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Free Essays: Comparing the Themes of Antigone and Oedipus the King

The Themes of Antigone and Oedipus

Antigone and Oedipus, written by Sophocles, are dramatic plays with a tragic ending. The main theme for Antigone is that people sometimes have to learn the hard way from their mistakes. This theme is expressed in the final four lines of the play. They read, There is no happiness where there is no wisdom; No wisdom but in submission to the gods. Big words are always punished, And proud men in old age learn to be wise. These lines are an important part of the play. They symbolize Creon’s bad decisions he made, his defiance to the gods, the punishment he went through because of his edict, and the wisdom he gained because of all his mistakes. “There is no happiness where there is no wisdom” demonstrates how Creon not using wisdom in his decision affected him. By declaring that Polyneices could not have a proper burial, he went against the gods and the other citizens of Thebes’s beliefs. This was not a wise decision on his part, and because of it he lost his wife, his son, and his happiness. Creon also defied the laws of the gods. This is what is expressed in the line, “No wisdom but in submission to the gods.” In Antigone, the edict and decisions that Creon made demonstrated that his law was more important then the gods laws. His defiance of the laws eventually made him believe, by talking to Teirisias, that something bad would happen to him, so he gave in to his decision. When he gave into the gods he gained wisdom and learned that his actions would be punished. Creons edict is considered his big words. In the third line it says, “Big words are always punished.” Creons edict was punished by his loss of happiness. He proclaimed to his city that Polyneices may not be buried, when he did this he was very proud and demanding about his decision. He was determined not to change his mind for anything. These big words that he proclaimed would bring his downfall. Because Creon locked Antigone up, for burying Polyneices, she killed herself. Creon’s son Haimon, who was engaged to Antigone, also committed suicide upon seeing his beloved Antigone dead. Also Creon’s wife took her own life. If Creon hadn’t gone against what was right, by making his laws more important then the god’s laws, and issuing his edict, he would not have suffered the way he did.

Frustration and Denial in Morrison’s Sula

Frustration and Denial in Morrison’s Sula A book which is most celebrated for its tale about friendship is found to have a more important theme and role in literature. “In Search of Self: Frustration and Denial in Toni Morrison’s Sula,” the author Maria Nigro believes Sula has much more important themes in modern literature. “Sula celebrates many lives: It is the story of the friendship of two African American women; but most of all, it is the story of community” (1). And it’s not just any community is the community of the Bottom. African Americans who are a working class community. Their main problem is surviving. They must work any job they can get so that they and their families can live a life with food and a roof under their head. These jobs and sacrifices shape each of their lives. Nigro claims this is the most important theme in Sula because working-class people have been left out of modern literature. “literature has been created for the cultural elite, and the rest of us have come to consider literature as a reflection of an elitist lifestyle to which the ordinary person cannot hope to relate” (1). Sula proves to fit this hole missing in the literature world. A community that seems to have all the cards stacked against them. Being black during this era, 1915-1965, means fighting for survival. It means scrimping to get by, doing menial jobs, doing all they can to get by. Nigro continues on describing the women of Sula. The struggles of Eva after Boy-Boy leaves, unable to get a decent paying job because she was a black woman. Finding herself sacrificing her leg for the love of her children. How Eva shaped the lives of her … … middle of paper … …introduction I believed Nigro thought the novel was important because it gave every working-class person a representation in today’s literature. But by the end it’s clear she meant it gave the African-American working-class person, if not the whole race a representation in today’s literature. Even though each group, African-American’s and the working-class community, are missing from today’s literature; I think Nigro could have made her purpose or thoughts a little more clear. This article gave me a wider prospective on the whole theme of Sula. And since I have chosen to write about the women in Sula and their struggles to survive I found the article very useful in narrowing down my argument. And even though her thesis might have not matched her entire article, Nigro definitely understood Sula, the women, and the many themes of the novel.

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