• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Language - Antigone

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The language of a play serves more than one role. In "Antigone", language is used to help identify the characters and chorus: characters speak more literally whilst the chorus speak metaphorically. The dialect of a character's language is used as an indicator of their social status. The variance of simple and complex language keeps the audience interested in the play. Finally, language sets the mood and atmosphere in sections of the play. However, as this is a play in translation certain problematic issues arise. Identification of characters is possible by observing differences in language. Haemon, as a royal, will speak differently than the Watchman. Both men attempt to tell Creon their views and these differences are visible. Haemon, who is of a higher class, is more educated and this is reflected in his style of speech: (line 699) "For this, hasn't she earned glory bright as gold?" Haemon is not only able to express his opinion tactfully, he raises a question using a simile which creates imagery. This contrasts the Watchman's language which is very simple: (line 238) "First, I want to tell you where I stand". ...read more.

Middle

"So where's it biting you? On your ears or in your mind?" Here the watchman's language is very informal when he is speaking to the king. The way that he is speaking is an indicator of his social status - lower status. If he is speaking to Creon in such a way he must be either ignorant or uneducated. A lack of education is obvious when the Watchman describes the place that Polyneices was buried (Line 249): "The ground was so hard and dry". A person of higher status would have made the statement a bit more elaborate or included a simile or metaphor especially as the news is very sensitive. However, as the Watchman is uneducated he does not have a wide vocabulary or knowledge of such language devices. A mixture of complex and simple language is used in Antigone. An example of how the language varies is monologues (complex) and stichomythia (simple). Monologues are spoken at a slow and comfortable pace which allows the speaker to order his choice of words and think about what he will say. ...read more.

Conclusion

The use of semantic fields is also visible when Antigone is about to die. Sophocles wants the audience to feel sorry for Antigone through her speech so he includes lots of guilt words such as: (page 39) "Hollow, Hope, Abandoned and Misery". Whilst the English edition of "Antigone" is very accurate, certain problems arise with this text in translation. The grammatical arrangement of words in Greek differs from the arrangement of words in English. The way that sentences were structured in Greek might have helped the audience understand the play or might have sounded more poetic. Yet as the language structure between English and Ancient Greek differs this is lost. The nuances of words are also lost as the play is a direct translation. The names of people in Ancient Greece had meanings. Antigone meant "born against". There are obvious parallels between Antigone's name and her character; she goes against Creon's wishes thus making her an antagonist. Yet, modern audiences fail to see the connection of Antigone's name and her character and see her as a protagonist. This has occurred because languages have evolved so much from the original forms of ancient Greek and Latin. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Classics essays

  1. Throughout the play 'Antigone' there is a constant emphasis on the use and abuse ...

    he decides to undo all the wrong that he has done by quickly building a tomb for the body of Polynices and also by freeing Antigone from the vault where she was taken to die. He went first to Polynices and then went to Antigone.

  2. Describe the theatre buildings and stage devices available to a playwright in ancient Greece. ...

    The ancient Greeks could use the roof of the skene for gods and higher beings, just as modern theatrical performances can use a balcony. However, the ancient Greeks relied on the natural lighting of the day, and the imagination of the audience for most sound and events - suspension of disbelief.

  1. Who made the greatest contribution to the Athenian Constitution?

    take place, which was great for democracy and ensured public approval of actions. Finally, Aristotle credits Cleisthenes with the invention of Ostracism, whereby each year, citizens could vote on who should be exiled for 10 years. This was a huge safeguard against tyranny, as anyone thought to be becoming overly

  2. To what extent are the traditions and values of the ancient Olympic Games reflected ...

    The conflict between the Olympic movement's high ideals and the commercialism or political acts which accompany the Games has been evident since ancient times. The ancient Olympic Games, part of a major religious festival honouring Zeus, the chief Greek god, were the biggest event in their world.

  1. Medea - Euripides lived during the Golden Age of Athens, the city where he ...

    The long journey that brought her to Corinth has now left her with nothing. Medea's bitterness grows to such a degree that she even despises the sight of her children. The nurse becomes afraid that some vicious plot is brewing in Medea's mind.

  2. Multiple choice questions from The Crucible.

    Act I B. Act II C. Act III D. Act IV E. Happens before/after the play 15. The girls are caught by Rev. Parris in the woods A. Act I B. Act II C. Act III D. Act IV E. Happens before/after the play 16.

  1. How Shakespeare creates dramatic events in Romeo and Juliet

    The rapid change of atmosphere between the two scenes also leaves the audience sceptical about the future events of the play. If act1, scene 5 started with another brawl, the audience would have been able to foreshadow what the rest of the play incorporated.

  2. A day at the amphitheatre

    On the day before the event I woke up early, but my sister had already beaten me and was already up and out the door with two of her friends running to the gladiator barracks. I quickly left the house and arrived at the barracks sweaty and out of breath.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work