The Themes Of The Medea And Antigone English Literature Essay

September 7, 2017 English Literature

The dramas Medea by Europides and Antigone by Sophocles explore many subjects including treachery, passion, pride, calamity and love. Love plays a motivation function which determines the actions of the chief characters in both dramas ; it drives both Medea and Antigone to go against the regulations of societal behaviour when the former commits a slaying ruthlessly and the latter defies adult male ‘s jurisprudence despite cognizing that it could be her ain life. Love is of import in footings of the cardinal characters because it is the primary factor which establishes the determinations made by Medea and Antigone.

Medea ‘s deathless love for Jason in the drama Medea leads her to perpetrate several morally questionable Acts of the Apostless which are abhorred in the Athenian society. As a adult female of passionate nature, the love she felt for Jason overpowers her ain moral judgement which so causes her to transport out the ugly act of slaying her ain kids. If Medea had non fallen in love with Jason, the Nurse provinces, “ so neither would Medea, My kept woman, of all time have set canvas for the walled town of Iolcus, mad with love for Jasonaˆ¦ ” Jason ‘s unlikely act of go forthing Medea for Glauce causes Medea to be “ scorned and shamed ” , “ she will non eat ; she lies collapsed in torment, / Dissolving the long hours in cryings ” . It incites Medea to slay her ain kids and this demonstrates the power of the love that she has for Jason. The power of Medea ‘s love is extremely important in footings of the cardinal premiss as the calamity which befalls upon her boies is caused by her love for Jason.

Throughout the class of the drama, it can be seen that the desire to acquire retaliation against Jason is driven by her love for him, with her passionate nature. The dismaying scene of slaying her kids exemplifies the power of Jason ‘s treachery of Medea, which accordingly shows Medea ‘s passionate character, when driven by love, causes her to execute the slaying. Her slaying was seen as an aberrance to the Athenian society as it was extortionate ; even though the power of Jason ‘s treachery is paramount, it is non an alibi to kill the inexperienced person. The fact that they are her ain boies farther magnifies Medea ‘s selfish and predatory character, whose merely motivation is to destruct Jason because of his treachery. Yet this event had been prognosticated by the audience when Creon asserts: “ Your words are soft ; but my blood tallies cold to think/ What plots you may be nursing deep within your bosom ” . The slaying of her boies signifies the strength of the hate that she felt against Jason as without his boies, there is no 1 else to transport Jason ‘s household line after he is gone. This relates to the values of the Athenian society where boies are regarded as more of import than girls because they will transport the household line in future coevals. Through the action of killing her boies, it is apparent that her love for Jason is huge and therefore shows that love is a primary factor which determines the actions of the primary character in Medea.

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Medea ‘s love for herself is besides another primary factor which leads to perpetrating the slaying. Her pride causes her to move amorally ; the immense love she has for Jason drives Medea to contemplate on ways to destruct him after his treachery. In the conversation that Medea has with Creon, she states: “ Oh, what evil power love has on people ‘s lives! ” Euripides uses the character of Medea as a literary device to exemplify the power of love and the effects which follow. The passion she feels for Jason and Jason ‘s actions causes her to be filled with retribution, a retribution, when motivated by love, is strong plenty to kill her two boies. The sum of love that she has for herself, the pride within her, causes her to plot violently against her victims: “ I have in head so many waies of decease for them, ” “ Should I set fire to the house, / And fire the nuptial chamber? Or crawl up to their bed/ And drive a crisp knife through their backbones? ” ( page 28 ) Throughout the drama, it is apparent that love is one of the primary motive which leads to the ultimate calamity of the drama.

In the drama Antigone by Sophocles, Antigone ‘s love for her brother is proven strong plenty to drive her to perpetrate an act which finally leads to her ain decease. Antigone broke adult male ‘s jurisprudence “ the order/ Says he is non to be buried, non to be mourned ; / To be left unburied, unwept, a banquet of flesh/ For sharp-eyed carrion birds ” to guarantee that her brother has a proper entombment. The act of burying Polyneices portrays Antigone ‘s passionate nature, where she is determined to dispute adult male ‘s jurisprudence and alternatively follow God ‘s jurisprudence. Antigone asserts “ that order did non come from God. Justice, / That dwells with the God ‘s below, knows no such jurisprudence. ” This farther demonstrates her strong-minded character and accordingly shows that the love for her brother has caused her to try to bury him at the cost of her ain life, “ And if I die for it, what felicity! / Convicted of fear – I shall be content/ To lie beside a brother whom I love. ” In footings of character, both Medea and Antigone are strong-willed ; they are determined to acquire what they want, no affair what the cost is. The love both characters have thrusts them to give lives. Alternatively of giving anyone else, Antigone had sacrificed her ain life to reconstruct her brother ‘s honor.

Antigone believes that it is her “ responsibility to the dead ” even if it means giving her ain life to esteem her brother and bury him in order to maintain her brother ‘s honor, “ I have given my brother burial./ What greater honor could I wish? ” When she was called in by Creon, she argues that he has no right to withstand God ‘s jurisprudence and in response to her statement, Creon states: “ We ‘ll hold no adult female ‘s jurisprudence here. ” He emphasizes on the fact that adult female have no topographic point in saying the Torahs and discriminates Antigone because she is a adult female and this relates to the subject of gender functions, how adult female is looked down upon in the Athenian society where work forces are considered more superior than adult females. In the drama, the description of the burial described by the Sentry is important because as a adult female, she defies Creon ‘s jurisprudence as described by the Lookout: “ Then she picks up the dry Earth in her custodies, / And pouring out of a all right bronze urn she ‘s brought/ She makes her offering three times to the dead. ” Throughout the drama, Antigone holds to the thought that godly jurisprudence is higher than adult male ‘s jurisprudence and is resolved from the beginning to follow Godhead jurisprudence. The drama accurately depicts the power of love and its consequence on the chief character, Antigone, as it acts as a primary motivation factor to perpetrate Acts of the Apostless which leads to her ain tragic decease.

The self-destruction of Haemon, Antigone ‘s fiance , illustrates that the love that he felt for Antigone is huge, strong plenty for him to kill himself. Haemon had instead kill himself than live without Antigone. This event is delineated in a manner that love causes people carry out absurd and normally negative Acts of the Apostless which have a enormous consequence on their ain lives, and other people ‘s lives. When the Messenger brought intelligence to the Chorus, he alleged that “ Haemon is dead, / Slain by his own-aˆ¦ His ain hand./ His male parent ‘s act it was that drove him to it. ” It magnifies the power of love that Antigone had for her brother, the same manner Haemon had loved Antigone. The decease of Antigone had been intolerable for Haemon ; he was found “ with his weaponries around her, there stood he/ Lamenting his lost bride, his luckless love, / His male parent ‘s inhuman treatment. ” Haemon “ Leaned on his blade and push it deeply home/ In his ain side ” . The description of his decease, “ his spirting blood staining [ Antigone ‘s ] picket cheeks ruddy ” and the imagination used by Sophocles is of import in depicting the calamity that befall upon Creon, because of his ain pride and actions.

Creon ‘s love for his ain ego causes him to lose both his boy and married woman, as his married woman, excessively, killed herself after hearing the intelligence of her boy ‘s decease as the Messenger relates to Creon: “ She is dead – your married woman, the female parent of him that is dead – /The death-wound fresh in her bosom. ” Creon so curses his ‘stubborn will ‘ and is cognizant that his rough penalty on Antigone had caused his household ‘s decease. This relates to the subject of pride, where Creon is ruled by his ain pride of being a King, and cruelly punishes Antigone. This is important as his amour propre contributed to his ain ruin and the tragic deceases of both his boy and married woman.

In both dramas Medea and Antigone, love Acts of the Apostless as a motivation factor to perpetrate Acts of the Apostless which necessarily led to several tragic deceases of its characters. The lone contrast is the type of love that the primary characters had for their loved 1s. Antigone ‘s determinations were caused by the strong household bond shared between herself and Polyneices while Medea ‘s deathless love was from the fondness that she felt for Jason, the individual whom she had abandoned her household for. Both of the primary character ‘s love for the other had caused lives to be sacrificed- Glauce, Creon and Medea ‘s boies in the drama Medea and Antigone, Haemon, and Creon ‘s married woman in the drama Antigone.

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