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Choose such a scene from 'Antigone' and explain what makes it dramatic.

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Introduction

Choose such a scene from 'Antigone' and explain what makes it dramatic. 'Antigone� is based on the age-old conflict between the requirements of human and divine law. This problem is shown in the dispute over the burial of Polynices, in which King Creon�s understanding of political laws is opposed to Antigone�s religious duties and beliefs. The positions of Antigone and Creon are conflicting, but both retain the same stubborn belief that they are right. Based on this, the most dramatic scene is therefore the confrontation between these two characters. The opening speech by the chorus sets the scene for the conflict in the play. The tension and suspense of 'Antigone� is felt immediately. Antigone feels that it is her duty to bury her dead brother, Polynices. The Greek view of death was that a person�s soul could never come to rest unless their body had been buried, otherwise they would remain eternally on Earth. It is Creon�s contrasting views on Polynices� body�s welfare that makes the play 'Antigone� so intriguing. Whilst Creon believes that he has to stand by the edict that he predetermined, Antigone feels the divine law should be carried out and that a state law is inadequate by comparison. The chorus tells the audience what is going to happen, which is surprising. ...read more.

Middle

The soldier carries the story on in a trivial way, and stops the flow of the play. This creates tension, as the guard is making jokes and talking about ordinary everyday things, when there is a matter of life and death to deal with. The soldier changes the tone of the play, and a contrast of his humour and the seriousness of what he is saying heighten the tension surrounding the subject of the edict. Creon wearily accepts the news, and has the political obligation to follow this through. You can see that Creon is not a power crazy ruler, but feels he has to portray himself as a powerful king. Creon leaves the scene, and the chorus comes on, with another speech concerning the welfare of Antigone. They begin to talk about tragedy, linking the scenario of the play, to the theme of a tragedy, using a metaphor: "The spring is wound up tight. It will uncoil of itself. That is what is so convenient in tragedy. The least little turn of the wrist will do the job." The chorus is saying that the spring has a lot of tension ready to be released. The tension of the play concerning death is inevitable and it will take little to unravel the tension. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are only two main characters in this scene, so you have to draw your attention towards them, which means that the audience would have a lot of emotions going through them as they heard the opposing arguments. These emotions help to make 'Antigone� dramatic. In Antigone (441 BC?) by Greek dramatist Sophocles, the conflict is that of the individual versus the state, higher law versus a ruler's decrees. The heroine Antigone insists upon burying her brother Polynices in obedience to the laws of the gods. But Creon, king of Thebes, has forbidden the burial of Polynices, who led a revolt against Thebes; the king orders Antigone's death for her defiance. He later reverses his order, having realized that obedience to the gods and loyalty to family come before obedience to the state, but it is too late: Antigone, Creon's son (who loves Antigone), and Creon's wife have all killed themselves. Shocks of reversal, recognition, and suffering elegantly bind the spectator and the seemingly virtuous, if flawed, hero into a cosmic arena of discovery and loss. The audience's natural identification with the protagonist's final agony or painful end-in this case, Creon's loss of his family resulting from his defiance of divine law-purges the community of fear and pity. For Aristotle, tragedy's primary goal had to be therapeutic, stimulating in the viewer an emotional release and purification known as catharsis. ...read more.

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