Existentialism In Antigone

Decent Essays
During the mid – 20th century, French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre coined the phrase “existence precedes essence”. This is a central claim of existentialism. This philosophical theory stated that humans have no predetermined purpose and that any purpose your life has is given to it by you. Existentialism was a popular approach during and after World War II, which was when Anouilh wrote this version of Antigone, that led many people to abandon any belief in an ordered world. Although Jean Anouilh isn’t an existentialist, in his play, Antigone, he writes Antigone as a character who shows many characteristics that fit with a few ideas of existentialism to represent the indifference of the universe to human concerns.
The central idea of existentialism is that human beings define themselves. We are put into this world without a set path that we are supposed to follow. We must create our own ambitions and values. We have to find our own reason for living. Antigone values the innocence of untainted beauty and has a general love for life. We see this when she talks to the nurse about where she has been at the beginning of the play, in which she says “It was beautiful. The whole world was grey when I went out… It’s like a postcard” (6). You can see here that she loves nature and the beauty of the world. When Creon tries to explain to her how to attain happiness, she responds with, “I want to be sure of everything this very day; sure that everything will be as beautiful as when I
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