Antigone – Personal Response

I enjoyed Antigone a lot, and same as last time, I’d say more than I expected. It had the same mysterious effect that Oedipus had but apart from that, it was a very different story from the it for me at least because of the way that Antigone is fundamentally more realistic than Oedipus The King. It’s realism is mainly due to the characters’ normal disposition and the whole idea being more plausible.

Immediately when I think of the way characters are shown in Antigone I think of how were constantly reminded that Creon is human, a great example is on page 116 when after hearing the prophet and sending him away telling him he’s wrong, he realizes the wrongs he’s done and struggles to figure out how to go about it. This really contrasts from the laughably unrealistic story of Oedipus. We also see Antigone, who is like her father with her hastiness and outspokenness but at the same time her reasonings for saying and doing things are all realistically justified. For example, her unstoppable want for her brothers body to be buried is understandable to an extent since Greek culture believes and values the gods so much. making the idea of defying them sound like maybe not the best idea. And then finally Ismene and Haemon. They both have pretty normal personalities. Ismene, not wanting to anger the king and get killed tries to just stay quiet and live her life, and Haemon, sympathizing with the one he loves. Both ideas are understandable and relatable to people thousands of years later.

As well as these characters, the story in which they’re set in has greatly calmed down and cleared up for Antigone. In Oedipus your sat there often thinking what why or how because of the constant crazy events that kept occurring. Entertaining, but not that realistic. Whereas the premise of Antigone is not only more clear but also generally more likely that it could actually happen. From the brothers fighting over the thrown, to Ismene and Antigone’s worries about whether the kings or the gods rule is more important, they all resemble realistic issues. Who should be in power has been a question from before the Greek times until now, and who or what to believe is another good question that everyone asks themselves at some point.

The questions this book raises had me thinking in a very modern way which I found super interesting. People had this thought from Oedipus The King but I personally didn’t all that much since I was so overwhelmed with all the unrealistic questions like why marry your mother, how did Oedipus become king so incredibly easily and what in the world is a sphynx.

Personal Response to Oedipus The King

Oedipus the King was the first Greek play I’ve ever read and there was a lot to get through. It felt quite long probably because the chorus went on for ages every time Oedipus shut up for a second. I had to learn about a lot of cultural stuff too since a lot of the Greek references were foreign to me. But despite the gibberish lost in bad translation and my limited knowledge of older English, I really enjoyed Oedipus the King. I enjoyed it because of the funny banter and the big dramatic images it drew in my mind.

The parts that made me most engaged while reading the play was definitely when Oedipus argued with the prophet or Creon. First off I found the language much easier. There was less poetic nonsense and more straight up yelling, which happens to be more understandable in this situation. It was also not as daunting to read small sections of text rather than a big block, and the content was usually more descriptive as well, unlike the chorus or Oedipus’s speeches which would question a lot of who’s what’s where’s why’s and how’s of every situation.

When I wasn’t engaged through what I read directly, but through how what I had read made me feel or think of. I wrote an essay on emotion directly and indirectly through Poetry last year and I think this story is a perfect example of the indirect way we can feel emotion from the writing. Although we don’t relate with the text directly since killing fathers and marrying mothers isn’t the most familiar topic, a lot of the emotion we get from the story comes from the compelling ideas of mystery and tragedy. Key moments in the book that relate to this are when Oedipus meets the Sphynx, when he tries to figure out who the murderer is and when he finds out its him. All of these awesome scenarios really paint a picture of a great story in my mind.

I really enjoyed the play for the smile it put on my face at the pointless arguing of two old Greek guys and the want to keep reading when something crazy happened. I’m definitely anticipating the next play.