The Importance Of Human Life In Sophocles Antigone

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‘Sophocles, because he was a great artist, had something more important to do even than to make beautiful plays, namely to express as directly as his medium allowed certain tragic ideas which sprung out of a certain apprehension about human life.’ (H.D.F. Kitto)
Consider the merits of this statement with reference to Sophocles’ play Antigone.
Placing the words ‘tragic ideas’ and ‘apprehension about human life’ in the one sentence is not something we do every day, but if we look at history throughout time, dealing with the inevitability of death is something we do unconsciously every day of our lives and always have. Some people choose to use religion as a means to deal with death, others choose to live life to the full with extreme sports,
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Sophocles also shows the consequences of actions throughout the whole play, to even include the messenger fearful for his life bringing the message of sighting the buried body, but if he didn’t carry the message when he tells Creon ‘I can suffer nothing more than what is in my fate’. Creon had to deal with the consequences of his actions after entombing Antigone, his son’s wife to be, his son committing suicide to be with his wife in the afterlife and then Creon’s own wife also killing herself out of anguish of the death of her second son. Sophocles wanted to show, regardless of whether you believe in the archaic gods, monotheism, or even if you believe that the rules laid down by the king of the city should be the only rules your actions in this life will always have consequences. As Oliver Taplin notes in his book Greek Tragedy in action, ‘great drama makes universals concrete, and portrays the human condition through the voice and the actions of the human
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