The Conflict Of Rebellion By Anouilh 's Antigone

Decent Essays
Rebellion stems from oppression, while the potency it has to change norms varies from context. In Anouilh’s Antigone, the protagonist fights against a ruler to create change. The main idea evoked through the play is that rebellion is an ideology rather than a set of physical actions, and like all ideologies, naturally spreads through society. Antigone rebels for herself, but never completes her goal. Her rebellion affects others, like Haemon and Ismene, changing their perceptions and actions. Additionally, her struggle did not bury her brother, but rather unveiled the intricate workings of dynamic characters. Accordingly, Anouilh’s Antigone explores the causes, consequences, and value of rebellion in regard to character change.

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The consequence Antigone’s rebellion had upon Creon’s kingdom was physically negligible, but her message was diffused through the land. All she wanted was peace for her brother, while Polynices was never buried. She was put to death, later committing suicide, along with Haemon and Queen Eurydice. The physical outcome of her struggle against the tyrant were only royal deaths, with Creon attending a “Privy Council” (60) meeting right after, symbolizing the lack of emotional response his position gives him following the suicides. He remains unchanged from Antigone’s rebellion, though he may have a few more “grey-hair[s]” (4) afterwards. However, there was a shift in society after Antigone’s struggle. Ismene initially was against her sister’s actions and tries to make her see why she was “mad” (11) . However, Antigone’s opposition persuaded Ismene to have a change of heart and declare “I’ll go [bury Polynices] tomorrow!” (49) within the earshot of Creon. She was willing to die because Antigone’s passion was so persuasive. Ismene symbolizes the status quo, showing their development from naysayers to the rebel’s strongest supporter. Rebellion’s infectious allure brought in Haemon as well, to a different extent. Haemon opposed his father’s inhuman decision and took his life, cementing himself as a rebel against the throne. He remained loyal to his fiancee, who he couldn’t
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