Themes of Fear and Pity in Antigone

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Literature

Document 1

Therefore, the essay will focus on demonstrating how the themes of fear and pity have been depicted in the play, “Antigone” by Jean Anouilh. I have decided to explore the theme of fear and pity because the two themes are very relevant in the contemporary world since they determine the kind of life one will adopt. The play portrays Antigone and Creon as people with integrity and as people who are willing to adhere to what they are told. However, they are afraid that the established norms by the societydeny them the chance to live a life that will bring the maximum pleasure in their lives. Ismene reveals to Antigone that they are just women who are powerless and for that reason, they have no ability to choose what is good for them1.

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The theme of fear is depicted when Creon agreed to be the king, he compromised his ability to make moral judgments and for that reason, he lives a life that is full of fear by ensuring he is in full control of the people. The leadership position that is occupied by Creon made him to live a life that is perpetually full of fear as it is depicted by his confession that he was afraid to decline the expectations of the state. This is a clear demonstration that Creon was not living a life that will make him happy since he was afraid of rebelling against the set norms. The play also portrays the theme of fear by depicting the difference that exists between the young and the elderly generation.

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According to Anouilh’s play, only the young characters have the chance to live an innocent and a happy life. The fear that is within Creon has made him be rigid and therefore he is not willing to change the set ideals that bring happiness to him and even to the rest of the family members. Even at the death of the entire family, he is not willing to change but he asserts that: “They complain it is afilthyjob, nonetheless if we fail to perform it, who would then?7” Pity is a theme that describes the cause of sorrow and sadness that is caused by the suffering of others. The theme is described in the literary work on different aspects. In page 63 Creon says, “We are all wounded to death.

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” The words are an inscription of the words of Creon to Haemon as he explains the sorrow that he has to undergo as he watches Antigone die. She explains that the women have to live in accordance with the state and the standards that are set by the men in the society. The men, on the other hand, subject them to great cruelty and high level of violence. Ismene feels pity for all the women that have received the torture in the hands of the men. The women are required to follow the law to the latter and any person that does not do it faces great torture in the hands of the men. The actions such as the bullying of the female by the male as the king did calls for pity upon them due to the great sorrow described that they receive.

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