Get help from the best in academic writing.

Conflict, Climax and Resolution in Sophocles’ Antigone

Conflict, Climax and Resolution in Antigone

Sophocles’ tragic drama, Antigone, presents to the reader a full range of conflicts and their resolution after a climax.

In Antigone the protagonist, Antigone, is humble and pious before the gods and would not tempt the gods by leaving the corpse of her brother unburied. She is not humble before her uncle, Creon, because she prioritizes the laws of the gods higher than those of men; and because she feels closer to her brother, Polynices, than she does to her uncle. The drama begins with Antigone inviting Ismene outside the palace doors to tell her privately: “What, hath not Creon destined our brothers, the one to honoured burial, the other to unburied shame?” Antigone’s offer to Ismene (“Wilt thou aid this hand to lift the dead?) is quickly rejected, so that Antigone must bury Polynices by herself. The protagonist, Antigone, is quickly developing into a rounded character, while Ismene interacts with her as a foil, demurring in the face of Creon’s threat of stoning to death as punishment for violators of his decree regarding Polynices. The main conflict thusfar observed is that which the reader sees taking shape between Antigone and the king.

Antigone is a religious person who is not afraid of death, and who respects the laws of the gods more than those of men:

Nay, be what thou wilt; but I will bury him: well for me to die in doing that. I

shall rest, a loved one with him whom I have loved, sinless in my crime; for I owe a longer allegiance to the dead than to the living: in that world I shall abide for ever. But if thou wilt, be guilty of dishonouring laws which the gods have established in honour.

Ismene is unmoved by the reasoning and sentiments of…

… middle of paper …

…e pervading themes in Sophocles is the justice of the universe. We are to understand that, in some sense, cosmic justice ultimately prevails (718).


Abrams, M. H. A Glossary of Literary Terms, 7th ed. New York: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1999.

Segal, Charles Paul. “Sophocles’ Praise of Man and the Conflicts of the Antigone.” In Sophocles: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Thomas Woodard. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966.

Sophocles. Antigone. Translated by R. C. Jebb. The Internet Classic Archive. no pag.

“Sophocles” In Literature of the Western World, edited by Brian Wilkie and James Hurt. NewYork: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1984.

Watling, E. F.. Introduction. In Sophocles: The Theban Plays, translated by E. F. Watling. New York: Penguin Books, 1974.

Confession, Exploration and Comfort in Upon the Burning of Our House by Anne Bradstreet

Confession, Exploration and Comfort in Upon the Burning of Our House

The theological concept of humankind’s inherent depravity created tension in the lives of seventeenth century New England Puritans. The Puritans believed that humans were born sinful and remained in this condition throughout life. This doctrine stressed self-discipline and introspection, through which the Puritan sought to determine whether particular spiritual strivings were genuine marks of true religiosity. God preordained election to heaven, and some Puritans would be saved through the righteousness of Jesus Christ despite their sins. There was no certainty in this life what eternal destiny awaited because the knowledge of who was elect was a divine mystery. The experience of conversion, where the soul, touched by the Holy Spirit, is turned from sinfulness to holiness, was at least some indication of election. Although full assurance might never be attained, the conviction of having been chosen by God fortified the Puritans to contend with the hardships of creating a community of Christ in the New World. This fundamental knowledge of personal depravity, the essence of Puritan theology, created an atmosphere of constant introspection in a cyclical battle with worldly sin always ending with the acknowledged depravity.

The awareness of God’s preordained elect few did not inhibit the perseverance all Puritans applied to acknowledge depravity and to try and overcome sinfulness. This concept of depravity as the cornerstone of Puritan faith became a central theme in Puritan writing. Poet Anne Bradstreet wrote about her life and how her trials ever urged her to continue her self-inspection in an effort to attempt to subdue the carnal desires of this world. The Puritan dogma of introspection created a framework for literary confession in the poem “Upon the Burning of Our House July 10th, 1666.” This framework freed Anne Bradstreet to fully explore her beliefs without direct challenge to authority; thus she both remains within and steps outside of traditional Puritan beliefs, ultimately allowing her to find solace and comfort in the promise of heavenly reward.

In the poem “Upon the Burning of Our House” Anne Bradstreet exemplifies the normal Puritan lifestyle of tension, although tempered with an allusion of hopefulness not usual in Puritan theology. Opening with an image of sleep, the poem alerts the reader to what would be considered a moral lapse by Bradstreet, for she was not being ever watchful for sin. The notion of millenialism, to go through life as though the second coming of Christ was imminent, meant that a Puritan was always prepared for the judgement day.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.