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Sophocles Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Is Pride to Blame in the Antigone Tragedy?

The fate of Creon is sealed by his decision to make an example of his niece, and quickly becomes tragic in Antigone. Creon shows us his lack of leadership skills by creating situations in which he loses the respect of his advisors, and the love of his family. The inability to overcome foolish pride is Creon’s greatest fault and the direct cause of his fall from grace. Initially, the author uses foreshadowing to hint at the upcoming turn of events. Choragos statement during the Parodos “For God hates utterly The bray of bragging tongues;” warns that no man is above God’s wrath (Sophocles 1327-8). This prediction comes to fruition as the rotting corpse brings disease and wild beasts to Thebes….

5 Points of Oedipus Rex

Five Important Points of “On Misunderstanding the Oedipus Rex” • Oedipus Rex attempt to justify the ways of God to man by: 1. “Proving” that we get what we deserve. An example is how Oedipus treated Creon badly, so the gods punished him. 2. Oedipus Rex is “a tragedy of destiny”, the play “proves that man has no freewill and is controlled by gods. 3. Sophocles was “a pure artist”, so he is not interested in justifying the gods, and Oedipus Rex was merely an exciting play. • Oedipus did horrible things unknowingly, if they did it knowingly, readers won’t feel pity. The tragic hero must have a big moral flaw. • A significant difference between Sophocles and Aeschylus is…

Sophocles: Antigone the Famous Play in Ancient Greek

In the famous play Antigone, by the ancient Greek writer Sophocles, many values of the culture in Thebes is portrayed through Antigone’s actions and experiences. In Antigone’s quest to bury her brother, she is alienated from society due to her uncle Creon – who also happens to be the king of Thebes. Creon, who is unwilling to let a woman get the better of him, refuses to let his responsibility to his family overpower his responsibility to the state. Although Creon is reluctant to believe that what Antigone did was just, he is sympathetic because he believes that the Gods would have not wanted a traitor –such as her brother-to be buried. Antigone buries her fallen brother with the hope…

Antigone Right V. Right

A famous German philosopher named Hegel claimed, “At the heart of the Greek tragedy is the spectacle of right vs. right.” The central idea of the tragedies was not about who was right and wrong, because those two would be effortless to separate from each other, but on who was considered the most right, which would many times be difficult to tell apart. Throughout the tragic play, Antigone, written by the ancient Greek playwright, Sophocles, Antigone was proven to be the most right. This can be verified since Antigone decided to follow the gods’ law over Creon’s law, and the punishment that she received from Creon was far too unreasonable. Antigone does what is ethical by pursuing what would be…

Creon Character Trait

The Greek tragedy Antigone, by Sophocles, introduces characters that can be described as tragic heroes. This tragedy has the character face with a dramatic reconciliation. Creon, one of the main characters in the play, is a major tragic hero because of his personal characteristics and the actions he made. There were three specific characteristics that can be explained to describe Creon’s personality. He was ignorant, rude and insecure. Creon had a natural habit of being ignorant of others. He refuses to notice other people’s opinion, advice and point of view. Creon believes that since he was the king, he had the right to make decisions without bothering to discuss it with others. Creon refuses to listen to the wise words…

John Q/ Antigone

According to Martin Luther King Jr “ The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. In other words, that you could only judge a person if he/she is good or not at something when they’re in a hard time or non-easy. The first work of literature that relates to the quote is Antigone written by Sophocles. One literary device that is present in this work which will help to support my interpretation of the quote is characterization. Antigone’s character in this story is very brave and determined. The reason why I think she is brave is because Creon established a rule…

King Oedipus Questions

1. Oedipus characterizes himself by in line 7 of scene 1, Oedipus says, “I Oedipus, a name that all men know.”(known afar) This shows he has much pride for himself. He feels he is very important, and that no one is above him. He knows the people need his help, and he feels prideful that they would need him. The people view him as their saviour. They are relieved to have him there to help them, and they almost worship him for his help. But as for Oedipus his attitude towards the suppliants is good, he anticipates his subjects needs and is always one step ahead of them. 2. The conditions in Thebes the Priest describes is there city is…

Hell Hath No Fury Like Medea Scorned

In Euripides’s Medea, revenge can lead to destructive actions. This theme is a central part to the tragedy, mostly because it pops up time and time again. Euripides, through the use of motif, makes Medea’s desire for revenge seem conceivable. Not only has Jason left her by marrying Creon’s daughter, but Creon has exiled her from Corinth because she “nourish[es] rancorous ill will toward [Jason and Creusa] whom [he] intends to protect” (Euripides 92). The protagonist is left with ultimately nothing and blames her misfortune on Jason. Throughout the play, Medea is described as a very determined and passionate woman who will stop at nothing to serve her sweet revenge. The death motif supports Medea’s theme of revenge because it…

Oedipus and the Sphinx

“Know Thyself” is sage advice. “All Things in Moderation” is also a wise saying. King Oedipus, subject of the most tragic story ever written, brought about his own downfall because of his excessive obsession to know himself. And, try as he might, the more he tried to escape his tragic Fate, the closer it got… Thus, some say that the moral of the story is, Even if you try to thwart your destiny, you won’t succeed. The concept of predestination plays a large role here. For example, if the gods know what will happen, and events are pre-ordained, how can people make free choices or have any semblance of free will? If the gods put challenges in our way that…

Oedipus: the Fate of Poweruful a King

Imagine being a hero, and your destiny is to kill your father and marry your mother. This is Oedipus’s fate. When he was still a baby, his parents heard of the prophecy they had a shepherd take Oedipus to Kithairon to die. There the shepherd gave the baby to another shepherd from Corinth, where Oedipus was given to the king and queen. In Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, Oedipus proves himself to be a tragic hero by exhibiting the four traits of a tragic hero; goodness, superiority, tragic flaw and tragic realization. Oedipus has goodness, the first trait of a tragic hero. Oedipus is determined to solve the problem in Thebes, and declare to Creon that “once more [he] must bring…

The Burial at Thebes

What is the main contribution made by the Chorus in The Burial at Thebes? Answer with specific references to the text of the play. In this assignment I aim to show the main contribution made by the Chorus in The Burial at Thebes and in doing so I shall answer with specific references to the text of the play. Whilst working through the play I shall consider and explore several contributions, this will include; how the Chorus is used to link the narrative of the play, how the Chorus serves as a voice for the community of Thebes, how the Chorus acts as a critical friend of the two main character’s Antigone and Creon and finally how the Chorus offers…

Political Science

1) Who is Oedipus? Jocasta? Laius? Theseus? Answer: Oedipus is the son of Laius and Jocasta there was prophet that he was going to kill his father and wed his mother. Laius is the king of Thebes and Oedipus’ father who was killed as a fulfillment on an oracle. Theseus is the king of Athens who takes Oedipus in and protects him after he has suffered greatly. 2) In the play Oedipus Rex, what is the relationship between truth, freedom, identity, and responsibility? Answer: Fate is inescapable. Oedipus learning the truth is him learning his identity and with freedom comes responsibility. 3) What is pollution? OR, why must Oedipus assume responsibility for things he did not know? Answer: Pollution is…

The tragedy of Antigone

The tragedy of Antigone is the culmination of Sophocles’ line of troubles for the Oedipan line, beginning with the unmasking of the King’s tragic secret. The last tale of the doomed Theban family, however, was different from the other two stories; here, the main theme was not the unfolding of tragedy as willed by fate, but a defiant challenge to mortal pride. Antigone faced Creon to challenge the dishonorable sentence to her brother, and also to unmask the pride by which the Theban King defied the gods. Dante’s Divine Comedy follows a similar theme: driven by the despair of wrath and pride, the poet-pilgrim is led by the spirit of Virgil through the recesses of his soul to see first-hand…

Oedipus Rex

“Fear? What should a man fear? It’s all chance, chance rules our lives. Not a man on earth can see a day ahead, groping through the dark. Better to live at random, best we can.” (lines 1068-1072) The themes of fate and light and darkness are prominent in Oedipus Rex, a play written in ancient Greece by the famous poet Sophocles. Oedipus was a powerful Greek king and was notable for his compassion, sense of justice and his swiftness of thought and action. Unfortunately for him, his life fell ill when the prophecy of his birth came true. Throughout the play, the audience experiences a series of emotions. They experience pity, fear, and anger. At the end of the play,…

The Consequence of Oedipus’ Pride

Throughout history, all great fallen leaders have shared one common trait: an overinflated ego. Oedipus from Sophocles’ Oedipus the King is no different. From his beginnings as the prince of Corinth, Oedipus had always been held as a man of great status. After cleverly defeating the Sphinx to gain the rule of Thebes, he was considered more highly than ever, until his sense of arrogance grew to dangerous proportions. Eventually, this fatal flaw of pride effectuated Oedipus’ destruction by leading him to hunt down the murderer of Laius, ignore the advice of Teiresias, and disregard Jocasta’ fear of the truth. From the very start, Oedipus doomed himself by launching a search for the killer of Laius in hopes of further…

Sisterly Love

In Bernhard Frank’s literary criticism, “Sophocles’ Antigone”, he presents the reader with elements of questionable motive and incest, not readily seen by most. Frank essentially believes that Antigone’s obvious death wish comes from being the “ill-fated bride” (line 801) not of Haemon, but rather, of her deceased brother, Polyneices. Frank says that, “it is as the bride of her slain brother that Antigone may see herself” (Frank, pg1). Frank uses Antigone’s indifference to Haemon and excessive love of her brother as support for his argument. Frank suggests that it would be reasonable to expect Antigone to want to live to become the bride of Haemon. He says it would also be reasonable to expect Antigone to wish for death if…

Sophocles’ Antigone: Situational Irony in Scene Three

In an argument between King Creon and his son Haimon, the author reveals that with power, pride and refusal of corrections start to develop. In the Greek play Antigone, Sophocles creates a story about an arrogant, power-hungry king. In doing so, he reveals the consequences of being a dictator, rather than being a noble ruler —an issue that can be found in many countries since many governments today abuse their power. Through the use of symbolism and motifs, Sophocles created a world that is clutched in the hands of a tyrant; he shows how a man who is satisfied by power becomes the one clutched by him. The situational irony in scene three truly emphasizes Creon’s issues as a king….

Antigone: an Assessment of Antigone’s and Creon

How was your understanding of cultural and contextual considerations of the work developed through the interactive oral? After taking part in the interactive oral presentation carried out by Sonia’s group, I now believe that I have gained a much greater understanding of the play Antigone. Themes commented on by the presentation were women, religion and tragedy; further examining their place in society at the time the play was written by contrasting it to society today. Obstacles hindering my understanding of the play, including its time and setting, have been removed. After comparing so vividly the society of Ancient Greece and that of the one I live in, I can now empathize with Antigone and the rest of the characters in…

Oedipus Tyrannus through Freuds eyes

Oedipus Tyrannus is deemed as Sophocles’s magnum opus and is undoubtedly the most famous of all Greek tragedies. Aristotle went to the extent of calling it a perfect play. It was first performed in around 425 b. c. , only just after a plague that had wreaked havoc on Athens, Oedipus Tyrannus was set in Thebes, a city which was also facing the same catastrophe. King Oedipus was informed by the Creon, the brother of Oedipus’s wife, Jocasta that the city will remain a sufferer unless and until the slayer of the previous king is convicted. Oedipus promised to discover the killer’s identity and to prosecute him. Ignorant of the fact that he himself was the murderer, Oedipus unremittingly trailed…

Oedipus Tyrannus

Oedipus Trynnus was Sophocles masterpiece and it occupies a key place in the Greek’s mythologies and probably the most famous. This Sophocles’s piece of work is also referred to as Oedipus Rex and was performed for the time in C429Bc. It was a play that was set in Thebes, a city that had been rocked by plague. In this mythology, the mother of Oedipus committed suicide by hanging herself while his real son Oedipus self exiled himself after he learned the truth that he had married his own biological mother. Oedipus had been abandoned by his father after the oracle told him that he would suffer in the hands of his own son and for this reason he ordered him…

Character Motivations in Antigone

The main characters in Sophocles’ drama, Antigone, are Antigone herself, the play’s tragic heroine and Antigone’s uncle and King of Thebes, Creon. Both characters are ruled by powerful motivations and beliefs; however, they differ from one character to the next. Antigone’s motivation is love for her family- she puts it above all else. In fact, she is willing to sacrifice her life to defend that love. Antigone goes to great lengths to bury her deceased brother, who according to an edict issued by King Creon, died in dishonor, consequently making it illegal for anyone to bury his body. Through her actions to comply with her motivations, it is revealed that Antigone’s actions are also fueled by her strong beliefs that,…

The Role of the Sentry

“Explain how you would perform the role of the sentry, in each of his two appearances, in order to reveal his change of attitude from his intial fear for his own life to his reliefe as he brings a guilty Antigone before creon” The sentry would be acted by a 5ft5 man, he would be feeble looking with messy brown hair, and he would also have a high pitched voice that breaks from time to time therefore showing his physical and social weakness through his pitch of voice. He would be wearing messy clothes to show he is a worker. All of these features show that the sentry is at the ‘bottom’ of the hierarchy and this is shown through…

Dutiful Characters of Ibsen and Sophocles

Nora of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, and Antigone of Antigone (by Sophocles) have all had circumstances pitted against them, yet within these unfavourable circumstances they have duties to perform. Their constraints as women or as people whose destinies are governed by fate have caused them to be without pleasing options in their situations—and through the performance of their duties fate often does its work. They have both acted in ways that cause them to be viewed as the dutiful characters in their stories. Where there have been successes, the achievement of their goals against odds reveals them as hardworking characters who shift to accommodate and adjust to the vicissitudes of life, and who are able to defy hardship and…

Oedipus and Creon: Leaders of Thebes

In the plays Oedipus the King and Antigone Sophocles portrays two characters, Oedipus and Creon, as rulers of Thebes. After the murder of Laius, former King of Thebes, Oedipus became leader when he successfully solved the riddle of the Sphinx. Some time later, Creon became King of Thebes as the result of his nephews deaths. “Oedipus is a good ruler in spite of his defects. Creon is a bad ruler in spite of his virtues.” This essay will discuss Oedipus and Creon as rulers of Thebes. In the eyes of the townspeople, Oedipus is seen as a good leader. He demonstrates the qualities any good leader possesses. When Oedipus learned of the plague that had spread through the town he…

Dramatic Techniques in “Oedipus the King”

Sophocles was one of the most celebrated playwrights of his time, writing more than 100 plays to captivate and delight his ancient Greek audiences. Today, although only seven plays remain, his work continues to be enjoyed, evoking a variety of emotions and passions from his meaningful and disturbing tragedies, proving that he revolutionised the face of drama. One of Sophocles most legendary plays, Oedipus the King, demonstrates his outstanding writing skill, by the number of techniques he incorporates, such as dramatic irony, symbolism and his usage of the Chorus. Dramatic irony is a prominent device used in many tragedies. It allows the audience to feel a sense of privilege and engagement in the play and develops an alliance between the…

Antigone Interpretive Essay

The play, Antigone, written around 422 B.C. by the author Sophocles, is the first of the three Theban plays written by this author. Although it was the first written, Antigone is the third in the series coming after the plays Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus. This play follows the story of a girl, Antigone; and the king of the city of Thebes, Creon, who both have different beliefs about Antigone’s dead brother Polyneices. Creon makes a rule that no one can bury Polyneices because he was a traitor to the city and attacked it with an enemy army. So as an insult to him, he will not permit his burial. Antigone, on the other hand, believes that even though…

Compare and Contrast: Death of a Salesman & Oedipus

Compare and Cotrast Separated by almost 3000 years of literature, two plays can still contain similar elements and characteristics that tie the two together. This is the case between the two plays, Oedipus The King and its counterpart Death of a Salesman, one written approximately 430 BC and the other written in 1949. When first reading this book, one might question, what could these stories possibly have in common; one is about a king who discovers he has killed his father and copulated with his mother and the other about a salesman with suicidal tendencies and unattainable dreams. As the reader further analysis the story, the underlying similarities become more apparent even as one might say that there are no…