Analysis of Antigone as a Greek Tragedy

Topics: Tragedy, Sophocles, Tragic hero Pages: 2 (750 words) Published: December 18, 2012
Analysis of Antigone

A Greek tragedy is very unique it’s structure, composition, and language. The tragedy usually begins with a prologue in which one or more characters introduce the drama and explain the background. It involves a Chorus of some sorts, which says or explains the situation that is developing on the scene, and also includes a tragic hero who comes from noble bloodline and has a tragic flaw that ultimately causes his downfall. The hero’s downfall is caused often times, by fate, something that is inevitable or unavoidable. The tragedy then ends with the Exodus, which shows the dissolution of the story. Through the tragic downfall, the author usually strikes catharsis in readers, causing them to feel sympathy and remorse for the tragic hero. Sophocles, one of the masters of Greek tragedies, uses these characteristics to write “Antigone”. Through analysis of “Antigone”, it is clear that many elements of Greek tragedies are present, which obviously classifies “Antigone” as a tragic play.

One of the more evident characteristics of Greek tragedy exemplified in “Antigone” is the use of a Chorus. The Chorus comes in around line one hundred and says, “Against our land he marched, sent here by the warring claims of Polyneices, with piercing screams, an eagle flying above our land, covered wings as white as snow, and hordes of warriors in arms, helmets topped with horsehair crests.” The Chorus comes in celebrating the recent Theban victory. It serves as means of providing background information on the scene. Through the chorus, it becomes clear that the Thebans have just won a battle. The Chorus tells the story of Oedipus killing his father and marrying his mother, and his two sons fighting over the thrown after their father’s death. The Chorus recreates in bloody imagery the battle to take Thebes. In Greek tragedies, the ultimate purpose of the Chorus is to offer a variety of background and summary information to help the audience follow the...
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