Essay On Light And Dark In Antigone

1188 words - 5 pages

Use of Light and Dark in Antigone

The "Golden Age" of Greece is noted for its many contributions to the creative world, especially in its development of the play. These performances strived to emphasize Greek morals, and were produced principally for this purpose. Antigone, by Sophocles, is typical. The moral focused on in Antigone is the conflict between physis (nature) and nomos (law), with physis ultimately presiding over nomos. Throughout Antigone, King Creon is a symbol for nomos, while Antigone stands on the side of physis. To portray these ideas, light and dark images are used as a recurring motif to reinforce the theme. Light is used to show something good that is happening, whereas dark is utilized to show something of which the gods disapprove. Following with tradition, this play uses light to portray what is right in the eyes of the chorus and darkness to reproach the other side. As the play is carried out, the chorus is constantly changing its opinions, first believing in the actions of Creon with respect to nomos, then unsure of what to believe, and finally seeing that Antigone's actions are more consistent with the morality of the gods and the truths of physis. Light and darkness are used to support in an emotional way the action of whoever the chorus is siding with at these various stages of the play.

It is clear that at the beginning of Antigone, the chorus favors the actions of Creon, or nomos. This is shown as Creon's intentions and retribution towards Polyneices are justified by jovial words and imagery involving light. In the battle between Eteocles and Polyneices, although both leaders were killed, Eteocles' army was the victor. To show that this was positive in the eyes of the gods, the first line of the Parodos in the Prologue refers to the battle as a "blade of sun". The morning following the battle was then called a "beautiful morning of victory". These are all positive feedback to the victory of Eteolces, and with the help of these light images, it is easy to identify the chorus' thoughts. Another praise to Creon is found in Ode I, where his law against burying Polyneices is referred to as "clear intelligence". In this instance, "clear" is used in the sense that it is easily visible, or obvious, making the statement positive for Creon. Later, in Ode I, the gods again side with Creon, as they refer to his decisions in lines 4 to 5, "Earth, holy and inexhaustible, is graven/With shining furrows where his plows have gone..." The gods are praising Creon; "shining furrows where his plows have gone" imply that he has left a good indent on matters that he has ruled on, in this case referring to the law against burying Polyneices. It is once again apparent that nomos is being favored by the chorus.

As the middle of Antigone approaches, the chorus seems to be unsure of whom to favor, and is torn between physis and nomos. Because of this, references to light and dark motifs in scenes two and three are ironic, and...

Find Another Essay On Essay on Light and Dark in Antigone

Light and Dark in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

2154 words - 9 pages Light and Dark in Heart of Darkness       In fictional literature, books are often given creative and catchy titles in lieu of non-ambiguous ones.  If one were to take the phrase "heart of darkness" literally, one might find oneself poring over medical journals in a fruitless search to determine what disease causes the heart to take on a grayish or dark hue.  One would be completely mistaken, wouldn't one?  As it is, Joseph Conrad's

lighthod Light and Dark in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

2341 words - 9 pages Light and Dark in Heart of Darkness        Joseph Conrad's repeated use of darkness in his novel Heart of Darkness has been widely interpreted. Readers have arrived at many different conclusions about the use of darkness throughout the novel. The critics themselves cannot agree what the darkness means.         The critics draw different conclusions about the use of darkness. For some critics, the use of darkness is seen as an

Motifs of Light and Dark

1147 words - 5 pages reveals that Anton lives in harmony and at liberty after he moved to Amsterdam in his adult years. Haarlem, in Anton’s perspective, has been viewed in a very distressing manner full of discomfort which hinders him of thinking about Haarlem in his later life, since it only reminds him of its dryness. Light and dark analogy of war and love influences how Anton views the war and his early years of life during the Occupation period in 1945. Anton

Conrad's Use Of Light And Dark

1106 words - 4 pages " online). Conrad's use of light and dark makes an example of how humans form excuses to act in certain ways. We often cover-up our true personalities while exposing a different side. An example is how society separates itself through the use of material goods such as clothing, automobiles, and occupations. Kurtz's African mistress is portrayed as wearing vibrant colors and shiny jewelry and, on the "lighter" side, a wild temper. Yet his

Light and Dark Sides of Jane Eyre

2484 words - 10 pages , death, is in close conglomeration with Bertha Mason. Bertha Mason is coupled with death, mainly because she kills herself, but she also kills Rochester’s social life and initially Jane’s love for Rochester. The horsemen are both dark and light, and they offer another example on Brontë’s use of revolutionary use of dark-light symbolism to show a contrast and connection to the author’s Christian faith. Brontë brings the apocalypse ideal

Dark And Light Imagery Within The Hobbit

1669 words - 7 pages . The hobbit traveled all over Middle-Earth, beginning with Bilbo's tiny hobbit-hole in the ground, to Mirkwood forest, to finally reaching the Mountain in which the dragon Smaug lives. Tolkien uses a large amount of imagery in his writing which can been seen through settings in The Hobbit. The imagery is usually either dark or light, depending on Bilbo's mood and contrast of his surroundings. J.R.R Tolkien uses dark and light imagery in The

In the Shadows: Examining Light and Dark Imagery in "Romeo and Juliet"

1830 words - 7 pages is running out, as the moon’s time runs out every dawn. In the very beginning of scene two, Friar Laurence appears and gives a soliloquy, opening with "The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night, / Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light” (2.3.1-3). The imagery in his words portrays the mixture of light and dark that occurs at dawn. Additionally, it emphasizes the complicated situation that Romeo and Juliet will come to face.There

Light and Dark in the Book Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin

986 words - 4 pages darkness once again by saying that moments would occur when the stark silence of the adults brought on by a serious conversation or a dismal revelation, perhaps about a death in the community or some other dark happening that penetrated the light that they had just before talked and laughed so freely in, threatened to prematurely alert the children of what the world around them was really like (98). At this point, the children are completely

The Light and Dark Forces in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

1712 words - 7 pages The Light and Dark Forces in Heart of Darkness        Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, explores something truer and more fundamental than a mere personal narrative. It is a night journey into the unconscious and a confrontation within the self. Certain circumstances of Marlow's voyage, when looked at in these terms, have new importance. Marlow insists on the dreamlike quality of his narrative. "It seems to me I am trying to tell you a

An Analytical essay on Antigone

908 words - 4 pages seem as she is legitimately praying to the gods nor trying to communicate to her brother. Therefore, she is saying it to get the attention and pity of the watchers. Finally, as Antigone is being led away to her death, she demands the princes of Thebes to look on her and see what she suffers.5 Thus it is true that Antigone, in fact, wants pity before she dies because she does not want a dishonorable death.Because of Creon's decree Antigone can now

Imagery of Dark vs Light in James Joyce's "Araby"

1050 words - 4 pages references to create the dark mood and atmosphere. Later, when he discusses Mangan's sister, he changes to bright light references which are used to create a fairy tale world of dreams and illusions. In the end of the story, we see the darkness of the bazaar that represents the boy's disappointment. On the simplest level, "Araby" is a story about a boy's first love. On a deeper level, however, it is a story about the world in which he lives - a world

Similar Essays

Light And Dark In Heart Of Darkness

1294 words - 5 pages Light and Dark in Heart of Darkness     The brightest of lights can obscure vision while darkness can contain truths: one must not be distracted by the sheen of light, which conceals the deeper reality present in darkness. Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness illustrates this idea with the use of several symbols. White Europeans are used as symbols of self-deception, and objects with an alabaster quality are symbols of barriers to

Light And Dark In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

748 words - 3 pages death of Kurtz on the boat after he is saved and he is being brought back down, "The brown current ran swiftly out of the heart of darkness"(Conrad 109). This quote brings closure for the book and also provides its title. In Heart of Darkness, there is a real contrast between what is light and what is dark. These contrasts work within a reality of civilized and savage. It appears that light represents the civilized, and dark represents the

Light And Dark Imagery In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

582 words - 2 pages Light and Dark Imagery in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness            Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is a novel about a man named Marlow and his journey into the depths of the African Congo. Marlow is in search of a man named Kurtz, an ivory trader. Though Marlow?s physical journey seems rather simple, it takes him further into his own heart and soul than into the Congo. The setting, symbols and characters each contain light and dark

Light And Dark Imagery Depicted In Shakespeare's Macbeth

680 words - 3 pages play of Macbeth the audience is made aware of the differences in dark and light. This could be seen as being metaphorical for many other binary oppositions one of which being good and evil. This example supports the power of the witches, representing evil and the dark. Another scene that shows Macbeth is a play of light and dark is act 1 scene 4 Macbeth whispers to himself. ‘Stars; hide your fires / let not light see my black and deep desires