The Role Of The Chorus In Sophocles English Literature Essay

The Chorus plays a important function in the overall development of any Grecian calamity ; they are responsible for supplying the overall background and drumhead information of the drama, alongside they interact with characters to develop the personalities of characters and drive the secret plan. However, both Sophocles and Aeschylus somewhat adjust their properties and overall significance in their dramas. Through the expressed analysis of the map of the chorus, I hope to cast visible radiation on the similarities and differences in their responsibility within the several dramas.

Right from the start in Antigone, it is clear that the chorus is composed chiefly of male “ seniors [ that ] represents the point of position of an mean subdivision of society ” , stand foring the extent of the patriarchal society in which the drama is set and Antigone despised. However, it did automatically recognition the chorus for the information and words of wisdom passed on because the seniors themselves were one time warriors and fought in conflicts in the past – nevertheless with age they are limited to showing their accomplishments in words. As such, from the start of the drama they can be seen to take on the function of advisers to King Creon. Throughout the drama, the chorus can be seen reacting to Creon ‘s actions as seen in line 204 when the Chorus states that “ No 1 is such a sap that he is in love with decease ” , explicating to the King that no homo would be foolish plenty to withstand the words of Creon, therefore the act of burying must hold been the God ‘ will.

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The Chorus is the first to propose to Creon the spiritual deductions of the difference in respects to Polyneices and seek to chair between Haemon and Creon, nevertheless they are simply ignored and turned away from Creon ; it is non merely till Creon feels confused and distressed that the Chorus is able to continue and be taken earnestly. As such, the Chorus seems to prefer a cautious, discreet attack to affair, rather in contrast to the individualist, tragic gallantry of the chief character, Antigone – in other words, the chorus “ has its uninterrupted portion in the play, and has, in one manner or another, its part to do, due respect being paid to its slightly indefinite power ” . Indeed, this attack taken by the Chorus is critical in driving the secret plan of the drama, as

In add-on, at first glimpse the chorus in Antigone may be misinterpreted as being delicate and lame ; so, it merely seem to repeat the bids and desires of King Creon, and does non stand up for themselves and take place with the ‘rebellious ‘ Antigone. This is non an accident on Sophocles ‘ behalf. As observed throughout the drama, the purposeful giving up as demonstrated by the chorus farther enhances the feeling of imperative nature of Creon against Antigone and the remainder of the Grecian population.

From the above, it is clear that the Chorus plays a major function in the overall development of Antigone. Indeed, without the presence of the characteristic accelerator of the Chorus, Creon would ne’er hold changed is personality which would hold led to the ultimate disapprobation and decease of Antigone – the inevitable calamity of the heroine.

In Aeschylus ‘ Agamemnon, the Chorus can be seen to be moving as the narrative pendulum with clip, substituting between the past and present. This is in peculiar seen in the Parados where the Chorus creates a delaying consequence ; the plot line caputs backwards instead than forwards in clip, unlike the Watchman ‘s address which is well set in the present.

The chorus in Agamemnon is composed chiefly of old work forces – male parents of boies who fought and died at the Battle Troy. The position of holding fought in past conflicts and being able to remember the events bestows them with a signifier of credibleness and dominance as “ … old age leaves me tantrum for courage merely in vocal ” , which contracts their physical province – physically unable to contend due to age. However, despite this physical disablement they remain mentally strong and therefore when it comes to reding Agamemnon the Chorus retains their assurance, unlike the Chorus in Antigone.

However, rather in contrast, the Chorus in Agamemnon “ were born to grieve ” . Indeed, such feeling of heartache originates from the uninterrupted agitation of their male monarch, King Agamemnon. There are legion grounds for the Chorus ‘ sorrow – they believe that he has demonstrated discourtesy and audaciousness against the Grecian Gods, know of the King ‘s refusal of an offer of confederation from his enemies from Argos and guiltily acknowledge that they themselves suggested inauspicious ideas against Agamemnon. From such descriptions one can easy certify and warrant the corruptness and infirmity of the male monarch. However, the triumph in the expedition to Troy acted as a major counterbalance against such negative portraiture and can be alternatively be seen as “ the agent of Zeus and the leader of a campaign to implement Zeus ‘ justness ” . With such contradictions, it was inevitable for the chorus to go confusion when allegorizing and exemplifying Agamemnon. Indeed, he was, in present, a national hero ; his success in Troy has resulted in the ever-increasing copiousness and felicity for the Greek imperium, about as if Zeus himself showed regard to him. However, in his yesteryear, the wrongs which he has committed are excessively terrible to be merely disregarded. Therefore, the first difference between the function of the chorus appears: in ‘Agamemnon ‘ , the chorus seems to, in add-on to supplying the basic historiography to put the scene, “ analyze the occurrences of the yesteryear and so do a general statement of the will of the Gods as seen in these events ” – in other words, they ponder on throughout the full drama as to whether Agamemnon is a good male monarch or non.

In add-on, one may reason that “ their [ the Chorus ‘ ] wisdom seems evident in their acknowledgment of the justness inherent in the universe ” . Indeed, throughout the fresh Aeschylus intentionally sets out the scenario such that an act of justness merely farther adds and enhances the unfairness already present, where the narrative and reading of such events affects the audience, pressing them to see the ethical struggle, prosecuting them into emotional engagement of the drama. Aeschylus uses the Chorus to reiterate several cardinal words to assist stress certain points to “ uncover the poet ‘s purpose ” . As seen through the repeat of “ Zeus ” and “ telos ” – two words which Clytamnestra continuously repeats in her supplications – the subject of justness is integrated in the drama. This adds to the tenseness, as to whether the opinion and authorization of King Creon overrules that of the Gods.

In comparing to Antigone, the Parados in Agamemnon is really long, but Aeschylus makes it graphic by utilizing symbolism, similes and descriptive imagination. He divides the ode into chronological subdivisions to assist the audience focal point on the narration of the drama, from the scene of the drama, particularly the abduction of Helen and the choler of the Gods to portents and forfeit of Iphigenia. In changing the gait and beat of these subdivisions Aeschylus high spots the chorus ‘s tone and their reaction to certain events ; for illustration the metaphorical abduction of Helen and Zeus ‘s choler over the treachery of Menelaus ‘ cordial reception.

In decision, it is intelligible that the function of the chorus in Antigone and Agamemnon portion some similarities ; they play important functions in edifying the audience with the necessary background information therefore puting the scene, and besides developing the secret plan of the texts. Furthermore the Chorus in both texts reflects on many of import facets of Grecian life – Supreme beings, portents, prognostications, forfeits and justness – this legal imagination is of import in the drama because it relates to Greek society. However, their functions differ in the two dramas in such manner that whilst in Antigone the chorus cowers from the King which in consequence amplifies the oppressive image of Creon and therefore stirs up the audience ‘ understanding with Antigone, whilst in Agamemnon the Chorus seem to analyse the ‘good ‘ and ‘bad ‘ of Agamemnon and provoke the audience to find as to whether he is an honorable male monarch.



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