Love Inspires Fierce Devotion: A Theme from Antigone
It has been said that the ancient Greeks invented what is modernly referred to as the tragic drama. One of the most influential writers of the time was Sophocles, a fifth century Greek dramatist who penned one of the earliest surviving pieces of literature, Antigone. This play came as the third in a trilogy about a royal family of Thebes and the tragic events of the members’ lives. While Sophocles’ trilogy dabbles in discussing many Greek ideals and morals, his writing always carries a strong theme. One could infer many themes in Sophocles’ Antigone such as the laws of the state versus the laws of tradition, the social place of women, and the consequences of uncompromising pride. Sophocles’ often touches base on many of the aforementioned themes, giving great amount of details that could be used to support them. However, another possible theme of Antigone is that love inspires fierce devotion. This theme surfaces in many ways throughout the play, specifically, in the characters’ relationships to one another. The first support of the theme occurs in the opening scene when Antigone decides to bury her brother, Polyneices, though it goes against the strict rule of Creon, the king of Thebes
Creon, throughout the play, shows love and devotion for only one person: himself. Haemon and Eurydice, though they don"tmt share a scene, share a fierce love for one another. One love lightly touched upon during the play, but still has importance, occurs between Haemon and his mother, Eurydice. Her actions imply that she has too much respect for herself to compromise her thoughts and opinions for someone else. Greek plays often revolved around the raw emotion felt by the characters. Eurydice takes her love and devotion so far that after learning of Haemon"tms suicide, she too takes her own life. From this love springs the devotion that causes Haemon to take his own life after finding the body of Antigone. This can be interpreted that as the ruler of Thebes, his law goes, regardless of what others may think. As the story continues, Ismene comes to realize that although she may not agree fully with Antigone"tms decision, she loves her sister too much to let her face a certain death alone. Antigone"tms love for Polyneices leads her to devote her effort into giving him a proper burial, regardless that Creon has ordered strictly against it. His love for her causes him to break family ties, causing a climatic scene between himself and Creon in the middle of the play. Ismene reaffirms the theme that her love for Antigone prompts her to confess to a crime that she didn"tmt commit just to remain loyal to her family. Antigone shows that no greater emotion can occur between characters than love and love will inspire people to do great things to keep it, supporting the idea that a theme of Antigone is that love inspires fierce devotion. Antigone, not a fierce or unusually courageous woman, loves her brother so deeply that she will break the king"tms law.
Some topics in this essay:
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