasia. Chorus is another element and are bystandards in a play who present oaes on the action. The chorus, in the plays of Sophocles had the job of explaining action, interpreting it in relation to laws of state and gods, foreshadow the future, serve as acter in play, to sing and dance and to give the author’s views. This was all present in the play of “Antigone”.
Anagnerosis is a moment of epiphany and this occurs in “Antigone” when Creon realizes what he did to Antigone is wrong but is too late to save Antigone. In Greek plays both antagonists and protagonists are prsent and “Antigone” playes part of the antagonist. (could it have been other way round? ) Catharsis is a part of ancient Greek drama and is a purification of emotions where audience members resolve to avoid conflicts of the main characters, for example Creon in “Antigone” arouses fear and/or pity, or the audience members transfer their pity and fear to the main character.
Hubris is another element of the drama Ancient Greece and is the flaw of the protagonist. In “Antigone” Creon’s hubris was his great pride that led to his downfall. Sophocles crafts the tension of the play as “Antigone” starts off at a point of tension where Antigone plans to break the law that is followed by a serious consiquence. Sophocles introduces new characters such as Haeman, and at the climax Creon’s wife is introduced adding to the tenstion. The argument between Antigone and Creon is gradually intensified.
The chorus serve to build the tension by their interference and side comments interpreting the action and foreshadowing the future. Teiresias, the blind prophet, adds tension to the play (more conflict and foreshadowing). Sophocles constructs tension between rival claims of justice, between individual and familiar claims and needs of the polis, between human striving and human weakness, between human individual conscience and human comminal judgement and between seeing and blindness.
The males such as Creon prioritize polis over oikos and the females, such as Antigone, prioritize oikes over polis causing the central tension throughout the play. The tension of the tragic plot is the tension of a spring. (what does this metaphor mean? ) Sophocles is a writer who possesses the craft to build tension using techniques to prevail messages and intensify and magnify tension. The historical context, in which “Antigone” was written, was one of natural tension (why? Funny place to end comments)