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Elements of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire

Many Elements of A Street Car Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, is a very worldly play that contains issues from life; a guilty feeling of abandonment, the anger and frustration between two complete opposites, and the violation of a rape. It happens in New Orleans where there are many different races. Blanche DuBois, loses her ancestral home, Belle Reve, and her teaching position as a result of promiscuity. With expectations for the new life, she moves in with her pregnant sister Stella and her brutish husband, Stanley Kowalski. Throughout the play, we can distinguish many differences between Blanche and Stella. Although they come from the same noble and aristocratic family, their philosophies of life are distinct and lead them to different roads. Blanche is a highly vulnerable, as well as neurotic, woman living in a world of boozy self deception. She is intelligent, yet prefers magic over realism. She puts too much emphasis on her manners and appearance. She demands to be seen for what she wished to be, rather than what she really is.This is the reason for the paper lanterns and constant bathing – she is creating her world of illusion. A complite opposite of Blanch is Stella.Unlike her sister, she is a passive and gentle woman. She is five years younger than Blanche, about 25, and has been submissive to her for her entire life. After marrying Stanley, she is forced to join the lower class, endure her husband’s bad temper, and be obedient to him. Blanche is not a compromising person who can adapt to changes. Moreover, I think she is afraid of alterations and denies facing the reality (ex. she is afraid of losing her properties, her youth and beauty, etc.). She feels very uncertain about the new world and tries to persist in her own way of behavior and thinking, since that is how she has been educated: to be a lady. Stella is the connecting figure to two different worlds- the supposed royalty world of Blanche DuBois and the more common world of Stanley Kowalski. Blanche and Stanley both attempt to influence her, and they succeed to a degree. Stella still has many of the qualities instilled in her at Belle Reve, yet she does not let that get in the way of her having some fun. As she is so entangled between two completely opposite worlds, she is stuck and eventually forced to side with one of the two.

Sophocles’ Antigone – The Stubborn Antigone and Creon

The Tragic Duo of Antigone and Kreon

In the play Antigone, both Antigone and Kreon could be considered tragic heros. A tragic hero, defined by A Dictionary of Literary, Dramatic and Cinematic Terms, is someone who suffers due to a tragic flaw, or hamartia. This Greek word is variously translated as “tragic flaw” or “error” or “weakness”. Kreon’s hamartia, like in many plays, is hybris – Greek for overweening pride, arrogance, or excessive confidence. Kreon’s hybris causes him to attempt to violate the laws of order or human rights, another main part of a tragic hero. Also, like all tragic heroes, Kreon suffers because of his hamartia and then realizes his flaw.

The belief that Antigone is the hero is a strong one, but there is a stronger belief that Kreon, the Ruler of Thebes, is the true protagonist. Kreon’s main and foremost hamartia was his hybris, or his extreme pride. Kreon was a new king, and he would never let anyone prove him wrong or let anyone change his mind once it was made. One main event that showed Kreon’s hamartia and also caused the catastrophe was when he asked his son Haimon, who was engaged to marry Antigone, if he still loves his father. Haimon says he respects Kreon’s ruling, but he feels, in this case, that Kreon was wrong. Haimon asks his father to take his advice and not have Antigone executed, but, because of Kreon’s hybris, Kreon gets furious and makes the situation worse then it already was. He was way too proud to take advice from someone younger, and in his anger he decided to kill Antigone right away in front of Haimon’s eyes. “‘Just understand: You don’t insult me and go off laughing. Bring her here! Let him see her. Kill her here, beside her bridegroom'” (Sophocles 919-921). This was too much for Haimon to take, and he runs out of the room, yelling, “‘…her death will destroy others'” (Sophocles 908). Blinded by his pride and arrogance, Kreon takes that remark as a threat to himself, unknowing that it wasn’t directed to himself, but was a suicide threat by his own son. Another example of Kreon’s tragic pride is when the prophet, Teiresias, travels all the way to Thebes to tell Kreon very important news, but Kreon pride makes him ignore it and he accuses Teiresias of being bribed.

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