Societal Greek Values Reflected in Antigone

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Ancient Greek culture set a precedent for the rest of western thought throughout time. The Greeks valued many things like democracy in government, ancient traditions beliefs in their gods, and the role their citizens played in establishing a civilized society. From their very rudimentary “worship” of Dionysus, their god of wine and fertility, to one of the world’s first drama festivals, Greek Tragedy became popular among the intellects and influential on the masses that flocked to amphitheaters to watch. The playwrights knew they had a very attentive audience and used their plays to showcase important ideals and values. One of the most influential and talented playwrights of them all, Sophocles, titled one of his famous tragedies after its female heroine, which was as rare as finding a woman in power in Greece. Aptly titled because the burial of her brother, Polyneices, in defiance of Creon’s law and his new “vessel of state”, and the tragic consequences of her act of civil disobedience put her in the running for Aristotle’s coveted tragic hero mantle. (Sophocles) In addition to a strong female heroine, Sophocles uses symbolism through three of his main characters--Ismene, Creon, and Antigone--to represent several societal values to his Greek audiences, and, in turn, creates a capsule of Greek ideals and values that survive throughout time. Sophocles starts his appeal to his Greek audience through his young and innocent Flower of Oedipus, Ismene. She symbolizes the Greek’s understanding of the role of women in society and the civilian’s loyalty to their King. Antigone charges her baby sister, Ismene, with a physical and dangerous task--to help bury their dead brother whose corpse has been punished by their Uncle King Creon for traitorously attacking their King brother, Eteocles, and killing him in battle. Although Ismene professes her love for her brother and
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