Having read the story of Antigone really interested me to continue reading the story more. I love the fact that Antigone was putting her life on the line the properly bury her brother so that he could be barred properly and move on from the earth. Her courage and love for her family were so moving and reminds me of me and how I’m with my family and the love and lengths I would go for them. The fact the Antigone believes that everyone deserves to be buried properly even if they are “considered” a traitor is moving that she believes that people who have done bad things show how kind and opened hearted she is to everyone.
Reading Antigone, a play written by Sophocles, really made me admire Antigone’s courage and fearlessness in the face of adversity. While first reading the book, I did originally dismiss Ismene, finding her to be cowardice and weak, but as I read more into the play, I quickly realized how apparent the inequality between men and women actually was. I took for granted the improvement of gender equality in the present time, assuming and relating my own experiences back to the play. The lack of equality is made obvious by Creon, “Therefore we must defend the men who live by law, never let some woman triumph over us. Better to fall from power, if we fall, we must, at the hands of a man – never be rated inferior to a woman, never.” (pg.94) These lines reveal Creon’s blatant sexism and his complete denial of women’s right to equality under his law. Creon frequent and casual misogyny, the constantly degradation of women in the play, lead me to see the social conditioning women in the play went through daily.
This new understanding made me grasp Ismene’s decision making and thoughts, her fear of defying Creon and her decision to stand back and Antigone.
Personally, Oedipus, a play written by Sophocles, is an intriguing read. What originally stuck out and caught my attention was a psychological concept named after the play. The Oedipus complex is a Freudian term describing a child’s desire for their opposite-sex parent and jealously and hatred towards their same-sex parent. Although the complex has very little evidence to support its theory and is likely to be made up, throughout reading Oedipus, it unsettled me. The idea of something that happened to Oedipus, him killing his father and falling in love with his mother, or something as traumatizing and as unnerving happening to me triggered the recollection of many childhood and current memories, desperate in trying not to find any similarities between the two storylines. The idea itself disgusted and repulsed me, but towards the end of the play, it really made me empathize with Oedipus. It allowed me to connect and understand Oedipus and his choices on a deeper level, as well as evoke a sense of sympathy from me towards his unfortunate fate.
This new revelation made me reflect on my attitudes first reading the play and it can be said that I did have an arrogant and self-centered view, criticizing, looking down upon and belittling Oedipus’ choices and decisions, only really empathizing with Oedipus when imagining the same scenario happening to myself.
I believe this story was good and it went into some detail about the whole story. To me, it was a good story that made me believe that I could do what I truly care about and make my dreams come true. It tells us about the man who worked through the toughest time like war and continued to plant trees. Even though that hard time he continued to plant trees and in the end he turned a sad, not so beautiful place into an amazingly beautiful looking place that people love to be and when people went back to that place in the mountains they didn’t even recognize it. The people living in the mountains village put up a statue of him as a reminder of who turned the place into an amazing, wonderful place to look at and live, not only that but they counted to plant trees and flowers. This made me believe that even the smallest things that we do can have an impact on other people and made me think that if people wanted to change the world by doing what they love that you could be it would just take time, and soon enough what you have accomplished would have an impact on the world and you’d know that you made that change happen.
In Antigone, Sophocles brought out the problem of immense inequality among men and women. Creon forbids anyone to bury Antigone’s brother Polynices in the play, but she goes against Creon’s wishes and does it anyway.
We know from the play that women in ancient Greece were not considered people and were often looked down upon by men. We can identify this by seeing Creon regularly degrading women in the play. “Never let some woman triumph over us. Better to fall from power; if we fall, we must, at the hands of a man – never be rated inferior to a woman, never.” (P.94). Another piece of evidence is that when Creon knew about the news of someone having buried Polynices, he immediately assumed the one who did it was a man “If you don’t find the man who buried that corpse, the very man…” (P.74).
Even with all the social conditioning, Antigone still manages to go against her society’s cultural beliefs by burying Polynices; how did Antigone become so bold? Besides that, with Ismene’s reaction, we know that women fell into this negative stereotype, and if anything happens, they will stay silent, “I’d do them no dishonour… but defy the city? I have no strength for that.” (P.63). The majority of the time Ismene did not want to go against men; however, she ended up being on Antigone’s side and stood up for herself. “I did it, yes if only she consents – I share the quit, the consequence too.” (P.86). Therefore, we can see that women agreed with Antigone, but most did not have the courage.
As evident in the play, Antigone is a brave woman who is willing to stand up against men even with the social condition in ancient Greece. An example of this happening in a real-life situation is Emily Murphy in The Persons Case. In the 1920s, Emily Murphy successfully persuaded the judges that women should be considered people under the British North America Act.
In conclusion, the conflict between men and women best describes Antigone. The play displays how women were always looked down upon by men, showing that Antigone dares to go against the social norms and raise the question if the society we live in has the same problem to readers.
Who was the main character in the play Antigone? After reading the play, I believe the main character is Creon. The name of the play leads us to believe the protagonist is Antigone and that the story would be about her, but in my opinion, the main character was actually Creon. I think this because although a part of the story is about Antigone and how she handles the death of her brothers, most of the play is about the aftermath and reaction of Creon when Antigone doesn’t obey his rules. How he assesses the situation and the series of events that take place after make me conclude that he is the lead character. The play revolves around him, he is the king, the ruler, and to me Antigone is seen as the troublemaker, the person Creon has to deal with. At the end of the play after Antigone is taken away, Creon finds out about the death of his son and his wife. The play was always happening around Creon and what he was doing and it ended with the people closest to him dead. He was the play’s focus and core. Without the role of Creon in this play not much would happen as Creon was often the one creating conflict and emotion. You can see the conflict that Creon caused and the frustration of Antigone when she says,
“Hasn’t Creon graced one with all the rites, disgraced the other? Eteocles, they say, has been given full military honours, rightly so—Creon has laid him in the earth and he goes with glory down among the dead. But with the body of Polynices, who died miserably—why, a city-wide proclamation, rumour has it, forbids anyone to bury him, even mourn him. He’s left to be unwept, unburied, a lovely treasure for birds that scan the field and feast to their heart’s content.”
The conflict and emotion Creon produced throughout the whole play and his role as the play’s focus, leads me to believe that he is the true main character of the story.
In Antigone, a tragic play written by Sophocles around 441 BCE, the titular character is not actually the protagonist. Although the actions of Antigone, daughter of Oedipus, do serve as a semi-inciting incident, I interpreted the real main character to be Creon, who I originally expected to fill the role of antagonist. Creon, entirely through his own decisions and actions, loses his son, his wife, and his niece, all over the course of the day.
Despite this, and despite being the play’s protagonist, Creon is definitely not a sympathetic character, meaning he doesn’t fit the generally accepted definition of a tragic hero. This play is a tragedy, not because of Creon’s suffering, but because of the suffering his selfish actions cause the innocent people around him. At the end of the day, almost all of Creon’s family is dead, not through their actions but his own, and the play’s depiction of his grief and regret is extremely powerful.
Initially, I found the narrative of this play extremely underwhelming. The differences between the Creon portrayed in Oedipus Rex and the Creon portrayed in Antigone annoyed me personally, since I couldn’t understand how such a drastic change in attitude could have come about. However, with my new perspective of Creon being the protagonist rather than the antagonist, combined with the punch packed by the dramatic conclusion, this play left an impression on me much greater than the one left by Oedipus Rex.
Antigone matches Aristotle’s description of a tragedy. Antigone was just a normal girl that was neither extremely unfortunate nor fortunate. She loses everything because of her brothers’ deaths, which were both out of her control. Aristotle’s version of a tragedy is the worst thing happening to a normal person without a reason or cause, and the story Antigone is the perfect fit. “The power of fate is a wonder, dark, terrible wonder— neither wealth nor armies towered walls nor ships black hulls lashed by the salt can save us from that force.” (pg. 108 Sophocles). This proves that Antigone was not all that special and was instead just like any other person. She could relate to anyone. Another example is the story of Antigone is king Creon, who at the end of the play ends up losing everything he loves. “…god came down and struck me—a great weight shattering, driving me down that wild savage path, ruining, trampling down my joy. Oh the agony, the heartbreaking agonies of our lives.” (pg. 124 Sophocles). This is after Creon’s son dies, it is another example of Aristotle’s description of a tragedy, Creon being a semi-normal person ends up losing all he loves because of an uncontrollable prophecy. Antigone meets Aristotle’s description of a tragedy because of the way in which both Creon and Antigone suffer from tragedies that could not be changed.
It should be argued that Antigone is the protagonist of the whole play. First, it is clear that Antigone had an intention of burying her own two brothers properly to the ground, despite Creon’s guaranteed penalty of doing so. This serves as the main plot point that muchly drives the whole story, as if it was not for Antigone, it would not have turned the way it is. It could also be said that since the beginning, the story highlights the notion of morality versus personal conscience because Antigone alone is already a big representation of the basic morality of honoring dead people, which is still muchly prevalent in nowadays’ society. Secondly, Antigone’s sense of morality is clearly shown since the beginning of the story, which have allowed readers to have a better idea of where the hero, as well as the villain are in the story. For example, “There you have it. You’ll soon show what you are, worth your breeding, Ismene, or a coward-for all your royal blood.” (Sophocles, 60) At first, it seems that Antigone is being quite extreme in this situation, but this shows that her sense of justice is unwavering, by the author’s diction of “worth your breeding” and “coward-for all your royal blood”. It strongly implies that Antigone’s knows her identity and value extremely well in the story, as being part of the family, especially in a royal one, she simply understands that it is utmost to respect her family, a true example of heroism. Another notable piece of evidence is, “I won’t insist, no even if you have a change of heart, I’d never welcome you in the labor, not with me. So, do as you like, whatever suits you best-I will bury him myself.” Antigone’s balance in thinking makes her all the more honorable, as even with a strong sense of justice, she still understands to set out healthy boundaries with her sister to settle the affair on her own because not all people will agree with her way, even with the one closest to her. All in all, Antigone’s motive and morality is straightforward for readers to grasp of and understand her character at the core from the very start.
Loyalty to the state vs. loyalty to family best describes Antigone.
As we know, Antigone is doing whatever it takes, no matter Creon’s law for her brother to receive a proper burial. The play clearly shows the two sides, the loyal to the state and the loyal to family.
The side of the loyal to the state is first shown when Creon declares that the body of Polynices should not be buried as he is a traitor of Thebes, Creon did not care that Polynices was the son of the king (Oedipus). And no one standed against Creon, no one said nothing, the diction of the people of Thebes conveys that they were scared, like when the Sentry is talking to Creon about the body. Then, they find out Antigone was the one who buried the body, Creon says to Antigone that she is the only one who thinks that the body should be buried, Antigone’s response to that is, “They see it just that way but defer to you and keep their tounges in leash” (page 84, line 570). This means that she knows people think like her but they prefer to not to say anything and to be loyal. Rumors of the people are mentioned but no one would do something about it.
The other side, the loyal to family is Antigone. She is disposed to die for her brother, she is not scared to confess that she buried the body and she argues about her point. Her priority is her family and she wants to end things how she thinks it is right no matter what.
Ismene is also evidence of the loyalty to the state vs. loyalty to family. When Antigone tells Ismene her plan, she is loyal and she is scared of Creon. But then, when Antigone is sentence to die, Ismene is also willing to die with her as she is loyal to her family.
In conlcusion, loyalty to the state vs. loyalty to family best describes the play Antigone as they can be clearly identified.
In the play Antigone by Sophocles, there is no clear protagonist, however Antigone is arguably the main character of the whole story. The most obvious reason for this is that the play is named after her. This makes it clear that even if Antigone isn’t the protagonist, she is still one of the main characters.
Another reason that Antigone is the protagonist of the play is that she causes the result of the play. Now, arguably you could say that Creon caused the events of the play because he made it illegal to bury Polyneices. With that view point, you could also argue that Polyneices caused everything because he attacked Eteocles for the throne, and so on. That being said, if Antigone had listened to Ismene and made the decision to let Polyneices be and not go against Creon’s wishes, she would (probably) not have died. In the play, the Messenger says,
“She [Eurydice] stabbed herself at the altar, then her eyes went dark, after she’d raised a cry for the noble fate of Megarus, the hero killed in the first assault, then for Haemon, then with her dying breath she called down torments on your head–you killed her sons.” (p. 126)
Because Eurydice killed herself over her son’s death, and Haemon killed himself in part due to Antigone’s capture and death, this means Antigone created a domino effect of Haemon and Eurydice dying just by killing herself. Because Antigone caused the result of the play, she played a big role in it and was therefore in a lot of the scenes.
Antigone is in many of the scenes, and when she isn’t, she is still a topic of discussion among other characters. For example, in the beginning of the play, Antigone speaks with Ismene for six pages before the Chorus speaks, and then Creon comes into the scene. Although Antigone isn’t physically in this scene with Creon, Creon’s sentry enters the building and begins telling him about how someone (Antigone) buried Polyneices, “The body–someone’s just buried it, then run off… sprinkled some dry dust on the flesh, given it proper rites.” (p. 71). From this quote we can see that although Antigone isn’t physically in this particular scene, she is still being talked about and is affecting what happens in the play.
In conclusion, Antigone is the main character of the play because it is named after her, she causes the result of the story and is in a large part of the play.
I found the ending of this play, share some details that’s common between this play: “Antigone”, and “Oedipus Rex”. for example in the end both beg for being taken away, out of sight. The main character in Creon, personally I dislike this character, and what he gets is what he deserved. The setting of the play is clearly set in a time where classes are more well-defined, that can tell by the language which is very formal, and “old-fashioned”, and the register is high. The structure of the play is more chronological, compare to Oedipus Rex. In my opinion, I can not make the case that Creon was right, an event he can be considered as a trailer of Thebes, he was supposed to be the king at the time, and even those cases can be argued, place a body, especially suppose king out in the open, is not acceptable, and if I place the mindset of the time Creon deserves more than what he got. To make a connection with myself, the Hong Kong protest appears in my mind, after Hong Kong is “return” to mainland china in 1997, Hongkonger is promised election of our head of state, a.k.a. “Executive”, and yet after 2 plus decades, mainland china, and Hong Kong government not still deliver, the people of Hong Kong took on the street to protest, and mainland china/ccp response with HKNSL, led to today the thousand of Hongkonger is now in exile.
(Note: mainland china is not capitalized as part of my silent protest)
I think that in Antigone Creon is the tragic hero of the story. I believe this because a tragic hero is someone who has heroic characteristics but their life still ends with a tragedy, which is exactly what happened to Creon. Throughout the whole play Creon was so sure that he was always right but after he realizes what he had done was wrong, he tries to go out and fix it all and solve his problems, being heroic, but he still ends up losing his son and his wife to suicide which he blames himself for, tragedy. Although it could be argued that Antigone was also a tragic hero and the protagonist in the story. This is because all Antigone wants is for her own brother, Polyneices, to have a proper burial like her other brother, Etocles. Rather than just being left out in the open to rot and be eaten away by birds, she wants to honey his death and honey the gods but, this means dishonouring Thebes and Creon. Although she tries to do this she gets caught and ends up being sent to a tomb to die off on her own. This leads to her killing herself and then her soon to be husband Haemon killing himself. I think that Creon is the more obvious tragic hero in this story but, I also think that Antigone is a tragic hero as well.
In the play Antigone, by Sophocles, we admire Antigone and her actions because she is, among other characteristics, the courageous person we all wish to be. Courage is often seen as the most important human characteristic by many famous philosophers. For example, Aristotle states that:
Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others. -Aristotle
An example in the book where we can see Antigone’s true courage (true courage being courage with no personal gain or non-moral justification) is when Antigone openly defies the law to do what is right, and when confronted by Creon (the king), she says,
I did it. I don’t deny a thing… These laws–I was not about to break them, not out of fear of some man’s wounded pride, and face retribution of the gods. Die I must, I’ve known it all my life. [p. 81 ln. 492, and p.82 ln. 509-513]
We can see true courage here, specifically when she says, “I don’t deny a thing” because she leaves herself defenceless to all the consequences. In conclusion, Antigone embodies the most important human characteristic of courage by not only defying law and risking her life to do what is right but by also facing the consequences.
One of the three stories included in The Three Theban Plays by Sophoclese, is Antigone, which takes place after Oedipus the king. Part of the reason I loved Antigone was because of how there aren’t really any bad guys. The story is mostly about a conflict between Antigone who believes that every person should be buried, and Creon who believes that traitors don’t deserve a burial.
While reading I kept thinking that if I were Creon I wouldn’t want to give a proper burial to a traitor. But I also understood Antigone’s reason for wanting to give her brother a burial, “no brother could ever spring to light again(p.105).” However in this specific scenario I believe Creon to be more just than Antigone. Antigone basically only wants to bury her brother because it is her brother. Her reasons for her actions are solely based on bias, while Creon overlooks his bias towards a family member, and uses logic to come to a conclusion. Creon has been known in Oedipus the king as being very logical, and I still believe him to be. His decision was based on logic in the sense that you get what you deserve. If he were to give polynices a proper burial, it would be mostly based on emotions and overlook the fact that he was a traitor. If some stranger were to betray his nation then attack it, would you still want to bury him?
Throughout this Greek play Antigone, there is a debate about who the protagonist of this play really is. In my opinion, I believe that Creon, the king of Thebes, is the main character of the story because of the story revolving around him and his overall power and involvement throughout the whole story. As King Creon is powerful and makes the rules, he voiced his opinion several times in almost every situation in a ruthless, ferocious manner. I think that Creon always was the center of attention and was also a very self-centred king who did not value family and used the power he had to his advantage, losing everyone he truly cared about in his life. An example of his aggression and interference is when He gets angry fast and abuses Ismene, who is innocent, calling her many names. For example, he states, “You viper, slinking undetected sucking my life-blood”!This signifies that he is very mean and unjust when dealing with Antigone and her sister Ismene. He also intrudes in a situation where he should have shown kindness towards his family member and had humility and mercy. Therefore, it is evident that Creon was the story’s protagonist and played an enormous role in the entire play.
In Antigone it is debatable who is really the “main character” of the play, however, I believe Creon is the main character and this is why. Creon almost perfectly matches Aristotle’s definition of the main character in a tragedy, meaning he is the “tragic hero” of this play. This is supported by the fact that Creon is generally a good ruler and normal person, but his stubbornness and pride ends up overcoming him leaving him to rule all alone. He matches Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero because he didn’t exactly do anything that was inherently bad, an average person would have made the same decision in his situation, but since Creon was kind of the “good guy” in Oedipus you see him as a man with high moral standards and you feel sympathetic for him. So when he is met with defeat, particularly defeated by himself, it seems tragic because of the things that happened to him he didn’t really deserve. To top it all off, Creon’s whole family dies not by his hand, but indirectly because of his actions, all this happens after he sees the higher good and takes back his action saying he will free Antigone, once again this supports Creon being the tragic hero because even though he made the right decision it was too late and the cost of it was heavy. So it leaves the reader with this tragic feeling: what if Creon made a decision earlier? What if Creon listened to Antigone? What if Creon didn’t let his pride blind him? In conclusion, Creon is a great example of Aristotle’s tragic hero, which is- a tragic play would make him the main character, and after reading this play you can really dissect the traits and virtues a tragic hero has.
Loyalty to the state vs. loyalty to family best describes the play Antigone.
First off, one can not fully understand the pain and experience that led to Antigone had to go through for her to illegally want to conduct a burial ceremony for her brother Polynices. Before taking sides, we must see both perspectives.
Creon is loyal to the state. He is loyal to Thebes. Antigone is loyal to her family. She is also somewhat loyal to Thebes but the loyalty to her family wins the race by a landslide.
The reason that Creon wanted Polynices body to rot on the earth without a proper burial for him is because Creon has so much pride in Thebes. “These laws— I was not about to break them out of fear of some man’s wounded pride” (Page 82 lines 509-510). This quotation talks about how Creon’s pride in Thebes has been damaged by Antigone’s actions. Even though Polynices had somewhat of a reason to attack the city, Creon ignored that and called him a traitor; and let his body rot on the surface of the earth.
Antigone shows her family pride, and family loyalty by conducting the burial, even with a death penalty if she was caught. I respect her actions but would not do it myself. I would be in despair if I was in the situation but would not conduct the ceremony if there was a death penalty for doing so.
In conclusion, loyalty to the state vs. loyalty to family is the best representation of the play because it is an argument between Antigone, being loyal to her family and Creon, being loyal to Thebes.
Reading this passage made me relate back to my own experience with insecurity. It began when I was around twelve, the toxic world of social media sank its claws into me and refused to relent, dragging me deeper and deeper into its unescapable void. It was then that I quickly realised that other girls who were gaining traction all had something in common, something that I did not have. A small seed planted inside my head started feeding on little moments of vulnerability. The tiny seed tucked away in the back of my head started growing, its roots forcing their way into every thought and moment, thriving on the feelings of shame and embarrassment. Only finding joy in my apparent downfall. So blinded by my own self-deprecating thoughts, I was subjecting myself to an altered reality. Feelings of insecurity and self-consciousness constantly itch the back of my mind, desperate in finding moments to make themselves known. It took me a long time to break away from the harmful cycle, finding confidence in my own self. Every now and then the remnants fight to surface, but with enough self-reassurance, they stay buried down. Having talked to many other teenage girls, I believe that my experiences with insecurity is shared among many. The current beauty standard being pushed onto young girls is extremely harmful for one’s self-image, promoting unattainable standards and unrealistic expectations.
Although I had never read Sophocles’ original work for myself, I was already quite familiar with the story of the titular Oedipus, King of Thebes, when I was assigned to read it for English Literature class. Nevertheless, the play still managed to surprise me, particularly in its structure and characters.
The play begins well into Oedipus’ personal narrative. at this point, he has long since defeated the Sphinx by solving its famous riddle, married Queen Jocasta, become King of Thebes, and had several children. This was the first thing that struck me as surprising, as I expected the play to retell the whole story, starting with a baby Oedipus being given to a shepherd on the slopes of a mountain. Instead, the play is structured similarly to a classic whodunnit as Oedipus and Jocasta try to expose the murderer of King Laius.
I found Oedipus’ characterization to be largely consistent. He was represented as a brave and sympathetic man, albeit slightly dull and prone to fits of temper. The same can be said for the other characters prominently featured in the play, them being Jocasta, Creon, and Tiresias.
The role of the Chorus also came as a surprise. Originally, I had assumed that they served as a narrator of sorts explaining the events of the play but never acknowledged by the characters themselves. This was not the case, as they were instead written as a representation as the common people of Thebes, frequently interacting with the named characters.
I was particularly struck by the ending. Once the final twist was revealed, the main character emotionally falls to pieces, and the dialogue is so well written that every word Oedipus spoke felt like a punch in the gut. The conclusion of Oedipus Rex was extremely powerful, and provoked much more of an emotional response from me than I expected of an ancient Greek play.
In Oedipus The King, Sophocles invites readers to question if we control our fate or does fate controls us using Oedipus’s life.
When Oedipus was a prince in Cornith, he was told by prophecies from the gods that he would kill his father and marry his mother one day. (P.216) “Apollo told me once – it is my fate – I must make love with my own mother, shed my father’s blood with my own hands.” Thus, Oedipus tries to avoid the prophecy by leaving Cornith to move to another city named Thebes. But on his way to Thebes, Oedipus suddenly raged and killed a herald and a bunch of men. (P.206) Oedipus – “I killed them all every mother’s son.” Oedipus ended up being the king of Thebes, and from the later part of the play, we know that all prophecies did happen.
After reading this play, I often question if it is Oedipus’ fault for causing these tragic events to him or it is his destiny. From the background story, we know Oedipus wanted to go to Thebes because of the prophecies. He solved the riddle and became the king (P.182) “With no help from the birds, the flight of my intelligence hit the mark.” so was Oedipus actually intelligent or was it just his fate? Besides that, it is Oedipus’ destiny because he still killed his father and married his mother despite his parents and trying to avoid the prophecies by killing him. (P.208) “my son, poor defenceless thing, he never had a chance to kill his father. They destroyed him first.”
I believe or would like to believe that we can control our own fate, but from the play, Oedipus has no control over his own life and destiny even though he tried to avoid it.
Oedipus the king was an interesting play that really expanded my knowledge of ancient Greek life, drama and religion. The whole plot of Oedipus is very disturbing but was nevertheless interesting to read. The play is unlike anything I have ever read before, and is very different from stories I am used to reading. For instance, the choir is a very memorable part of the play because the meaning of the chorus isn’t always easy to understand, and can be very poetic. The characters in the play are well thought out and each have distinct personalities. Oedipus is a great example of this, because by the way he speaks and acts we can see that he is courageous and mostly polite, but has a very short temper and doesn’t like it when things don’t go his way. He likes to be in control of his life, but as we can tell from the prophecy, it seems that he isn’t.
The language was also quite unfamiliar to me. It wasn’t unfamiliar in the sense that I didn’t know the vocabulary being used, but was unfamiliar with the register (high register). The way the characters spoke to each other was very formal – most of the time – and old fashioned. Namely, people refer to Oedipus as “my king” and Oedipus refers to the people of Thebes as “my children”.
One of the biggest thoughts I had while reading this book is how much politics have changed. In the story, everyone bows down to Oedipus (even after certain people basically tell him he murdered Laius). In modern day, it takes a whole lot less than that to ruin someone’s career, especially a political leader.
The play was surprisingly enjoyable to read, and gave me some knowledge of ancient Greek life and drama. For those reasons, overall I liked the play.
Towards the end of story, “absurd” was the most powerful word that rung to me about Oedipus The King. This is most evident in our main character’s suffering, Oedipus. Despite being a hero by challenging the Sphinx attacking Thebes and respected by the citizens, I often finds it hard to believe that a man like him had to go through such great tragedy in his life. Therefore, I firmly believe Oedipus falls into the category of a “tragic hero”. The play also highlights an important notion of “the truth”. “The truth” can be defined, in the context of this play, as Oedipus’s search for his roots: how he was born and who his true parents was. In this search, Oedipus had prepared himself mentally for what was about to come, but never have expected it was right under his nose: that he killed his father at the crossroads a long time ago and married his mother unnoticed. This has led to his gruesome death at the end of the play. By being exposed to this particular notion, I have realized that “the truth” can be, more often than not, hurtful and unexpected.
I have found this play to connect strongly with a school of thought by Albert Camus, Absurdism. This philosophical school of thought implies that: any search for the meaning of life is meaningless, for we can never know why we exist inherently, therefore, absurd. Again, we can link back to Oedipus’s fate, that he have suffered for no reason. But when we extend our views broader, this philosophical idea makes more sense than we thought. If we consider the tragedies that happened in our life, we will find that sometimes, things happen for reasons that we can never understand. Despite how much we reason our way through, we will soon to meet the conclusion that things do happen, for no reason at all. Then, what we can really do at those moments of life is, to stare into the deep, endless hole of absurdity itself.
When reading the story Oedipus the King, my feelings and thoughts about this play were always changing. I felt confused or a bit lost at parts where I needed clarity (mostly when the chorus spoke), and I felt intrigued at parts where I was eager to find out how the character would respond to certain events.
Oedipus, the main character in this story, was a character I had many different emotions towards. I did not like his character and personality because of his arrogance and the way he thought so highly of himself. He definitely had a superiority complex, which caused me to think he was just a self centered and pompous human being. Although arrogant, he did seem considerate and compassionate. He cared deeply for Jocasta and for the citizens of Thebes. He still was attentive to his wife/mother and seemed genuine towards her. Also at times, I did feel bad for Oedipus. I could imagine how devastated he would be when he finally put the puzzle pieces together, but this led me to want to continue on reading to see how he would behave when the truth was finally revealed that he was the murderer.
I really enjoyed the irony in this story, Sophocles uses this irony to build tension because it makes the audience fully aware of what is going to occur, so they keep wanting to watch/read to find out what happens next. The audience wants to see how the characters will react. The effect of this irony was that it allowed me to have the sensation and satisfaction of already knowing how the story will unfold before the characters do.
Oedipus retells Apollo’s words “Death for the father-killer, the curse—…” (pg. 246 Sophocles). Reading this, I couldn’t help but realize the irony of the statement. Apollo was the creator of the prophecy and he is now sentencing him to be killed. The story portrays the cruelty of the greek gods in the way they mold humans to do certain things; only to have them killed. I was slightly perturbed by the use of language, seaming as it was very informal and unlike the time it took place. It is a translation so that does affect the language but even still, I believe that it should sound like older English considering how old the story really is. On the note of age, I was somewhat surprised by the ease in which the story told of a mother and son relationship because it shocked, surprised, and even made me feel uncomfortable to talk about. It leads me to wonder if the times were so different, or if Sophocles was the type of person to think of crooked stories like this. Reading the end of Oedipus the King, it finally dawned on me. Oedipus was a coward, from the start of the story to the end. In the beginning of the story, he gets told that he will kill his father and marry his mother. Instead of facing his parents and telling him what had happened with the oracle, he instead runs away. Oedipus was so caught up in fear, that he failed to realize; his foster parents might not be his real ones. Then again, when Creon accuses him of being the cities downfall, he fights back out of pure fear for his own life. In the end, he begs Creon to spare him and let him live in exile.
The progression of ideas in this story is interesting because of the way the author organized and putted all the events together. The author joined the events by using lots of descriptive language so that the reader can clearly understand what is happening in the story and he also used the Chorus so that it is easier to understand the change of scenes. It is easy to predict the end of this story, however, the author makes the story interesting by the different scenes, where lots of things are happening to Oedipus but in each scene, there is a different character who interferes with him and his life problems, which all of them are related to the prophecy. What it makes the story complex is that in every scene there is a deeper meaning that made me relate some events from the previous scenes, think about the character’s behaviour or think about what is going to happen next.
While reading the story of this play, I mostly enjoyed the later parts. This is because there was more action and was just more enjoyable to read in general. The majority of the reasons for this was that it was the climax of the story, the form of the paragraphs, and the lack of the “chorus”. Many things were going on. Oedipus was finding out that Polybus was not his father, and he was having a conversation with the messenger and his wife/mother Jocasta. These conversation were from page 216-232.
Character-wise, the only really main character was Oedipus. Throughout the story he was arrogant and a little bit naive as well. In the middle of the story he kept ignoring what everyone else was saying about how Polybus might not be his actual father and that he might have been the killer of Laius. He was brushing off what seemed to be obvious clues and hints. An example of this is on page 184.
Tiresais: ‘…Revealed at last, brother and father both to the children he embrace, to his mother son and husband both– he sowed the loins his father sowed, he spilled his father’s blood!'”
Ever since Oedipus solved a riddle to save the town he ruled, Thebes, he thinks that he is amazing at solving riddles. The irony that happens during this quote is funny because Oedipus thinks nothing of this.
This story is based in Greece. I would not want to live in this time because there is a lot of killing without guilt. Everybody kills as revenge.
The diction in this play is not formal nor super casual. It is more in the middle. The words are quite simple and easy to understand but the way that they are organized makes them sound more formal.
Oedipus the King is one of the three Theban plays written by Sophocles. It is about the sad story of Oedipus who is cursed by a prophecy to kill his father and marry his mother. It is full of lots of ironic moments and vile things. I enjoyed this story because it has a main character who does everything he shouldn’t do, and fascinating ancient settings.
An example of Oedipus the main character doing something which is the opposite of what he should have done is when Oedipus is told by a seer that he will kill his father and then in the next few pages he does. After being told that he will kill his father he runs away from home instead of talking to his parents who he suspected to not be his parents. The entire reason he went to the seer was because of his suspicion of his parents. This scene filled me with frustration and kept me hooked onto the story.
The story also takes place in Ancient Greece. Ancient greece is a place which i’ve never studied and obviously haven’t been to. Oedipus travels to many different cities in the story. Every time he goes to a new place, I imagine what the area looks like and how it was to live in those areas. It’s almost as if I took a tour bus through ancient Greece while reading Oedipus. This encouraged me to read more and find out more about these ancient times.
The story of Oedipus was very disturbing and extremely complicated because of all the emotions displayed. From love, sadness to hatred, disgust and horror. Oedipus was an interesting character who puzzled me the entire play because of the person he was. From the moment the Shepard had saved him from the mountainside and gave him to the King of Corinth, his whole life was just cursed. After all the tragic, terrible events that happened to him, I sympathized for the poor guy and all the terrible encounters he was constantly facing in his life. Just as he thought he was living his life with his love and children, little did he know what his future held. He was given the honour to be a king and help his people, and in an instant, it was all taken from him as if none of it even mattered. This story just shows that in a moment, everything around you can be taken from you. Oedipus had good intentions and intended good. But, in the end, his status was gone, and everything he loved and desired was also taken in one form or another, and he was left as a pathetic, disgraced man. Throughout the story, we start to understand who Oedipus is and his unique traits and how he did indeed actually have good intentions. This reminds me of the fact that sometimes people have good intentions and want to help others; however, life can switch up so fast, and next thing they know, everyone thinks of them as the bad guy when it wasn’t her fault.
This play’s main focus is Oedipus and how his life has played out, and how he is a puppet to the gods. Although Oedipus does some horrible things I can still sympathize for him, he never asked for his life to be a prophecy and never had any way to fix it for himself. He tries his best to fix this throughout the play, this is evident when he runs away from his adopted father and mother when he first learns about the prophecy, unfortunately, this is what led him to kill his father, solving the riddle, marrying his mother, and becoming king. Although he was born into this prophecy he still could have tried harder to avoid it, all he had to do was not kill anyone and not marry a woman who is old enough to be his mother and he then did both of those things very quickly. Oedipus was also very ignorant to the whole situation, he refused to see it for a while like when the blind man came and told him everything that had happened and instead of being calm and trying to understand the situation he lashed out at the man and Creon and even accused Creon of trying to take his place as king of Thebes. I feel like Oedipus has some issues controlling his temper, he would get angry very quickly and act out without thinking it through first. He was very metaphorically blind during almost the whole play, and by the end of it, he had physically blinded himself as his own consequence.
Oedipus the King, by Sophocles was, in the beginning, very puzzling to me, because I wondered how anyone in today’s world could relate to the characters in Oedipus in any way. Something that Mr.MacKnight had been hinting at throughout our class discussions. The more I read, however, the more I understood how writing analysts made the comparisons from Oedpius to modern mankind. It’s not common, of course, for someone in today’s world to kill their father and marry their mother along with all the other treachery Oedipus commits, but those are simply exaggerated metaphors for things we do see in today’s world. The largest piece of Oedipus that carries over into the modern era is his infamous stubborn unwillingness to see the truth (ignorance) and short temper. We see subtly this trait in Oedipus throughout the play but a time when it is clear is when Oedipus is speaking to a messenger from Corinth,
Oedipus: “What are you saying–Polybus was not my father?” Messenger: “No more than I am. He and I are equals.” Oedipus: “My father–how can my father equal nothing? You’re nothing to me!”
From this we can see both his ignorance, as he fails to understand he was adopted, and his fiery temper, as he lashes out at the messenger for simply trying to deliver the truth. I can see this in my life, specifically through one of my friends, who in math class will occasionally get a question wrong and instead of admitting to the mistake and correcting it they will defend their answer, thinking it’s the truth even when it’s not, as well as lashing out often with insults regarding my math. In conclusion many traits of Oedipus, including temper and ignorance can unfortunately be seen in our world today.
The entire play focuses on the main character: Oedipus, starting the search for the murder of his father Laius, which is not present in the thought out the play. Personally, I neither like, or dislike any of the characters, however, I do sympathise Oedipus, as in some ways he is like a “toy/character” cursed by the gods, my feeling could may grow stronger if I know I am in a simulation. Unlike the story/summary we initially read, the play has the part of the timeline in reverse order, an example is the play start with Oedipus call the search of the murder of his father, and the detail slowly unwrapping.The setting, and the time the play written is very different from now, the story, and the tradition in the time example: when a baby is born, and their partner wants to kill/abandon them, they tie the baby, and put them on a mountainside is inhumane, to say the least. The language of the play is very formal, and old-fashion. The tone of the play is registered in a high-register. The play, makes connections to the “big question” that was raised in the recent decade: Are we in a simulation, are we being controlled by someone else like we are in video games? Like Oedipus being cursed by the god.
The story of Oedipus the king is quite disturbing and just downright morbid. Although it is just a Greek tale, I feel sort of sympathetic towards Oedipus despite the things he’s done. Oedipus did not ask for the prophecy that made his life an absolute mess, and I want to feel bad for him because he tried so hard to run away from this prophecy, but you can’t escape your own fate. You can see this happening when he runs away from who he thinks is his mother and father to avoid killing them and bumps into his true father Laius, ending up killing him instead. When he thought he had beat the prophecy becoming the king of Thebes and settling down with his wife, once again the prophecy came for him again. Although it is not the exact same, the way that Oedipus was born into something he didn’t ask for, it reminds me of children that are born into less fortunate circumstances, who may or may not make it out of childhood, and if they do often carry burdens of their childhood that hold them back from achieving greater things in life. I think that’s why I have some sympathy for Oedipus, his story is not directly the same as the others I’m talking about, but the concept of being essentially “screwed” from the day of birth is what I’m trying to communicate. To conclude, I don’t think this story was made with the concept of being “screwed” from birth, but this has been an underlying issue since before the Greeks, and it is still something that happens today, your childhood environment can dictate your life in many ways, just like how Oedipus’ prophecy had dictated his life from birth.
The Slaughterer was probably the story on this list that left the greatest Impact on me. Despite the shortness of the story, the gradual degradation of the protagonist’s sanity is truly visceral, leaving an Impression on me that I can best compare to the first time I watched The Matrix. In all, this Is the most compelling argument in favour of veganism I’ve ever heard.
I think that friendships between the opposite sexes should be more normalized. During pop culture today even there is barely any demonstration of opposite-sex friendships. People still think that because you are of the opposite gender you must be attracted to that person whether you are actually attracted to that gender or not. I believe that platonic relationships between the same gender and different genders are the same and should be treated as such.
As I continued to read Laura’s Blog, It made me reflect on the “given roles” I had been taught because of the cultures around me, which are definitely sexist in their treatment of women and men’s responsibilities. I remembered a specific incident where a boy once told me to clean up his mess and go back to the kitchen where I belonged. Thinking about situations like this really triggered me because of these types of sexist roles. Are we some sort of objects that aren’t capable of living our own lives without the judgement of others? Without the side remarks? Why is it that sexual harassment is spoken about as a regular part of our lives? When in reality, it should not be acceptable. Laura explains in her blog multiple times where she has been talked to sexually, which bothered me. She explains that she had done nothing regarding these situations that had happened to her because she had simply accepted them. Today, women don’t speak up because they accept how they are being treated, which needs to stop. While reading this literature, my eyes opened up to how girls in specific felt growing up as teens with the idea of looking “perfect.” Whether it was having a thigh gap or being skinny enough was a real issue girls now face starting from an extremely young age, simply to meet the expectation of society we live in. Writing or maintaining a blog like Lauras will definitely contribute to raising public awareness into the world about this crucial issue
Turning Pages by Sotomayor motivates me to read more. Her explaining how much books have taught her and how much she enjoyed them makes me want to experience the same thing. It brings the question up, should you read books, or watch movies? I say both. Both are good for gaining knowledge and entertainment.
In a Grove is an interesting short story that is told unlike most. The tale is told through testimonies and confessions of people involved and related to the murder of a man named Takehiko. What’s interesting about the accounts given in the story is none of them fully corroborate with each other, but rather each of them contradicts another account in one way or another. Although there are some things that we can almost be certain are true such as how Tajomaru took Takehiko’s arrows and sword, there are other actions that cannot be proven. The biggest question raised by this story is who actually killed Takehiko.
In an article from a blog, “Enough is enough” by Laura Bates, she shines light on a major problem that every woman faces, sexism. She explains how many unacceptable things happen to women and how they are are now seen as such little instances; she also describes how little significance they now hold. She expresses how women today often look the other way and don’t complain, they’re often just expected to view it as nothing. She states how normalised it is and how every woman has a different experience/story when it comes to sexism. Bates talks about her website and different social media platforms where other women can share their stories. Girls as young as five years old were starting to worry about their appearances. Girls that young should not have to care that deeply about their physical appearance. But, especially now, teen girls are constantly being over-sexualized and put into stereotypes. Social media is impacting and making girls feel as if they need to look a certain way to be considered beautiful or that their worth and value is only about their appeal.
Bates message in the end is the importance of changing the mindsets of people. This makes me think of how important it is to raise awareness on this issue. People often brush it off or say “you’re overreacting” when in reality, it is a real issue.
I knew of the story of Abraham and Isaac beforehand, having heard it from my parents and from the Jewish community that I went to back in California where I used to live. Re-reading this story I now remember that it was a test from God on Abraham to find out if he was faithful enough, or in the text’s words, “now I know that you fear god,-“ (12). The story of Abraham and Isaac may sound cruel however the old testament never made God out to be kind but instead the all-powerful and all-knowing who did what had to be done for the Israelites. Although there are many different interpretations on why God would make Abraham do such a horrific act. One interpretation is that it was a test and a statement showing that Judaism would stop the sacrifice of firstborns, unlike some other religions at the time.
This short text, expand my brain into much more than this doll. First, sometime lying does make everyone’s life better (Santa…), Second, this recalls me of the story Ex Machina, where an A.I. humanoid robot escapes on a trip to see the world.
Turning Pages made me think about how the written word can lead someone’s life as the person is growing and reading all kinds of books. Like Sonia Sotomayor who since she was little, books helped her in her life not only for learning new things, but also in making her fear of needles disappear, cope with sadness, and choose a career. This made me realize that you do not just learn with books, books can help you to make decisions of your life based on the knowledge you acquire and the interests that you discover by reading books. I noticed in the way it is written that the author wrote it in short paragraphs and added some analogies.
To be completely honest I was not able to always fully understand what was happening at all times in this story, but from what I gathered it’s about Bartleby slowly becoming lazier and lazier not preferring to do tasks and eventually ended up living in a Wall Street office, and eventually finding Bartleby dead of starvation because he preferred not to eat. Because this text was very difficult for me to understand I didn’t spend much time inquiring about the meaning of everything more just trying to understand but reflecting on it, I had some thoughts at the end about what Bartleby could have struggled with, or what caused this, because during this time it was written people with mental illnesses weren’t treated the same they are today so maybe that’s why he couldn’t get the help, and even today there Is a huge stigma around mental Illness and people not reaching out so maybe that’s what the text was about, at least that’s what It made me think about.
Enough is Enough, by Laura Bates, is a blog article about sexism related issues, such as consent and image, that Bates along with many other blog users have experienced. Bates summarizes these accounts in her article explaining how this sexism happens to almost every woman, in almost every situation, and at any age. Bates also touched on the negligence and denial regarding sexism saying how it wasn’t just men who believed that sexism was no longer an issue but also a very significant portion of women. Bates found that the type of sexism varied with age, with women around 18 and above facing a world with less opportunities and more direct sexual abuse, and women 18 and below facing a world with a more passive version of sexual abuse (verbal) and appearance discrimination; there were, however, some sexist issues found throughout all ages of women and that had to do with consent. Her main point through her article is that “enough is enough” and that people need to change, not through any constitution or big change in the law, but change the way they think. This is a very powerful and progressive opinion especially for the time it was written, however, its message is important and has inspired many women to stand up against oppressive sexism both major and minor.
The first thing that stuck with me when reading the first chapter was what I think is a grammar mistake. Mark Twain wrote “There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth.”. I think it should be “There were things” not “There was things”. Another thing that I found confusing in this chapter was that the writer seems to be a character in a book, and he is describing eating dinner with the widow who was also in the book. When reading the last paragraph, I was confused once again. There were so many words it seemed almost overwhelming. I also did not know that killing a spider gives one bad luck.
From Candide, Chapter XXIII:
Talking thus they arrived at Portsmouth. The coast was lined with crowds of people, whose eyes were fixed on a fine man kneeling, with his eyes bandaged, on board one of the men of war in the harbour. Four soldiers stood opposite to this man; each of them fired three balls at his head, with all the calmness in the world; and the whole assembly went away very well satisfied.
“What is all this?” said Candide; “and what demon is it that exercises his empire in this country?”
He then asked who was that fine man who had been killed with so much ceremony. They answered, he was an Admiral.
“And why kill this Admiral?”
“It is because he did not kill a sufficient number of men himself. He gave battle to a French Admiral; and it has been proved that he was not near enough to him.”
“But,” replied Candide, “the French Admiral was as far from the English Admiral.”
“There is no doubt of it; but in this country it is found good, from time to time, to kill one Admiral to encourage the others.”
Today, we merely fire such people, usually:
SAN DIEGO — The captain of a San Diego-based aircraft carrier battling an outbreak of COVID-19 on his ship was fired as commanding officer Thursday, days after his letter decrying conditions on his ship became public.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly announced the firing during a Pentagon news conference.
“At my direction, the commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, Capt. Brett Crozier, was relieved of command by a carrier strike group commander, Rear Adm. Stuart Baker,” Modly said.
Capt. Brett Crozier wrote a letter late Sunday asking the Navy to remove 90% of the crew of the Theodore Roosevelt to halt the “ongoing and accelerating” spread of COVID-19 on board. That letter was published Tuesday by The San Francisco Chronicle and generated headlines nationwide.
On Wednesday, the Navy announced it was moving almost 3,000 sailors off the ship and working to find space on Guam for more.
Modly said he wasn’t sure whether Crozier leaked the letter personally, but he said Crozier didn’t do enough to ensure the letter didn’t get out, saying it was copied to many people outside the captain’s chain of command.
“It was copied to 20 or 30 other people,” Modly said. “That’s just not acceptable. He sent it out pretty broadly and in sending it out pretty broadly he did not take care to ensure that it couldn’t be leaked.”
That, Modly said, demonstrated “extremely poor judgment” in the middle of a crisis.
Artists of all sorts contrast form and content to increase the impact of their work on the audience. Here are some examples.
Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time:
They shot the six cabinet ministers at half-past six in the morning against the wall of a hospital. There were pools of water in the courtyard. There were wet dead leaves on the paving of the courtyard. It rained hard. All the shutters of the hospital were nailed shut. One of the ministers was sick with typhoid. Two soldiers carried him down stairs and out into the rain. They tried to hold him up against the wall but he sat down in a puddle of water. The other five stood very quietly against the wall. Finally the officer told the soldiers it was no good trying to make him stand up. When they fired the first volley he was sitting down in the water with his head on his knees.
Hemingway’s low-key, matter-of-fact description increases the horror of what he describes.
John Keats, “In drear-nighted December”: Here Keats uses a sing-songy rhythm that might be found in a nursery rhyme, but the content of the poem is tragic.
In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy Branches ne’er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them,
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.
In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy Brook,
Thy bubblings ne’er remember
Apollo’s summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting
About the frozen time.
Ah! would ’twere so with many
A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any
Writh’d not of passéd joy?
The feel of not to feel it,
When there is none to heal it,
Nor numbéd sense to steel it,
Was never said in rhyme.
Musicians can do similar things. Here is Stevie Wonder using a musical form from an 18th century European court—chamber music—to sing about the horrors of life in an urban ghetto in the 20th century:
And here is the Kronos Quartet using the instruments of chamber music to play Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” (If you don’t know Hendrix’s original version, you should find it on YouTube before you listen to the Kronos Quartet’s version.)
So, what does all of this have to do with Henrik Ibsen’s play, A Doll’s House? Plenty! Ibsen uses the comfortable, familiar form of a “well-made play,” a form that was immensely popular in the 19th century, just as TV situation comedies were immensely popular in the second half of the 20th century. Put very simply, the form involves typical, middle-class people; plot complications; and then a clever twist that puts everything right at the end. The characters were usually stereotypes.
Ibsen takes this form and puts into it radical, challenging ideas about women, marriage, money, sex, social hypocrisy, etc. A Doll’s House caused widespread outrage when it first appeared in the 1870s, and a good deal of that impact comes from Ibsen’s clever use of this old artist’s trick: using a form that leads the audience to expect one sort of thing, and then giving them something very different.
Most of you made only a minimal effort on this assignment: a short paragraph or two with some general remarks about the story.
In a good personal response, you need to include quotations and page citations. You need to discuss more than just one or two incidents from the story. You need to dig deeper into the philosophical questions raised by the story. You need to analyze the *way* the story is written, and how that connects with the story’s content. And you need to edit and proofread your writing.
Only one of you met that standard, and I urge all of you to read that post and learn from it.
We will use this space for sharing initial responses, informal writing, etc. You will find that reading each other’s work will be tremendously valuable to you. The blog will also serve as a discussion forum where conversations begun in class can be continued, or new ones started. It may be a bit scary at first, but be brave! Sooner or later you will overcome your apprehensions and appreciate the blog’s value.
You will learn a tremendous amount by reading each other’s work. Sometimes you will think, “Ah, that’s really good, I could do that, too.” At other times you will think, “Ah yes, I make that same mistake, but I usually don’t notice it in my own writing.” Or you may think, “Wow, my writing is better than I thought.” Together, we can learn faster and make more progress.
Comments on this blog must be specific, kind, and helpful. This is not Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.