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Compare Loyalties In "Antigone" And "A Doll's House"

1107 words - 4 pages

In Sophocles', "Antigone", and Ibsen's, "A Doll House", the theme of loyalty is very clear. In this paper I will compare the loyalty of Antigone and Nora. In these plays there are three main focuses of loyalty that stand out. There is the loyalty to family. The second focus is the loyalty to the gods to Antigone and the loyalty of the common law to Nora. Finally, the third focus is the loyalty to one's self.In Sophocles' "Antigone", the following lines demonstrate how the main female character, Antigone shows her loyalty to family when she decides to bury her brother, Polynices, even though the King, Creon, has forbid his burial:I'll bury him myself.And even if I die in the act, that death will be a glory.I'll lie with the one I love and loved by him- (Sophocles 85-87)Antigone knows the outcome of her actions, but, to her, her brother having the proper burial is worth her own life. She shows that her loyalty lies with her family, not the king.This theme also correlates with Ibsen's main female character, Nora. When Nora learns of her husband illness and that the only thing to heal him is to take him South, she loses sight in her own welfare and takes a loan out to pay for the trip. She lies to Trovold and tells him that her father gave her the money. Her loyalty for family shows in the following lines by Ibsen, when she put the thought of how she would pay the money back behind the thought of losing her husband:And then I found other ways of making money. Last winter I was luckyenough to get a lot of copying to do. I locked myself in and sat writingevery evening till late in the night. Ah, I was tired so often, dead tired(Ibsen 1722}Nora and Krogstad, the banker she got the loan from, were the only people to know of this until she confided in her childhood friend, Mrs. Linde. The theme of loyalty to their families sets the other two loyalty focuses for the stories.The second focus is Antigone's loyalty to the god's instead of her king. Not only did Antigone want to bury her brother because he was family, but also because she did not want to go against the god's laws. In her time, according to the god's, no matter whom the person is that died, they must be given a burial. When Creon ordered that it was forbidden to bury Polynices, he went against the god's laws. Antigone decided that it was more important to follow the rules of the god's rather then the rules of Creon and tried to bury her brother. Sophocles demonstrates this thought well throughout the following lines, when he has Antigone captured by Creon and they discuss why Antigone buried her brother:Nor did I think your edict had such forcethat you, a mere mortal, could override the gods,the great unwritten, unshakeable traditions.They are alive, not just today or yesterday:they live forever, from the first of time,and no one knows when they first saw the light.These laws- I was not about to break them,not out of fear of some man's wounded pride,and face the retribution of the gods....

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