How Does Sophocles Emphasize the Thematic Importance of Fate in Antigone?

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How does Sophocles emphasize the thematic importance of fate in the Ancient Greek tragedy “Antigone”? Greek Tragedy is one of the most common forms of Greek theatre. Plays of that nature were usually performed in late March to early April, in homage to Dionysus, the god of wine. In the words of the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle, tragedy is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotion. Every tragedy, therefore, must have six parts, which determine its quality- namely plot, characters, diction, thought, spectacle, melody. Throughout Antigone, the significance of fate is being stressed by Sophocles. In order to understand why, one must delve into Greek culture. Greeks, like almost every other ancient civilization believed in higher powers, in the form of twelve major gods who ruled Olympus. The Greeks believed that gods had the power to strike down any man they deem unfit to live. In Greek mythology, Zeus was the king of the gods and most prayers were directed to him. To anger Zeus was to bring disaster upon oneself, as Creon does. Crean was perfectly justified in issuing the edict which deprived Polyneices of his funeral rights. He had fallen in the act of committing the most heinous crime of which a citizen could be guilty, and Creon, as the ruler of the state, naturally assumed that exemplary punishment was his rightful due. The decree became law, and as it was a law every citizen was forced to obey it. However to Antigone no obligation was more sacred in the eyes of the Greeks than the duty she undertook, which was to provide her brother with proper burial rights.

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