Comments on Greek Tragedies


     The following mainly deals with the tragedies of Sophocles. More specifically, Oedipus and Antigone.

     The Greek tragedy, as most Greek dramas (or any Greek literature, for that matter) do, often has very much to do with the gods. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus's whole fate is brought about because he tries to outsmart the gods, in a sense, by trying to prove the oracles to Apollo wrong. However, in the end, the prophecies spoken by them come true. 

     In Antigone, both political influence and religious influence are present. Antigone decides to bury the dead Polynices, despite Creon, the king's, order not to. She knows that this will mean her death. Thus, we get a glimpse of the power of the king, to sentence someone to death for something that today seems not so serious. Antigone believes she's doing the right thing because the custom of burying the dead was given by the gods, and she believes that is more important than Creon's wishes. The dilemma faced by Antigone was this: Does she honor the gods and die, or obey what Creon commands and survive? Which is right? Of course, as already said, she chooses to honor the death of Polynices.