Compare and contrast between Antigone and Hamlet

Topics: Sophocles, Antigone, Hamlet Pages: 4 (1217 words) Published: February 14, 2008
Dilemma of ExistenceHamlet and AntigoneThe two classic plays Hamlet and Antigone share many themes and traits. They both challenge the ideas of life and death but still keep things on a level that anyone can relate to. This is why they are considered classics and are still read to this day. In this essay, I will be discussing the similarities and differences of these two classics and also analyzing the characters.

One theme that is present in both books is pride. Antigone has a lot of pride. She goes against what the government says and buries her brother. She has pride in what she did. Antigone says, "I won't insist, no, even if you should have a change of heart, I'd never welcome you in the labor"(Sophocles 63). She wants to be know for what she did. She also says, "Dear God, shout it from the rooftops. I'll hate you all the more for silence" (Sophocles 64). This just reinforces the fact that she was proud of what she did and wanted everyone to know. The same thing kind of happens in Hamlet. When Hamlet kills Polonius. He doesn't try to shift blame of to remove blame from himself but he admits to it and then says, "you shall nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby" (Shakespeare 222). Both main characters have extreme pride in all that they do however the two books do differ in one way. This way is the punishment and treatment of their actions. In Hamlet, Hamlet's actions are, for the most part, ignored because he hides the body and they cannot pin the murder of Polonius on him. In Antigone, Antigone is witnessed burying the body and when confronted about it she admits fully to the burial. This just shows little differences in the actions of the two main characters.

Another theme present in both books is tyrrany. In Antigone, Creon is in many ways a sympathetic character, but he abuses his power subtly - mainly by decreeing man's law as a consequence of divine will. His faults do not necessarily stem from a lust for power, for he often has noble...

Cited: . Eliot, T.S. "Hamlet and His Problems." The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism (1922). 12 Feb. 2008 .
2. Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Ed. Laurie Barnett. New York: Spark, 2003.
3. Sophocles. The Three Theban Plays: Antigone. Trans. Robert Fagles. New York: Penguin Group, 1984. 59-128.
4. Wood, Emily. " 'Antigone ' Poses Moral Challenge." The Daily Yomiuri (2003). 13 Feb. 2008.
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