‘Antigone’ Paper 2 Essay
(e). Evil not only fascinates people in general, but writers as well. In what ways and with what effect has “evil” been treated in Antigone?
In the play of ‘Antigone’, evil appears in many forms. There is the soldier who is a traitor to his nation; the sister trying to prove her love for her family yet ends up breaking the law; the king who so eagerly tries to stop rule-breakers yet he himself neglects his flesh and blood. Here the difference of the two works is seen: The Earth of Mankind gives the impression that characters of power possess evil, whereas in Antigone, evil can be inside all of these opposing individuals. Polyneices, a soldier who fought against his own nation was to be punished as a traitor by not burying him after his death. When his sister, Antigone, goes against the King’s decree and burry Polyneices, she was also seen as a traitor to her country. However their other sibling, Ismene, who sits at home as Antigone fights for her brother’s right, is also said to have performed a crime of being a traitor to her family. Now something we can see from here is that each and every character involved in the story so far possesses evil. This message is summed up by Sophocles in page 204 of the book, in Ode 1, where it says, ‘O fate of man, working both good and evil!’ What the writer is trying to convey here is more realistic than what is said in ‘The Earth of Mankind’; both evil and good is naturally inside everyone’s mind. It is one’s choice to do which, but performing a crime is inevitable. Everyone has his or her own ‘evil’ deeds, not only the powerful ones.
As seen in my previous explanation on who performs evil deeds in the play of ‘Antigone’, we can see that one evil act leads to another, whereas the chain of good doings ends sooner. Eteocles, who was a soldier and a brother to Antigone, fought bravely for his nation and was buried with honor by the King. Although many respect him for his virtuosity, the play...
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