Theories on Tragedy in Antigone

1897 WordsJun 20, 20188 Pages
Theories on Tragedy in Antigone Many dramatic theorists have documented their opinions of Sophocles' tragic play Antigone. They have presented their interpretations as to the motives and moral character of Antigone and Creon. I will attempt to encapsulate the basic logic behind the arguments of the critics Brian Vickers, A.C. Bradley (who interprets Hegel), and H. D. F. Kitto, and venture my own humble opinion as to their validity. Brian Vickers clearly favors the character of Antigone. He challenges Hegel and Hegel's view that both Creon and Antigone were essentially right in their beliefs. Vickers sums up Hegel's theories in a single diagram (Vickers 526), showing Creon and Antigone as forces in…show more content…
Oedipus' unyielding quest for the truth fits his self image as a man of action, the revealer of truth, and the solver of riddles. Knox adds that the hero's determination to act is "always announced in emphatic, uncompromising terms." (Knox 22). Oedipus proclaims his intention of finding Laius' killers by saying, "Then once more I must bring what is dark to light." (Sophocles 49). The hero cannot be swayed by threats nor reason; he will not capitulate. Creon, after being accused by Oedipus of conspiring against the king, retorted, "You do wrong when you take good men for bad, bad men for good. . . . In time you will know this well." (Sophocles 58). Oedipus, however, never learns in time; he remains unchanged. Oedipus, after his terrible self-mutilation, realizes that he treated Creon unjustly: "Alas, how can I speak to him? What right have I to beg his courtesy whom I deeply wronged?" (Sophocles 70). But later, Creon has to remind Oedipus that he is no longer king when he starts issuing imperious commands such as: "But let me go, Creon!"; "Take pity on them; see, they are only children, friendless except for you."; "Promise me this, Great Prince, and give me your hand in token of it."; "No! Do not take them from me!"

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