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The two plays that I have chosen to write about and compare, both involve the role of family as one of their themes. These are Antigone[1] by Jean Anouilh and The Cherry Orchard[2], written by Anton Chekhov.

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Introduction

The family plays an important role in every person's life. Families are there to support each other and help each other especially when an individual is in some sort of trouble or any similar situation. The two plays that I have chosen to write about and compare, both involve the role of family as one of their themes. These are Antigone1 by Jean Anouilh and The Cherry Orchard2, written by Anton Chekhov. Family plays a pivotal part of everyone's lives in each one of these plays. Sophocles, a 5th century BC playwright from Greece, had originally written the play Antigone, which formed a part of his 'Oedipus Trilogy'. In 1944, Jean Anouilh, a French playwright, re-wrote Antigone, which in France at that time was said to symbolize the Resistance Movement in France. It represented the idea that they should be prepared to make a sacrifice for France, just like Antigone, the protagonist, who was prepared to make a sacrifice for her beliefs, even give her own life. The play is introduced by the Chorus, which plays an essential part in every Greek play. He tells the audience or the reader that after Oedipus died, it was agreed that his two sons should share his throne over Thebes in alternate ...read more.

Middle

The reader or the audience might see Creon as a villain here, because of his cruelty, and his refusal to agree with Antigone. He does not seem to be able to understand how someone would be able to out a belief before their own life. "Polynices was a rebel, and a traitor, and you know it" 6, he said. But Antigone refuses to accept this. Antigone: "He was my brother. Had I been a scullery maid washing my dishes when the law was read aloud to me, I should have scrubbed the greasy water from my arms and gone out in my apron to burry my brother." 7 Since Creon is her uncle, he feels that he should protect her, both for her, and also for Heamon's, her lover's, sake. Creon: "Antigone, do you realize that is, apart from those three guards, a single soul finds out what you have tried to do, it would be impossible for me to avoid putting you to death? There is still a chance that I can save you, but only if you keep this to yourself and give up your crazy purpose."8 But Antigone refuses again. ...read more.

Conclusion

12 From this quote, the reader and the audience can conclude that Mme Ranevsky also had a son: "Grisha little Grisha" 13she says. It shows the reader and the audience that she is a caring woman, and that she loves her family very much. Anya: "Mother Mother Mother don't good gentle precious Mother. I love you let me bless you here don't don't cry please...Mother I promise I promise."14 Mme Ranevsky's brother, Gayev, also shows love for Anya by calling her 'liuba', which in translation means 'love'. Both of these plays, Antogone and The Cherry Orchard provide some very good examples of close family relations, and show how much certain individuals care for each other. In Anouilh's Antigone, we are shown the close relationship between certain members, including Antigone and Creon, even though he is forced to put her to death. He could have easily saved her, and he offered to do it many times, but she refused. All for the love of her brother. This shows how hardheaded, as well as immature, but brave Antigone really is. While in The Cherry Orchard family is also essential to every character in the play, and one can easily come to see this through all the examples set in this play. Basically, the family is probably the most important thing in everyone's life. ...read more.

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