I wrote this essay. Please Critique. It's for my AP test. Thank you.
Jose Luis Nunez
English 3 AP
January 25, 2006
When one sees the play Antigone, and feels the mourning the main character has for her brother, the raw feelings endowed with it are so powerful he is moved to tears as well. For suffering, like all great, human, perils, is one of the great essences of playwright, that which enhances and contributes to the inner meaning of tragedy as a whole. The play, Antigone, contributes to the tragic landscape by illustrating how the desire to have and keep power sows the seeds of suffering among those one trusts the most.
Suffering and Tragic Qualities
Antigone suffers by her uncle’s decree that no one bury her brother because that very act encroaches on the personal rights of her responsibility. As she said: “If it had been my husband who had died, or even my child, I would not have wept, for I can always have another. But hear me out, who in all this world may I ever call my brother?!” It was her personal responsibility to show the proper mourning she had for her brother’s death, and yet the seeds of suffering are sown by her uncle’s hand, who decreed the prohibition only as a reckless attempt to consolidate power.
Antigone’s Uncle is a strong-willed man. The tragic hero of the play, it is his attempts at consolidation of power for himself that sow the seeds of suffering among his own family. Such as his son, who for his love of antigone was driven to, “took the sword and thrust it at me, and upon missing thrust it into his own gullet!” Quickly after, the suffering is cemented into place by the suicide of her uncle’s wife! She stabs herself, all the while cursing her uncle’s name.
The seeds of sorrow that are sown in the play, while devastating to the city-state, produce an unexpected effect, which is the entire basis for the tragic plot. The tragedies of all the great greek playwrights were enhanced and put into full effect through the suffering of the Tragic Hero. It is the discord that comes full circle from the sorrow of antigone, her husband, and her uncle’s wife, that now turns and preys on the devastated heart of Uncle himself. That is the essence of Tragedy, the suffering and sorrow of the main character brought on by his own unsightly attempts at consolidating power! That is what fully validates the Tragic genre, and that is what causes us to shed our tears.