Analysis Of Sophocles ' Antigone By Sophocles And The Libation Bearers

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Since ancient times, Greece has honored the importance of family relationships and values through their literature and culture. The importance of kinship is seen explicitly in the plays Antigone by Sophocles and The Libation Bearers by Aeschylus. Both plays utilize family values as their central theme and root of action. The depth of blood bonds is the driving force behind the thoughts, actions and decisions of the characters and the conflict and plot in the plays. However, the path that each character takes branches from this theme. Though the source of motivation in both plays coincide, the characters in each play approach familial values differently. While the characters in Antigone respond in a more traditional and proper way, the characters in The Libation Bearer that respond with bloody and dark actions. In Antigone, Antigone’s actions are spurred by love and loyalty towards her brother, Polyneices. When her brother’s corpse is left to rot without a proper burial, Antigone takes it upon herself to bury her brother against the threat of death penalty administered by Creon who had assumed the throne of her land. Antigone is the paradigm of piety by showing unwavering loyalty to her brother even in the face of death. “I shall never be found his traitor” (Sophocles 22). The word “traitor” implies that Antigone sees inaction as a betrayal to her brother. She feels obligated to bury his corpse even though her brother and her parents are unable to pass judgement upon her.

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