The Psychoanalytic Study Of Antigone English Literature Essay

This survey investigates the psychoanalytic operation of Sophocles ‘s “ Antigone ” as against the Modern Antigone by German dramatis Anouilh.It will assist us in understanding the grounds and urges under which she challenges the stiff autocratic regulation and fulfilled the spiritual and filial responsibility of giving a proper nice entombment to her asleep brother Polynices.She disobeys Creon and accordingly sacrifices her life for this act of courage.


Many authors have been interested in the subject of trueness and treachery, from ancient Sophocles and his maestro piece “ Antigone ” , to Shakespeare ‘s “ Julius Caesar ” , to Carmen Taffola ‘s “ Marked ” and eventually Josephina Niggli ‘s “ The Ring of General Macias ” . Each one of the mentioned plants relates to different facets of the declared subject. Yet, the most critical inquiry comes when trueness and treachery are accompanied with issues of life and decease. At this point, the existent inquiry is dropped: “ Is pride or love a deathly wickedness to do the ruin of a male monarch and the loss of the beloved 1s?

Background Information about the Author and Myth:

Throughout the Grecian history of play, Sophocles was one of the most outstanding dramatists of all time excepting Aeschylus and Euripides, who came instead subsequently. His calling as a dramatist came to life after he won his first award in the Dionysian theater competition over Aeschylus. Right after his astonishing triumph, he became one of the of import figures in ancient Athens every bit good as in theater. Throughout 50 outstanding old ages, Sophocles entered 30 competitions winning twenty four out of them and ne’er taking less than 2nd. There is no uncertainty that he is given recognition for adding a 3rd character on phase, which will determine in the close hereafter the history of theater. In add-on to that, Sophocles had a great sense of creativeness when it came to developing his characters and this will be discussed subsequently on.


Concept of entombment in ancient Greece

A deep survey of Sophocles ‘ drama Antigone intends to foreground one of the major issues of Grecian society i.e. the importance of entombment which is the basic cause of the lifting struggle of the drama sing the right of the entombment of Polyneices who had betrayed his state, escaped from expatriate and brought fire and decease to his ain people. Sophocles has articulated the importance of the entombment, therefore, giving us a glance into their beliefs back so.

The ancient Greeks used to believe that if a psyche was left unburied for a long clip it would n’t be able to traverse over and happen peace and it is for this ground that every faith holds this canonic belief that the dead should be buried with due fear and if it is non done sacredly, the whole community has to confront its dire effects. This is precisely what is depicted in Antigone. Creon is punished by the Gods because he left Polyneices ‘ organic structure unburied. Antigone for illustration says that, “ There is no guilt in fear to the dead ( scene two- 106 ) However, there are awards due all the dead. ( Scene two 113 )

The chief issue of burial unmaskings before the readers at the really opening scene picturing Antigone and Ismene at Thebe ‘s metropolis Gatess, right in the center of the battleground. Antigone was confiding with Ismene. She decided to bury her brother regardless of the decease punishment. All the events take topographic point in Thebes, a outstanding metropolis in ancient Greece. Sophocles creates a dense vague temper since Antigone and her sister have lost two brothers and their parents due to the expletive on Oedipus. This aroma of decease makes the reader admiration if the drama will stop with decease every bit good. And as mentioned before, the clip frame makes trueness and betrayal a cardinal issue. Antigone was waiting to see if Ismene would be loyal to her household, the jurisprudence of the Gods or would instead stay by Creon ‘s jurisprudence.



Antigone, the oldest girl of Oedipus has decided to bury her brother Polyneices irrespective of Creon ‘s edict and the decease punishment. She heads to the field, performs the burial rites, and sprinkles dust on his organic structure. Subsequently on, she is captured and faces Creon who is ready to slop her blood to continue his award. She is so taken to a rock grave to rest at that place until her decease. Haimon, the male monarch ‘s boy enters and attempts to plead Antigone ‘s instance. His male parent is determined non to listen and threatens to kill her in forepart of him. Teiresas, the blind prophesier enters and Tells Creon that the Supreme beings are ferocious. He and Creon caput to the field and bury Polyneices. Unfortunately, when it was clip to liberate Antigone, the latter has hung herself utilizing her bed sheets. Devastated Haimon kills himself and joins Antigone in decease. Eurydice, the queen hears the straitening intelligence, kills herself and curse Creon. The male monarch is left entirely crammed with feelings of sorrow and compunction. The chorus states that the Gods smartly penalize the proud, yet punishment brings wisdom.


Antigone by Sophocless:

Antigone, the chief character of the drama is the eldest girl of Oedipus, the former male monarch of Thebes. She bears the outstanding traits of her male parent ‘s character which leads her towards calamity like her male parent. Her name in Greek means “ the 1 who goes against ” . And it is true that her name truly fits her, for she has ne’er learned to give, merely like her male parent. She is determined to bury Polyneices regardless of whether he is considered a treasonist or non. “ There is no guilt in fear to the dead ( scene two- 106 ) . “ Antigone believes that if she had left her brother like that she would hold suffered for infinity. She is as maternally and sisterly as any individual could be, “ This decease of mine is no importance, but if I had left my brother lying in decease unburied I should hold suffered now I do n’t. ( scene 1 70-73 ) .keeping it in head, she resolves to give entombment to her brother and violates the mortal Torahs of province. Yet, when Ismene reacts with disapproval to her petition, she is cold, acrimonious and distant. Besides, her finding is singular when she says, “ Creon is non strong plenty to stand in my manner. ” Her words show great bravery, doggedness, and folly at the same clip since she knows that acquiring caught will acquire her killed. She speaks to Creon in a manner no 1 would make bold to, as an equal. And above all, she was ready to plead her instance dauntlessly irrespective to her antecedently determined destiny. And so, her courage flows into the readers forcing them to maintain on traveling, to follow up every turn and bend. Every scene foreshadows her decease. Again when she is lead to her grave, she argues, pleading her instance. She is non scared of confronting decease, yet she is shaken by the choragus ‘ acrimonious words. Such undaunting, bold and sedate qualities of her character make her immortal in the annals of literature of all time.

Modern Antigone By Jean Anouil

Anigone in 1944:

Antigone, a drama by Jean Anouilh, was edited and republished in 1946 by “ Editions de la Table Ronde. ” It was originally written in Paris in February of 1944 when the capital was occupied by the German ground forces.

At the clip it was a best-seller and a drama of multiple readings: political, philosophical, psychological, etc.

It is a all right illustration of a rewritten ancient Grecian myth from the 5th century BC by the playwright Sophocle.

Antigone is the girl of Oedipus ; a girl from an incestuous relationship. Oedipus killed his male parent and married his female parent. Together they reigned over the metropolis of Thebes. Antigone had to transport the weight of this awful heritage as she grew up to go a immature grownup.

Anouilh ‘s secret plan is the same as Sophocle ‘s: Antigone ‘s brothers led a civil war against each other under the walls of Thebes. Both died in combat. King Creon, uncle of Antigone, gave a entombment to one of his nephews and allow the organic structure of the 1 who betrayed him decompose on the battleground. Antigone believed it was her responsibility to put Earth on her brothers corpse as a symbolic gesture. In her eyes, the Torahs of household prevailed over the determinations of the King. Despite the statements, the ban, the menaces of decease, the immature miss overcame all these obstructions to make what she thought was her responsibility.

Antigone by Jean Anouilh besides carries the same subjects n motives which Sophocles ‘ Antigone has. But rather ironically there is a crisp contrast between Anouilh ‘s character and Anitone herself as she embodies a rebellious spirit but he himself was barely involved in the opposition motion against German Occupation. His drama is of class a calamity merely like Sophocle ‘s which means Antigone dies due to defying the jurisprudence of power. But it is King Creon who is the most defeated in this narrative because he loses his boy, his authorization and his ground for life.

“ All those that had to decease, died. Those who believed one thing and so those who believed the opposite – even those who believed nil and those who were caught in the center without understand anything. Dead all the same, all of them, stiff, non utile, icky. And those that live on will easy get down to bury the dead and confound their names. ”

Anouilh was evidently left feeling hopeless after the absurdness of all the deceases from the war.

As for theA AntigoneA of Sophocle, she opposed Godhead jurisprudence and human Torahs.

Psychoanalytical survey of Antigone

While analysing Antigone psychologically, it is rather pertinent to reexamine Freud ‘s preparation of the theory of Oedipus and Electra Complex which he had certainly made after intense and deep observation of the attitudes kids normally hold toward their parents-intense love for the parent of the opposite sex and green-eyed monster of and ill will toward the parent of the same sex. Freud brings to light unintentional commission of patricide and mother-incest as the fulfilment of the unconscious want among all male childs to replace their male parents as the love-objects of their female parents. Some how the same we discover from the events of Antigone ‘s life, including her supposedly moral entombment of her brother, Polyneices, which represent normal phases of the development of the female mind. rather interestingly, using Freud ‘s theory of Oedipus and electra composite on Antigone ‘s act of protecting her brother from debasement after decease, we find over tones of electra composite as she is fulfilling unconsciously her psychological demand.

In the prologue of the drama, we see Antigone and Ismene busy in a conversation sing the dishonourable intervention of their late deceased brother, Polyneices. Antigone decides to execute for Polyneices proper entombment rites and in by making so violates a prohibition of Creon, the male monarch of Thebes.gradually, the secret plan unfolds, ensuing finally in the self-destructions of Antigone and Creon ‘s married woman and boy. This evident superficial drama conveys the most sedate but concealed message that god Torahs are far superior to manmade Torahs and he who tries to go against the Torahs of God is bound to run into his tragic terminal as we see creon lamenting and repenting at the terminal of the drama.

Psychological geographic expedition of Antigone ‘s character can be traced through her act of be givening and caring her blind male parent which unmasks her unconscious concealed desire for holding sexual relation with her male parent. She gives excess ordinary attending to her blind male parent and subsequently same she does in the context of her asleep brother. Here, it is rather relevant to indicate out that by executing the rite of entombment in a respectful manner, she in fact sees her brother at her male parent ‘s topographic point therefore fulfilling her psychological demand of electra complex. Antigone ‘s act of rebelliousness of patriarchan society inquiries the cogency of the prevailing imposts of that times.

While traveling deep and deep sing Antigone ‘s psychological working of head with mention to Freud ‘s construct of psycho analysis, it is observed that Antigone had devoted her emotional n sexual ego to her male parent wholly.Oedipus who seemed to b a hinderance in Antigone ‘s sexual life, was in fact the object of her whole love for Antigone. At this point she seemed to be satisfied when she imagines herself replacing her female parent as the caretaker of her male parent thereby carry throughing her primary sexual want unconsciously.

In the drama, we see Antigone ‘s psychological demands diverts from male parent to brother as Oedipus is dead in the beginning of the drama. Antigone devotes herself to the prescribed entombment of her late deceased brother, Polyneices. Though a obviously moral enterprise, her wish to bury her brother besides was rooted in crude unconscious thrusts.

Freud analysed it in this manner that the small miss ‘s primary love for the male parent, constantly fruitless, is frequently deflected upon a brother: “ A small girl discoveries in her older brother a replacement for her male parent, who no longer acts towards her with the same fondness as in former old ages. Therefore, Antigone ‘s act of giving burial symbolizes Idaho and sibling incest and Creon ‘s penalty for them symbolizes morality and societal Torahs. Though this seems a valid psychoanalytic illation, one may oppugn the connexion between entombment and sexual love, which to this point remains vague.

On being caught by a lookout at the site of Polyneices ‘ entombment, Antigone is forced to discourse with Creon the nature of her offense. Creon strongly wishes Antinoge to squeal her offense publically but she is the 1 so bold so brave so egotist like her male parent, prefers decease to is her strong unconscious fond regard with the male members of her household that makes her prfer decease to life. Creon so sentences Antigone to be immured in a cave but is shortly persuaded by Teiresias to emancipate her, though non before she hangs herself.this struggle leads to the impending self-destructions of Haemon, Antigone ‘s prospective hubby, and Eurydice, Haemon ‘s female parent and Creon ‘s married woman, follow shortly thenceforth, go forthing merely Creon to repent his tragic determination.

At this point, it is rather relevant to discourse her prefence to decease over life. psychologically, it can be judged that the cave where she hangs herself to encompass decease is the symbol of uterus n her hanging is the symbol of feutus cord with hanging babe in womb.she wants to acquire herself rid of the agonies of life by returning to the universe which Freud calls pre-birth.

Acoording to Freud, life is governed by two motivations. Eros, the life inherent aptitude, and Thanatos, the decease inherent aptitude. While Eros seeks activity, Thanatos seeks inaction. But why was Antigone so dying to run into decease, or instead return to pre-birth? Why was her life governed by Thanatos? Hence by returning to the symbolic uterus of her female parent in which she, Polyneices, and Oedipus were conceived, she at last achieves the confidant brotherhood with Oedipus and Polyneices which she had so long coveted. Antigone unconsciously experiences a pleasance with her male parent and brother beyond that of sexual intercourse, for gestation is the primary experience from which sex derives its secondary enjoyable character. Therefore for Antigone, decease is non separation but really the reunion with her male parent and brother. So, cave symbolizes the uterus and uterus symbolizes the meeting topographic point.

There is hidden a absorbing enigma in the sequence of deceases of Antigone ‘s love objects. Among the work forces in Antigone ‘s life, Oedipus is the first to run out, her brothers Polyneices and Eteocles 2nd, and Haemon the last. This sequence is non arbitrary ; each consecutive decease represents a stage of female gender. The three male deceases inA Antigone. so mean the extinction of assorted phases of female gender, the love-object of each replacements for that of the preceding phase. Antigone, nevertheless, bents herself before displacing her sexual love onto an unrelated object, such as Haemon ; any satisfaction originating from such a relationship, she understands unconsciously, would be simply substitutive and she opts alternatively for the cardinal pleasance of the symbolic uterus.

Again her desire to travel back to pre birth has close connexion with her name “ Antigone ” which literally means “ against birth, ” or “ contrary birth, ” which most have interpreted to bespeak Antigone ‘s position as the merchandise of incest, a perverse or “ contrary ” brotherhood. Antigone unconsciously wished to return to the uterus, to pre-birth ; she genuinely wished to undo her birth throughout the action of Antigone.A


To reason, there is no denying the fact that Antigone is the empyreal character with steadfast finding, constant bravery and undismayed heroism. She is the most impressive heroine of the drama transporting all the needed magnificence and glorification. Her character non makes the readers understand the complexness of psychological workings of the unconscious head but besides throws visible radiation on Freud ‘s construct of psycho analysis. She is the immortal figure holding all those epic qualities which make her alive in the head of the readers everlastingly.

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