'antigone' By Jean Anouilh "Analyse Anouilh's Use Of Variety Dramatic Devices In His Presentation Of Antigone In The Scenes Leading Up To Her Arrest"

2735 words - 11 pages

"Antigone", written in 1942 by the French playwright Anouilh, is based upon the original "Antigone" the third play in the trilogy of "The Theban Plays" written by Sophocles, of Ancient Greece, in around 450 BC. "Antigone" is based upon the age-old conflict between the requirements of human and divine law. Although Anouilh's version of "Antigone" is significantly similar to its original by Sophocles, there are substantial differences between the two plays. There is the chorus depicted as one person who sets the scene, the many different characters who draw out different perspectives of Antigone's persona and the introduction of the character of the nurse. During "Antigone", contempt of death enables a weak maiden to conquer a powerful ruler, who, proud of his own wisdom, ventures in his unbounded arrogance to his pit his royal word against the duty to kin and human sentiment, and learns all to late by destruction, that fate, in due course, brings fit punishment.Due to the fact that the play is based on conflict, the story of the play is revealed over the dispute about the burial of Antigone's brother, Polynices, in which King Creon's views are that of a political nature opposed to Antigone's religious duties and opinions, whilst both retaining the belief that they are in the right. As the audience, we can only anticipate the most dramatic scene that will therefore be the confrontation between these two characters when Antigone is arrested, as their positions are conflicting. This essay is to analyse what effects the dramatic devices used by Anouilh have in the scenes leading up to Antigone's arrest and I will endeavour to highlight those that do so.The opening speech by the chorus sets the scene for the conflict in the play, the tension and suspense of "Antigone" is felt immediately. The chorus begins by opening with a description of all the characters of the play, setting the stage for the story of Antigone, telling us that Antigone feels that its her duty to bury her dead brother; as the Greek view of death was that a person's soul could never come to rest unless their body had been buried, otherwise they would remain eternally on Earth. It is Creon's contrasting views on Polynices' welfare that makes the play so intriguing.The chorus in the up-dated version of "Antigone" by Anouilh is singular, whereas in the original by Sophocles, the chorus was of a group of men who spoke in unison and order. The tactic of using just one person as the chorus makes the narration seem more human and realistic and the chorus plays the part of setting the scene for the story, narrating and maybe commenting on the events that might have just taken place. In the opening tableau, the chorus informs the audience of what will is going to happen, which is surprising, as the audience now know the fate of Antigone, due to Creon believing that he has to stand by his predetermined edict whilst Antigone feels that the state law is inadequate by comparison to the divine law...

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