Antigone: Changing Views of the Chorus

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Antigone: Changing Views of The Chorus

The chorus, a group of common people who follow the actions of the play Antigone, waver in their support of either Antigone or Creon, depending on their actions during a particular part of the story-line. Early in the play it is evident that they are extremely pro-Creon, but a short time later they seem to sway into the direction of Antigone and support her actions. This incongruency about the them, however, was an extremely interesting feature of this Sophocles drama, causing the reader to question the reliability of the chorus.

The opening lines from the chorus merely inform the reader about the war which had just taken place between Thebes and Argos. Their last lines of this opening choral passage, however, introduced king Creon, making him seem quite noble yet mysterious to his loyal subjects. They state such questions as: " what new plan will he launch?" and "Why this sudden call to the old men summoned at one command?" (Lines 175-178) These lines are utilized by Sophocles as a suspenseful introduction to Creon's orders concerning the body of Polynices.

The chorus's next appearance blatantly shows their biased attitudes against Antigone and her exiled father Oedipus. At this point they still sing praise for King Creon and his unwavering decisions concerning the law which was placed upon the city regarding the body of Polynices: "When he weaves in the laws of the land, and the justice of the gods that binds his oaths together, he and his city rise high--but the city casts out that man who weds himself to inhumanity thanks to reckless daring. Never share my hearth never think my thoughts, whoever does such things." (Lines 409-416) In my opinion the man laying down the law here is Creon and Antigone is the "man" wedding herself to inhumanity.

The next major choral address is a turning point regarding their attitude towards Antigone. At this point they are actually feeling pity towards the...
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