In 441 B.C. Sophocles wrote Antigone, a play that took place in Thebes, the day after the battle. Antigone was originally acted by only men and the audience consisted of male citizens and the gods. The occasion was a religious festival to Dionysus, the god of wine. The Universal themes, loyalty to family, to state, and to gods, cause the conflict resulting in tragedy.
The audience witnesses loyalty to family through the strong emotions of the characters. Antigone loves her brother and decides to bury him. In the prologue, she explains to Ismene, “I will bury him myself. /And even if I die in the act, that death will be a glory” (85-86). Second, Ismene takes some of the blame in burying her brother because she doesn’t want Antigone to get all the blame. To explain, Ismene says, “I did it, yes/ if only she consents- I share the guilt, / the consequences too” (604-606). Last, Haemon loves Antigone so much he can’t stand to be without her. To illustrate, Haemon angrily says, “Then she will die. . .but her death will kill another”(843). As a result to loyalty to family, Antigone and Haemon die, Ismene loses her sister, and Creon loses his wife and son.
The characters then show loyalty to state even through their ups and downs with Creon. Ismene fears for her life and does not want to disobey the laws. To explain, Ismene says, “Think the death we’ll die, the worst of all / if we violate the laws and override / the fixed decree of the throne, its power” (71-73). After that, Ismene once again shows loyalty to state by reminding Antigone where they stand in their society and that this is wrong. To illustrate, Ismene says, “Remember we are women, / we’re not born to contend with men” (74-75). Finally, Haemon shows that he will listen to Creon. For example, Haemon says, “Father, I’m your son. . . you in your wisdom / set my bearings for me- I obey you” (709-710). To conclude, in many parts of the play characters show their emotions...