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The Role of Fate in Sophocles’ Antigone Essay


The ancient Greeks strongly thought that fate ruled their lives. The gods, they thought, recognized the fate of each and every one of them. Their fate was determined at birth. This approach ended up being the driving force in Greek catastrophes. The three Theban plays of Sophocles including Oedipus as well as his household show this belief with heartbreaking results in each circumstances. Yet destiny plays a much various duty in the play Antigone than it carries out in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. Oedipus was warned by the gods along with by prophets.

He lived his life in expectancy of his fate, whereas Antigone appears to serve as the master of her very own fate.

Both end up unfortunately with fate playing a starring role; yet in Antigone there are various other subtleties of fate that drive the story. The Duty of Fate in Sophocles’ Antigone Modern man is an animal of his free choice. A person who devotes a crime such as murder does so of his own free choice. If an individual being pursued murder were to suggest that it was fate– that he was destined to kill, this argument would certainly not bring much weight with a jury. This principle of guy’s free will is something that was not a part of old Greek approach. The gods ruled the lives of the Greeks and, they believed, directed their destiny.

The Greeks had three gods of destiny– the Moirai– who were thought to “spin the threads of a human fate” (Fate, 2008). Their names personified their functions– Clotho (Rewriter) was the siren that wove the destiny of everyone; Lachesis (Allotter) was the one who dispensed the fate; and also Atropos (Inflexible) determined when the thread of destiny would certainly be cut (the moment of an individual’s death) (Fate, 2008). They additionally counted on oracles or seers who predicted their destiny. Although these prophecies were typically misunderstood, the Greeks took them to heart, living their lives according to what they identified (appropriately or mistakenly) was their fate.

They were animals of the gods and also this ideology suffused their lives. They lived their lives going after expertise of their destiny, a difficult task thinking about that the gods as well as the oracles provided only an imprecise item of their tale. The Greek god Zeus, they thought, can conserve them from destiny if he desired. But most of the time, Zeus took no duty in the fate of each person. The Greeks’ perception of the function of fate in their lives was frequently the subject of Greek dramatization. Aeschylus depicts his personalities as driven by the activities of the gods.

Euripides’ personalities were ordinary Greeks portrayed as they were. Yet Sophocles created personalities who were “controlled in their fate more by their own mistakes than by the actions of the gods” (Sophocles, 2007). This is especially real in his play Antigone, where the title character is driven by her feeling of family members instead of her obedience to the regulation. She defies the order of her uncle, Creon, who ended up being the leader of Thebes upon the death of her sibling Eteocles by the hand of her other bro Polyneices. Creon orders that Polyneices, as a traitor to Thebes, must lie unburied (Sophocles, 1996).

Antigone resists his order and also spreads funeral oil as well as earth over her sibling’s body. She is identified to bury her sibling, no matter what the repercussions. She is certain that she is best and also she does not swerve from her goal. According to Lines in her essay Antigone’s Problems, the flaw of hubris in Antigone is forgotten since she appears to be doing the appropriate thing– following the law of the gods over the regulation of a plain mortal (Lines, 1999) but it is her very own persistence and possible ill-placed satisfaction in what she is doing that brings about her ultimate fatality. It is not the prophesy of a seer that establishes her destiny.

Basically, she is the master of her very own fate, unlike her dad whose destiny was determined by the gods and the prophecies of the oracles early in his life. Both Oedipus, Antigone’s papa, and Antigone herself experience the heartbreaking effects of their activities, yet Antigone, also if her destiny were spun by the Moirai, had possibilities to change her fate; Oedipus, by the time he recognized exactly how his life had been predetermined, truly had no choice in the issue. To prove her factor, Lines cites the carolers in Antigone who say that Antigone is “a law unto herself” (Lines, 1999).

Her fate, consequently, is self-willed. She is drawn to her destiny by her “self-certainty or, perhaps even much better, self-righteousness … a kind of hubris” (Lines, 1999). Her setting is strengthened in an essay by Leach in which she says “That ‘a guy’s personality is his destiny’, as Heraclitus claims, is a concept plainly identified certainly by the Greek dramatization” (Leach, 1917, 139). The philosophy of destiny and also destiny in old Greece was necessary to the unfortunate plays of males like Sophocles, however it did not constantly play the very same function in every dramatization.

There are those personalities that are predestined to accomplish the textile of fate woven for them by the Moirai at birth. As well as there are others whose problems seal their fate– a fate that may or else be stayed clear of. Antigone falls into the latter classification, her willfulness and also sanctity causing an awful end not just for her, yet likewise for her lover Haemon and his mommy Eurydice.

Recommendations Fate. (2008 ). In Encyclop? dia Britannica. Retrieved November 11, 2008, from Encyclop? dia Britannica Online http://www. britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/202442/Fate Leach, Abby. (1917 ). Destiny and also free choice in Greek literary works. The Greek Genius and also Its Influence: Select Essays and Extracts. Lane Cooper ed. ). New Sanctuary, CT: Yale College Press. 1917. Lines, Patricia M. (1999 ). Antigone’s problem. Humanitas, 12, 4. Gotten November 11, 2008 from Questia. com data source. Sophocles. (2007 ). In The Columbia Encyclopedia (sixth ed. ). Fetched November 11, 2008, from Questia. com data source. Sophocles. (1996 ). The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles. (Paul Roche, Trans. ). New York City: Meridian.

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