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'Antigone' by Jean Anouilh.

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Introduction

'Antigone' by Jean Anouilh "A high proportion of the most dramatic scenes in the plays of all ages are scenes for precisely two characters. Choose a scene from Anouilh's "Antigone" and explain what makes it dramatic" I have chosen the scene of confrontation between Antigone and Creon as the most dramatic and throughout the duration of this essay, I will attempt to assess what aspects make it dramatic. The reason I chose this scene is because is it the scene that the whole play leads up to after the chorus' speech at the beginning of the play, causing this to be the scene that the audience anticipates, as the outcome of this scene affects the lives of the characters at stake. The positions of Antigone and Creon are conflicting, due to King Creon's views of a political nature contrasting his niece Antigone's views on religious duty, whilst both managing to retain the belief that they are in the right. Based upon this knowledge, the most dramatic scene is therefore going to be the confrontation between these two characters. Leading up to the fatal confrontation, there are many aspects of the play, which set the scene of conflict. The opening speech delivered resoundingly from the chorus triggers off the presence of tension in the atmosphere and can be sensed immediately by the audience. The chorus lays down the story of Antigone, who wants to bury the body of her dead brother Polynices but it is Creon's contrasting views on respecting the dead body of Polynices that makes the story so engaging. ...read more.

Middle

Creon still cannot seem to comprehend Antigone's actions as he holds the belief that his edict was above any other law due to the fact that he is King. His predetermined political views contrast with Antigone'' religious beliefs and duties and it is these conflicting views that make the beginning of the scene dramatic considering Creon's ignorance towards her purpose. Antigone continues to retain the belief that no matter what Polynices did during his life, he was still her brother and so she had a duty to him to make sure that he would rest in peace. By burying him, she had put him to rest as her beliefs were based upon the Greek belief that if a body wasn't buried, its soul would wander the earth for eternity. Creon, similarly to Antigone, uses the tactic of seeking to justify his decree by claiming that Polynices was "a traitor and a rebel" and so deserves everything that has happened. Creon attempts to figure out Antigone's motives and assumes that she buried her brother under the assumption that she would get away with it, being the niece of the king and the fact that she was due to marry his son. Antigone denies this adamantly claiming that if she had been a scullery maid, she would have done the same duty unto her brother. He then asks if she knew the consequences of burying her brother before she attempted to, to which Antigone frankly answers that she did, confirming Creon's worst nightmare as it is apparent that she willingly broke his law out of duty to her brother. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is at this moment that Antigone's fate is sealed and there is no escape. She begins to insult Creon continuously and he then orders the guards to come in and take her away. It is this last scene that pulls the whole play together and it is the result of this confrontation that the audience has been hungrily anticipating yet ironically dreading as it is the scene that determines Antigone's fate. Due to the vast amount of apprehension circling the confrontation, so much is hinged upon its outcome as it is literally a matter of life or death. Tension and anxiety builds up right throughout the play, leading up to this scene and it is worth waiting for due to its dramatic consequences. There were no distractions during the scene adding to its dramatic perspective, leaving just the two characters on stage with a bare set so that the audience can only focus upon them. The conflict between Creon and Antigone was not only in their characters, but also in their views and opinions of the welfare of Polynices body, making the scene itself unbelievably intense. The tone of voices from the two characters at the end adds to the impact due to the raising of voices and audience perceiving reflected frustration. The frustration in both of the character voices is heard and as there are only two characters on stage, the audience's attention is completely focused on them stirring emotion within the audience as they hear both points of view argued. Joanna Lowe Page 1 5/10/2007 ...read more.

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