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Jean Anouilh ends his play Antigone differently than the "original" Antigone which was written by Sophocles.

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Introduction

Jean Anouilh ends his play Antigone differently than the "original" Antigone which was written by Sophocles. The conclusions, influenced by each author's separate themes, were structured to placate the different societies of the time. Sophocles wrote Antigone as a continuation of Oedipus Rex, inspired from the early Mesopotamian society. In turn, Anouilh adapted Antigone during World War II as a form of protest to the Nazis occupation of mainland Europe. Although each playwright's motivation was different, and both Antigones served different purposes in their respective societies, the question that both plays ask is the same: Is man's law more important then gods' law? The intent of this paper is to explore how this question, as well as two other themes, influence the conclusion of Sophocles' and Anouilh's Antigone. The issue of whether or not man's law is more important then gods' law is a debate that many philosophers and writers have struggled with for centuries. This issue is raised in both versions of Antigone as it develops into the central theme, but the characters also undertake the role of expressing each playwright's answer. ...read more.

Middle

This scene is significant because it displays how Creon sets himself apart from society; he views himself above it. If he were part of society, he would have the same opinion as the Thebians do, which, consequently, does not work to Antigone's advantage. Finally there is the act of burial by Antigone which defies her society. Antigone does not view what she has done as a crime, but rather as an act the gods wanted her to carry out. However, Creon argues: 3 She is the only one that I have found In all the city disobedient (Sophocles 654 - 655). With Antigone's will and her "pure crime", Creon seals her fave which is supposed to be left to the gods. The central theme, along with the theme of civil disobedience and the role of the individual versus society, changes Creon's attitude and consequently affects the conclusion of the play. Centuries later, Anouilh maintains the main theme of the superiority of man's law to gods' law, but he also includes two additional themes that change the outcome of the play; in this instance he uses Creon as a pawn. ...read more.

Conclusion

The conclusions of the plays differ significantly because the themes influence them differently. Without Anouilh's added themes, Creon is responsible for Antigone's death. In contrast to Sophocles, Anouilh develops the assertion that Antigone subconsciously wants to die. Creon's family dies because it is the will of the gods, and in both plays, the will of the gods can not be changed. The intent of this paper was to explore how two supporting themes as well as the most common theme influenced Creon's reaction and consequently the conclusion to both plays. Anouilh believed in non-conformity, evident through his character and his play Antigone. He felt that it was important to be an individual in society, whereas Sophocles believed in moderation. Moderation is a key consideration to Sophocles' Antigone because it relates to the approach the protagonist should have chosen. Sophocles' and Anouilh's personal views tie both plays together because both playwrights have Creon adopt their views, subsequently changing the original conclusion. 5 Significant is that Sophocles' themes and Anouilh's additional themes, the common question that remains: Is man's law higher then the gods' law? Jackson D-0436019 ...read more.

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