Antigone and a Rasin in the Sun

Topics: A Raisin in the Sun, Gender role, Sophocles Pages: 6 (1876 words) Published: December 8, 2007
Antigone and A Rasin in the Sun
Antigone and A Raisin in the Sun are two pieces of literature that are similar in one way, yet very different in another way. Both are very interesting pieces that were written to captivate even the most critical of audiences. This paper will show similarities as well as differences between the two pieces and their authors.

Antigone is a play written by Sophocles and is about a young girl named Antigone who struggles with written laws of her city, Thebes. Her uncle is King Creon and sentences her to death because she decided to bury her brother, Polynices, after it was declared that he deserved no burial. Antigone's sister, Ismene, was too afraid to go along with her. Antigone's fiancé, (who is also King Creon's son) Haemon, and his mother, Eurydice were appalled by the King's decision to put Antigone to death because she did what she felt was right in her heart. Ultimately, everyone dies and King Creon is left all alone (Tan, 2006).

In comparison, A Raisin in the Sun is a play written by Lorraine Hansberry and is about a black family including a man named Walter Lee Younger who lives in a two bedroom apartment with his wife, Ruth, his son, Travis, his sister, Beneatha, and his mother, Lena (Mama). The family receives an insurance check in the amount of $10,000 for the death of Mama's husband. They all have their own ideas as to where the money should go. Mama wants to buy a house to better their lives, Walter wants to open a bar with his friends, and Beneatha wants to use it for tuition to become a doctor. A white man named Karl comes to their door and offers the family money not to move into the all-white neighborhood in Clybourne Park. Mama puts a down payment on the house anyway, and gives the rest of the money to Walter to deposit in the bank for his business and Beneatha's tuition. However, since Walter does not believe a woman should be a doctor, he gives all the money to his friend Willy, who takes off with the money. The Younger family ends up moving into their new house in Clybourne Park to start a new life for themselves (Cocola, & Douthat, 2006). Sophocles

Antigone was written over two thousand years ago, in a land that is still considered the birthplace of democracy. Sophocles was a part of this democratic movement, but custom, tradition, and the rules of the gods also played an important role in Greek life. This is reflected in some of the themes present in the play: choices and their consequences; custom and tradition; gods and religion, and betrayal. These are everyday issues and they make Antigone constant in terms of its relevance to audiences of all times, as these issues represent some of the fundamental challenges faced by humankind (BookRags, 2006).

Ancient Greek playwrights in Athens wrote plays for the Great Dionysia festival that was held every spring. It was a civic duty to attend these plays, as they dealt with moral and social issues important to the community. Sophocles based Antigone on the Theban myths of the legendary rulers of Thebes, using what was, even in his time, an old story to comment on such issues as the absolute rule of kings and the status of women in society (BookRags, 2006). Lorraine Hansberry

Lorraine Hansberry was born in Chicago on May 19, 1930. Although 1930 is the year that most Americans associate with the Great Depression, Hansberry's family remained economically solvent through this period. By 1930s standards, the Hansberry's were certainly upper middle class, but by the standards of most Chicago blacks, many of whom lived in abject poverty at this time, they would have been considered "rich."

Hansberry was never comfortable with her "rich girl" status, identifying instead with the "children of the poor." Admiring the feistiness exhibited by these children who were so often left alone, Hansberry often imitated their maturity and independence. They wore house keys around their necks, symbols of their "latchkey...
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