Antigone and of Mice and Men

Topics: Sophocles, Tragedy, Character Pages: 2 (684 words) Published: March 14, 2013
Tragic Elements of Antigone and OMM
A tragedy is a serious work of fiction that presents the downfall of its protagonist, who through some error in judgment, weakness in character, or twist of fate suffers crushing defeat or death. It also must involve incidents arousing pity and fear. The novel Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, and the Greek drama Antigone, by Sophocles, both have the woeful elements of a tragedy. In Antigone, the main character Antigone is of the cursed family of Oedipus, who unwittingly slew his father and married his mother, who bore him two sons and two daughters. The Gods, enraged by this incestuous relationship, cursed Oedipus’ entire bloodline. In Of Mice and Men, two men struggle to make ends in the brutal times of the Great Depression, by traveling across America looking for jobs as ranch hands. Lennie, the larger of the two, has a mental disability, so George, Lennie’s best and only friend, takes care of him no matter how many times Lennie gets them into trouble.

The Greek drama Antigone exemplifies the definition of a tragedy because not only does it arouse pity, it also shows the protagonist suffering crushing defeat and death. The antagonist of the story, Creon, also the uncle of Antigone, decreed that no one could give his nephew Polynices death rites, on the grounds that a traitor cannot be granted a proper burial. In Greek culture, this is means that the soul will be trapped forever on Earth, never to be allowed access to the Underworld. This arouses pity for Polynices, because he has drift around Earth for all eternity, and is labeled a traitor unworthy of a burial by his own uncle. Another tragic element of the story is when Antigone was sentenced to death by Creon, after she was seen giving her brother a burial. This scene is a pertinent example of tragedy because it shows the protagonist being punished for doing the right thing, merely because Creon wants to show his resolve. The last tragic...
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