The Isolation of Antigone and Lady Macbeth

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Antigone Criticism Review

The article, The Isolation of Antigone and Lady Macbeth by Catherine Bradshaw Boyd, is an analytical writing that compares and contrasts “two magnificent women characters” know as “the great figures of Antigone and Lady Macbeth.” In the thesis statement of this article, the author states that although the stories were “centuries apart, in civilizations vastly different from religious and philosophical standpoints” the characters created by the authors are centered around an idea of isolation. Although the reasoning behind the laws violated by each character differed, both of them shared common characteristics relating to the feelings shown as the actions took place and the realization of their situation in the end(anagnorisis).

The theme of isolation is evident in both Macbeth and Antigone. In these stories, the prominent characters(s) seem to be isolated from others because of their beliefs and/or actions. Antigone is alone at the beginning of the play when her sister decides that she is not going to take part in the burial of Polynices. This isolation from her sister, the only family member she has alive, leads to Antigone’s development of “emotional individualism”. Lady Macbeth’s isolation is caused by her partaking and plotting a murder. Since most women of that time were seen as delicate, Lady Macbeth separated herself from the social norms because of her “casual acceptance of the murder of Duncan”, “her apparent indifference to the blood of her victim”, and her “monstrosity”.

Antigone and Lady Macbeth seem to have no remorse or regret for their felonious actions. According to Boyd, Lady Macbeth “almost gloats as her husband is committing the murder.” This action shows that she was proud that she had the ability to convince her husband to commit an act that beforehand he would not of. The fact that Lady Macbeth took advantage of “every possible moment” characterizes her a seducing or persuasive woman. As Antigone was being...
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