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Antigone Critical Essays

by Sophocles

❶The person telling the story. Literary analysis involves examining all the parts of a novel, play, short story, or poem—elements such as character, setting, tone, and imagery—and thinking about how the author uses those elements to create certain effects.

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Critical Evaluation

Many questions remain unanswered, many conflicts unresolved. For example, when is family more important than the state? In ancient Greece, it was the duty of women to bury family members. Leaving Polynices unburied was a violation of not only the laws of the gods but also the laws of the family. After a brutal civil war, however, restoring order is the responsibility of the king.

When, and to what extent, do the laws of the gods and of the state override the laws of the family? Connected to the above themes is the theme of choices and consequences. The characters in the play have free will to choose, but the consequences of their choices are guided by fate—determined by the gods. To what extent, however, do the characters truly have free will? How much is each bound by their position in society, or by their conscience?

Both Antigone and Creon stick stubbornly to what they feel are logical choices—but they are limited in their knowledge and cannot foresee all the consequences of their choices. Too often they stubbornly refuse to listen to council, which tries to guide them in their choices. Maybe the main character acts one way around his family and a completely different way around his friends and associates.

The best questions invite critical debates and discussions, not just a rehashing of the summary. Finally, remember to keep the scope of your question in mind: Conversely, is this a topic big enough to fill the required length?

Keep track of passages, symbols, images, or scenes that deal with your topic. These are the elements that you will analyze in your essay, and which you will offer as evidence to support your arguments. For more on the parts of literary works, see the Glossary of Literary Terms at the end of this section.

These are the whats of the work—what happens, where it happens, and to whom it happens. These are the hows —how the characters speak, how the story is constructed, and how language is used throughout the work. A thesis is a claim about a work of literature that needs to be supported by evidence and arguments. The thesis statement is the heart of the literary essay, and the bulk of your paper will be spent trying to prove this claim. A good thesis will be:.

Would Piggy in The Lord of the Flies make a good island leader if he were given the chance? Golding emphasizes this point by giving Piggy a foil in the charismatic Jack, whose magnetic personality allows him to capture and wield power effectively, if not always wisely.

The reasons and examples that support your thesis will form the middle paragraphs of your essay. One essay prompt might ask you to compare and contrast two characters, while another asks you to trace an image through a given work of literature.

These questions require different kinds of answers and therefore different kinds of arguments. You can either go subject by subject or point by point. This can be a highly effective strategy if you want to make a counterintuitive argument—that, despite seeming to be totally different, the two objects being compared are actually similar in a very important way or vice versa.

Remember that your essay should reveal something fresh or unexpected about the text, so think beyond the obvious parallels and differences. Choose an image—for example, birds, knives, or eyes—and trace that image throughout Macbeth.

Sounds pretty easy, right? All you need to do is read the play, underline every appearance of a knife in Macbeth , and then list them in your essay in the order they appear, right? In the Macbeth example above, think about the different contexts in which knives appear in the play and to what effect.

In Macbeth , there are real knives and imagined knives; knives that kill and knives that simply threaten. Categorize and classify your examples to give them some order. Finally, always keep the overall effect in mind. Is the society depicted in good for its citizens? You might be asked to judge a character or group of characters Is Caesar responsible for his own demise?

For this kind of essay, there are two important points to keep in mind. Every literary essay expects you to read and analyze the work, so search for evidence in the text. What do characters in have to say about the government of Oceania? What images does Orwell use that might give you a hint about his attitude toward the government? As in any debate, you also need to make sure that you define all the necessary terms before you begin to argue your case. You should define your terms right up front, in the first paragraph after your introduction.

Second, remember that strong literary essays make contrary and surprising arguments. Try to think outside the box. But can you think of any arguments for the opposite side? Even if your final assertion is that the novel depicts a cruel, repressive, and therefore harmful society, acknowledging and responding to the counterargument will strengthen your overall case. Your introduction sets up the entire essay.

A persuasive literary essay immediately establishes its writer as a knowledgeable, authoritative figure. An introduction can vary in length depending on the overall length of the essay, but in a traditional five-paragraph essay it should be no longer than one paragraph.

However long it is, your introduction needs to:. The organization of this middle section of your essay will largely be determined by the argumentative strategy you use, but no matter how you arrange your thoughts, your body paragraphs need to do the following:. A good conclusion will:. The antagonist is usually another character but may also be a non-human force. A protagonist who is not admirable or who challenges notions of what should be considered admirable.

A person, animal, or any other thing with a personality that appears in a narrative. The moment of greatest intensity in a text or the major turning point in the plot. The central struggle that moves the plot forward. The principal character in a literary work or narrative.

Language that brings to mind sense-impressions, representing things that can be seen, smelled, heard, tasted, or touched. A recurring idea, structure, contrast, or device that develops or informs the major themes of a work of literature. The person sometimes a character who tells a story; the voice assumed by the writer.

The narrator and the author of the work of literature are not the same person. The arrangement of the events in a story, including the sequence in which they are told, the relative emphasis they are given, and the causal connections between events. The perspective that a narrative takes toward the events it describes.

The location of a narrative in time and space. Setting creates mood or atmosphere. A secondary plot that is of less importance to the overall story but may serve as a point of contrast or comparison to the main plot. An object, character, figure, or color that is used to represent an abstract idea or concept. Unlike an emblem, a symbol may have different meanings in different contexts. The way the words in a piece of writing are put together to form lines, phrases, or clauses; the basic structure of a piece of writing.

An author communicates voice through tone, diction, and syntax. Take a deep breath and start by asking yourself these questions: Frankenstein and his monster alike? Elements of Story These are the whats of the work—what happens, where it happens, and to whom it happens. All of the events and actions of the work. The people who act and are acted upon in a literary work. The main character of a work is known as the protagonist.

The central tension in the work. When and where the work takes place. Elements of setting include location, time period, time of day, weather, social atmosphere, and economic conditions. The person telling the story. The narrator may straightforwardly report what happens, convey the subjective opinions and perceptions of one or more characters, or provide commentary and opinion in his or her own voice.

The main ideas or messages of the work—usually abstract ideas about people, society, or life in general. A work may have many themes, which may be in tension with one another. Elements of Style These are the hows —how the characters speak, how the story is constructed, and how language is used throughout the work. How the parts of the work are assembled. Some novels are narrated in a linear, chronological fashion, while others skip around in time.

Literary Devices in Antigone

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Antigone essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Antigone by Sophocles.

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Analysis Insights Antigone Critical Essays Sophocles. Homework Help. Critical Evaluation Antigone is a complex play, one that defies ready interpretation. It is a study of human actions.

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Free Essay: In Antigone, Antigone braves through all of her hardships and decisions with her morals and set of values. She dies with pride and no regret for. - Antigone– Characterization This essay will illustrate the types of characters depicted in Sophocles’ tragic drama, Antigone, whether static or dynamic, flat or round, and whether portrayed through the showing or telling technique.

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Sophocles' earliest of the three Theban plays is entitled the Antigone. The focus is on the character traits of the main character of the play Antigone with some analysis of Creon's actions towards Antigone. The play begins with a general introduction the Greek theatre of the time (the fifth and. Character Analysis of Antigone Antigone is an award winning play by Sophocles, one of the three best Greek dramatists of all down4allmachinegz.gqne is a mythical princess of Thebes. She is the product of the accidental incestuous marriage between King Oedipus and Jocasta, whom is Oedipus’ mother as well.