Origins[ edit ] The concept for the series originated in with Cedric Messinaa BBC producer who specialised in television productions of theatrical classics, while he was on location at Glamis Castle in AngusScotland, shooting an adaptation of J. By the time he had returned to London, however, his idea had grown considerably, and he now envisioned an entire series devoted exclusively to the dramatic work of Shakespeare; a series which would adapt all thirty-seven Shakespearean plays. He had anticipated that everyone in the BBC would be excited about the concept, but this did not prove so. Furthermore, they argued that Shakespeare on television rarely worked, and they were of the opinion that there was simply no need to do all thirty-seven plays, as many were obscure and would not find an audience amongst the general public, even in England.
Divine Law The play opens with the debate between the sisters Antigone and Ismene about which law comes first—the religious duty of citizens, or the civil duty?
Antigone invites Ismene to join her in burying their brother Polyneices, though the king has forbidden burial on pain of death. Antigone denies that Creon has authority in the matter of burial, a sacred duty she feels bound to fulfill.
Creon, on the other hand, believes the state is supreme. He says to the city counselors: Furthermore, since he represents the city-state of Thebes as its king, his will is sovereign.
They point out here that the two laws are in conflict—civil and religious.
Tragedy is bound to occur when these two vital laws are set against one another, for both sacred law and civil law are necessary for the welfare of the people. The gods also weigh in through omens, and the prophesy of the seer, Teiresias.
He proves by example the will of the gods overrides human law. An early choral ode praises the wonders of human accomplishment: On the other hand, humans seem limited by their mortality and their fate, or predetermined destiny.
Someone like Oedipus, born with a certain prophesied fate, is not able to circumvent it by any means. Creon, however, seems to suffer through his own choices and stubbornness.
Creon feels confident that through his will, he can make laws for the city of Thebes, and at first he sticks by his decision to punish Antigone.
Together the fates were called the Moirae, the ones who apportioned human destiny. In early Greek literature, Fate was all-powerful, even more powerful than the gods, for even Zeus did not know when his reign would end. Sophocles and the later philosophers like Plato, however, tried to balance the picture by glorifying human reason as an echo of the reasoning intelligence behind cosmic law.
Humans could thus modify their own destiny if they were wise. For this world came into being from a mixture of Necessity and Intelligence.
Intelligence controlled Necessity by persuading it for the most part to bring about the best result, and it was by this subordination of Necessity to Reasonable persuasion that the universe was originally constituted as it is. Fate still is powerful in this view, but more so where humans are arrogant and blind.
The purpose of tragedy then is to show how humans bring fate down on themselves. There is usually more than one choice available, and the tragic hero makes the wrong choice, as in the case of Creon.
Antigone, however, is entangled in a legacy of fate that plagues everyone in the family of Oedipus. Her destiny seems more set and less her fault, though she does brings it down on herself by rebelling against Creon.This website and its content is subject to our Terms and Conditions.
Tes Global Ltd is registered in England (Company No ) with its registered office at 26 Red Lion Square London WC1R 4HQ. A reminder sheet that defines just what this phrase means giving students the tool to identify those characters who fulfill this role.
Antigone: Theme Analysis, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature.
+ free ebooks online. Did you know that you can help us produce ebooks by proof-reading just one page a day? Go to: Distributed Proofreaders. Romeo and Juliet: Analysis by Act and Scene. From Romeo and r-bridal.com Henry Norman Hudson. New York: Ginn and Co., INTRODUCTION.
Tragedy as well as comedy deals with a conflict between an individual force (which may be centered either in one character or in a group of characters acting as one) and environing circumstances. Romeo and Juliet study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.