Chasing the truth may be the only real freedom we have as human beings yet,no one I free from faith, not even the mythical characters involved in thetragedy. Legends, tales, fables, and myths all have one thing in common; theyexplain the history of our ancestors and worship immortal beings.
It is importantto realize that Greeks at the time saw the Gods as embodiments of feelings orthoughts; they thought that the Gods existed in a parallel to themselves. forexample, Zeus is frequently referred to during the play; “For myself, I call towitness Zeus, whose eyes are everywhere”. (use connectors)This quote is said by Creon, who wants to preserve law andorder in Thebes in the midst of the deterioration and decay of the city. Creon’shypocrisy shows; he tries to control everything in Thebes just like Zeus can. Zeusrepresents the God of order and the God of law and power.
He, through the otherGods, strikes down the powerful and the prideful and bring them down to theirknees. Their justice is swift and harsh, and they show no discrimination,whether it be to a slave or to a king, such as Creon. In the end, the Godsalways win. This is a religious commentary on the nature of Greek religion; manwill always be trampled underfoot by the Gods and his place in the universe isto obey the wishes of the Gods.
It is interesting to see that Hades, God of death, is almost never directlymentioned in the play. Hades is referred to through other Gods, mainly theFates and Persephone. The Fates are traditionally portrayed as three old womenwho have control over a person’s life through a single thread.
They can end theperson’s life by simply cutting the thread. “But my child, the long-livedFates, bore hard upon her, too” (Sophocles 1032-1033).This is a reference tothe underworld and Hades through the Fates when Antigone is being buried alivein a tomb. The Chorus sings about other people who have been buried alive, andlament about the terrible fate that has not only come upon Antigone, but theentire family of Oedipus because of the prophecy. Another jibe at religion; theentire family was being cursed for one sin that was fated to happen, and evenThebes was suffering under the rule of Creon. “… that the great number ofpeople that have died, whom in their death, Persephone received” (Sophocles940-941).Throughout the chorus draws parallel connection between the gods andantigone’s plight to highlight that destiny has influenced the lives of thegods and also alleviating antigone to the ranks of the gods(This is a reference to the underworld and Hades, when Antigone is about tobe buried alive. Just as Creon has excessive pride and rules the countryautocratically , Antigone has excessive pride in the fact that she had givenappropriate funeral rights to her brother in lines with the natural laws andshe is willing to suffer as a result of her choice.
Niobe; it is not usual towitness the Chorus trying to find a parallel in history or myth for thesituation of the protagonist in Greek plays. In the case of Antigone, she isseen to have a resemblance to Niobe, daughter of Tantalus who is a king in AsiaMinor. She was married to the theban king, Amphion and she had boasted that shehad more children than the goddess Leto at which two of her children, Apolloand Artemis killed all of her children.
When Niobe returned to the Asia Minorshe was turned to stone on mount Sipylus. The rock race over the streams ofwater was thought to be her body. The reason why Niobe and Antiogone aresimilar is due to the fact that in Antigone’s fate too began when she was stillalive, imprisoned in a tomb of rock. (The purpose of these myths- heighten tension, foreshadowing the fate ofantigone, creating suspense in the minds of the audience and arising curiosityfor the end of the play.)A deeper look at the myths referred in the drama reveal morals,philosophies, and even warnings. “..
.evils that stem from Oedipus…
” (line 3)reveal the firm belief of the age that the curse in the family runs forgenerations and foreshadows that antigone will perish because she is theprogeny to oedipus.Antigone is represented as a typical woman who has her own desires and wantsto get married realises that there will be no marriage for her and she isdeemed to die in the underground chamber. Therefore she laments her own faithand expresses fear and anxiety at the future which beckons her. She resigns toher faith and understands that she will be meet her end in the chamber.No maids have strewn with flowers from the lea,’Tis Death I wed.” (806-813) The author constantly alludes to other stories of Greek mythologyto tie in the story to the actual world of mythology; allows the reader to seeit as more than a play because of their cultural devotion to the Mythology atthe time.