Blood Bonds Antigone And The Eumenides Essay

9 September 2017

Blood Chemical bonds: Antigone And The Eumenides Essay, Research Paper

Every homo on this Earth has a bond to another. These bonds, every bit good as their significance, differ between people. This paper will concentrate on the bonds of matrimony and blood, and their function in the dramas Antigone and The Eumenides. How do they associate to each other? Is one more of import than the other? How does the Godhead and mortal universe interpret these? Through a reappraisal of the two dramas and a comparing of their presentation of the bonds of blood and matrimony, this paper will reply these inquiries.

Upon initial scrutiny, the bond of blood seems to be the predominating one in Antigone, but upon closer scrutiny, it is obvious that the bond of matrimony plays a strong function every bit good.

Sophocles introduces these bonds through Antigone & # 8217 ; s troubled lineage ; she was born of an confederation between her brother and her female parent. ( This confederation besides produced Ismene, Polyneices, and Eteocles. ) This noncompliance of natural Torahs clearly shows the discourtesy that this household has for bonds of matrimony and of blood. This noncompliance may be unconditioned, as some argue that Oedipus knew nil of his married woman & # 8217 ; s relation to him when he killed the male monarch, his male parent. ( Coles Notes, 20-21 )

In any instance, this discourtesy has been passed onto Antigone. She sees matrimony as a sort of decease. ( Sophocles, 504-508 ) She besides states that she would non hold buried her hubby against the metropolis & # 8217 ; s orders, as she did for her brother. ( Sophocles, 960-964 ) Her logic is that although she may hold another hubby or kid, she will ne’er hold another brother, since her parents are dead. ( Sophocles, 966-969 ) This leads to the decision that the decease of her parents has strengthened the blood bond. ( In other words, the devastation of matrimony causes stronger blood ties, where matrimony weakens blood ties. ) This is why Antigone sees matrimony as a sort of decease, and why she believes that it will weaken her ties with her household. ( Sophocles, 506-512 )

Antigone first expresses her sense of responsibility to her siblings in lines 81 to 89:

& # 8220 ; Be as you choose to be ; but for myself

I myself will bury him. It will be good

To decease, so making. I shall lie by his side,

Loving him as he loved me ; I shall be

a criminal-but a spiritual one. & # 8221 ;

This strong belief is tested indirectly many times throughout the drama, but most strongly in a confrontation with Creon, where she maintains and restates her original beliefs. ( Sophocles, 509-515 ) This is particularly notable sing the times in which she lived. Her topographic point is in the family, or oikos, non to look for glorification or courage, or dispute important figures.

The lines are non as clearly drawn in The Eumenides. The Godhead and mortal universes have different sentiments about the holiness of blood and matrimony bonds. The issue here is one of justness, as it is in Antigone, but in a different regard. In add-on, a complicated household history leads up to the struggle. During the Trojan War, King Agamemnon sacrificed his girl. When he returned, his married woman, Clytaemestra, in retaliation for his offense murdered him. Many old ages subsequently, their boy, Orestes, murdered Clytaemestra ( who was non punished ) in retaliation for his male parent & # 8217 ; s decease. ( Aeschylus, 454-464 ) Questions arise, such as: Is the offense of Orestes more terrible than that of Clytaemestra? Should Orestes be punished or is his offense one of justness?

In the beginning, the lines seem clearly drawn. The Gods, spec

ifically Apollo, see the matrimony bond as equal to one of blood. His logic behind this is that Zeus and Hera have sanctified the matrimony curses. ( Aeschylus, 213-222 ) Persons, as represented by the chorus, see a matrimony bond as inconsequential compared with a bond of blood. ( Aeschylus, 211-12 ) However, subsequently in the drama, Athene agrees with the persons, although her opinion of Orestes’ penalty does non reflect this belief. ( Aeschylus, 739-41, 752-753 ) These contradictions highlight the struggle between Godhead and person, and matrimony and blood.

In both dramas, a blatant discourtesy for the matrimony bond is shown. In Antigone, it is seen in Oedipus & # 8217 ; devastation of his parent & # 8217 ; s matrimony. ( Coles Notes, 20 ) The male monarch, Creon, besides shows discourtesy for this bond, as shown in lines 626-629 and in lines 632-633:

& # 8220 ; Ismene: Will you kill your boy & # 8217 ; s married woman to be?

Creon: Yes, there are other Fieldss for him to plow.

Ismene: Not with the common love of him and her.

Creon: I hate a bad married woman for a boy of mine.

[ . . . ]

Chorus: Will you rob you boy of this miss?

Creon: Death-it is decease that will halt the matrimony for me. & # 8221 ;

In The Eumenides, the discourtesy for this bond is shown most clearly by the refusal of persons ( Aeschylus, 211-13 ) and Athene ( Aeschylus, 739-40 ) to accept the bond of matrimony as one equal to the bond of blood.

In contrast, a strong regard for the bonds of blood is shown in both dramas. For Antigone, her siblings are the most of import people to her. She is willing to bury her brother against the metropolis & # 8217 ; s orders even if it means her executing. ( Sophocles, 82-89 ) This seems to be contradicted by the awkward place that she puts her sister, Ismene, in by inquiring her to take part in Antigone & # 8217 ; s offense. ( Sophocles, 90-101 ) However, Antigone does this out of regard and obeisance for her oikos, the kingdom of the family. Everything that she does throughout the drama is out of this regard and obeisance.

Creon disrespects Antigone & # 8217 ; s obeisance to her oikos, as shown by his consistent belief that what Antigone did was incorrect, no affair what her grounds. ( Sophocles, 526-40 ) He is besides disrespecting the bond of blood of uncle and niece between him and Antigone. ( Sophocles, 530-534 ) His pride dominates ancient imposts and his love for his household. ( Sophocles, 585-587. )

The competition of regard and discourtesy for these bonds is seen once more in The Eumenides. As antecedently stated, Apollo sees the bond of blood and the bond of matrimony as equal ( Aeschylus, 213-23 ) , where persons ( Aeschylus, 211-13 ) and Athene ( Aeschylus, 739-40 ) see the bond of blood as superior to that of matrimony. This causes struggles between the Gods. In the beginning of the drama, this struggle is between Apollo, who believes Orestes should non be punished, and the Furies, who believe he should be punished for matricide. When opinion on Orestes is passed ( & # 8221 ; Athene: The adult male before us has escaped the charge of blood. & # 8221 ; line 752 ) , the wrath of the Furies moves from Apollo to Athene. This struggle lasts from line 778 to the terminal of the drama.

It is obvious after close scrutiny between these two texts that the bonds between matrimony and blood are frequently complicated. They are frequently intertwined ( as seen by Antigone & # 8217 ; s lineage ) and their importance differs between civilizations and social places, as seen in The Eumenides. Antigone and The Furies are of import Greek social statements on the bonds of blood and matrimony.

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