Antigone: Catharsis Analysis Essay

1138 Words Feb 4th, 2014 5 Pages
Sympathy for Others
As stated by Sophocles in Antigone, "Numberless are the world's wonders, but none More wonderful than man" (Ode 1 1-2). Landscapes like the grand canyon, the wide expanse of oceans, weather, tall mountains are all magnificent features, but none as great as Man. Man is the only thing in this world, that has free will to think about anything or do anything whenever they want to. If one wants to dance, he or she is free to do so, if one wants to sing he or she can do so. Man can also feel emotions such as happiness, sadness, or even confusion. The purging of emotions in reaction to something especially tragedies or music is known as a catharsis. In Antigone by Sophocles, the audience experiences a catharsis for a
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The bare situation that Antigone is in calls for a purge of emotions from the audience. Her suicide states that she did not want to deal with her life anymore to such an extent that it would be better if she killed herself rather than take her chances. The tone of the moment when the messenger described the scene was one of melancholy and grief for everyone knew exactly what she went through and why. The helplessness of Antigone calls for sympathy from the readers.
Haemon is another character who calls for a release of emotions by the audience. As Haemon learns of Antigone's rising conflict with Creon over the burial of Polyneicies, Haemon confronts Creon by stating "I am your son, Father. You are my guide. You make things clear for me, and I obey you. No marriage means more to me than your continuing wisdom" (III 8-10). Haemon is engaged to Antigone, but now knowing that Creon craves for her death of, Haemon chooses to submit to his father's desires. Haemon gives up his marriage due to his father revealing the love and loyalty Haemon has for his father. The audience lays compassion on Haemon in such a situation where his loyalty to his father costs him the love of his life. Later on in the story, the messenger comes with grave news to the Choragus which is revealed to be that "Haemon is dead; and the hand that killed him Is his own hand" (Exodus 19-20). Haemon's enormous love…