The Excitement of Antigone
Sophocles manages to make internal events as exciting as external events in the play Antigone. Family and religion are sensitive subjects to this day and increase the excitement of events that wouldn’t be exciting otherwise. By emphasizing family affairs and religious beliefs, Sophocles makes internal and psychological dealings as exciting as they would be given external sources.
The struggle between people is intensified when there are family relations and brings the audience closer to the characters on stage. In Antigone the drama between Creon, Antigone’s father figure at the time, and Antigone is what generates the problem for Creon regarding killing Antigone and enforcing his law, or protecting his immediate family. Since family members are closer to each other, there are more conflicting emotions surrounding Creon due to Antigone being his niece, “ANTIGONE. Would you aught more/Than take my life whom you did catch? CREON. Not I; /Take that, take all. ANTIGONE. Then why do you delay?...” (Sophocles 19). This adds anticipation to the audience since they all have their own family and relatives that they would look out for. Sophocles puts the audience in Creon’s shoes and adds to the tragedy of Antigone’s death. Although family is a rather large topic that daily life revolves around, religious beliefs also connect the audience to Antigone and Polynieces.
Using religion, Sophocles reels the audience in using a topic that they feel strongly towards. Antigone knew that burying the enemy was decreed illegal and punishable by death by her uncle, but did not hesitate in burying her brother. CREON. And you made free to overstep my law? ANTIGONE. Because it was not Zeus who ordered it, /Nor Justice, dweller with the Nether Gods, /Gave such a law to men; nor did I deem/ Your ordinance of so much binding force that a mortal man could overbear/ The unchangeable unwritten code of Heaven ;/This is not of today and yesterday,/ But lives...
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