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Antigone, by Sophocles | Analysis

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1194 words Published: 12th May 2017

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Antigone is a tragedy book written by Sophocles with a protagonist named Antigone who is very determined towards her only goal of burying her dead brother Polynices as mentioned in the play. At the other side full of contrast and with a different point of view is the book House of the spirits. House of spirits is a magnificent marathon of the Trueba family including their ambitions and their love for each other.

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In order to enable the readers continue reading to the very end of the whole book, their attention needs to be captured and allow whatever they are reading to be understood and interesting. And for all this to be done, the reader should be involved in the story emotionally ensuring that the reader is fully in the book and not to be fully lost in the story. This is where the writers take the advantage of using emotions which makes a reader feel closer to certain characters and understand each and every thing the writer is trying to portray.

Emotions!! We all have different definitions and ways of what it is. According to the dictionary, emotion is a mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes. Therefore, in simpler terms, emotion is the language of a person’s internal state of being. There are different types of emotions which may include joy, love, sad etc.

There are various emotions present in both the books Antigone and House of the Spirits. The emotion portrayed most of the times in each of the books is Love. As a reader, we repeatedly see the emotion of love in House of the Spirits between Blanca and Pedro, Rosa and Esteban. The emotion of love is also present in Antigone between Antigone and Haemon. There is also brother-sister love presented in the play through Antigone and the dead brother Polynices.

The other emotion present in both the books is emotion of hate. According to the dictionary, hate is defined as the feeling for extreme aversion or extreme hostility towards something or someone. The emotion of hate in Antigone is brought about through King Creon towards the protagonist Antigone. Throughout the play, we see King Creon’s hatred for the protagonist Antigone in one way or the other. Creon expresses his disgust for Antigone when she goes against him and buries her brother and argues back that she was right in doing what she had done and wasn’t at all guilty, “oh but I hate it even more when a traitor, caught red-handed tries to glorify his crimes”.Such a harsh usage of the word hate emphasizes on how much he hates his own niece.

Emotion of hate is also present in the novel House of the spirits. We see hatred from Ferula towards Esteban when he is chasing her from his house. “I set my curse on you, Esteban; you will always be alone! Your body and soul will shrivel up and you’ll die like a dog”. Reading this quote explains us how much other people are hurt through Esteban’s hate.

There is also an emotion of pity present in the play Antigone and the novel house of spirits. This is represented at the beginning of the play through a conversation between Antigone and her sister Ismene. During the conversation, we get to know that the two sisters lost their father in a certain battle and their brothers at the same time and then we as the readers come to know that one of the brothers, Polynices, has been left unburied. And this makes us feel pity for the two sisters.

There is an emotion of desire in both House of spirits and Antigone. Desire is a sense of jones within the mind, when the soul has a hungry requirement for a specific item. And in Antigone, we see this through King Creon desiring power. Through the play we see King Creon’s desire for power being expressed straightly through his words, “That these two sisters were aiming at my throne”. We see King Creon accusing the two sisters of trying to steal his power. And moreover his overwhelming desire made him think and believe that all the things happening are plans to gain his power.

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We experience the emotion of desire repeatedly in the novel house of the spirits through different characters. In the start, we feel Esteban’s desire to gain a better living standard to gain Rosa. “Those were difficult times. I was about twenty-five then, but I felt as if I had only a little life left ahead of me to build my future and attain the position that I wanted. I worked like a beast and the few times I sat down to rest, not by choice but forced by the tedium of Sunday afternoons, I felt as if I were losing precious moments of my life: each idle minute meant another country away from Rosa”. This clarifies that Esteban desired Rosa from his whole heart. After which we see his desire to rescue Alba from the government. There was also Blanca’s desire for Pedro Tercero and Esteban Garcia’s desire to be the heir of Esteban Trueba.

Guilt is a powerful emotion because it makes people act differently than they normally act. There is also an emotion of guilt which is involved in both the play and the novel. In house of spirits, we all see that Blanca was forced to marry Jean de Satigny because she was pregnant and had no other option for her forbidden pregnancy and Jean de Satigny had no refusal towards this relationship because he had always wanted to marry a rich, young, beautiful South American heiress. And he knows that accepting this grand offer by Esteban Trueba would enable his dream come true and there was nothing for him to lose and just to gain as he didn’t needed any personal fulfillment from Blanca and accepting the offer would certainly lead to advancement in his status.

At the other side, emotion of guilt in Antigone is presented in scene 2 when Antigone is caught but she does not believe she has broken a true law. Creon also arrests Ismene, who tries to proclaim her guilt, but Antigone denies her and Antigone is sentenced to death. This is a bit where we experience the emotion of guilt.

Emotions play a huge role towards seeking the reader’s attention. Having emotions in a certain novel or play attracts the reader’s attention and involves them into the story emotionally and to understand what the writer was trying to portray and understand the character traits by being in their position emotionally.

Emotions used both in House of the spirits and Antigone had a grand effect on the readers both mentally and physically. The readers were able to understand each situation very well through the emotions brought about. For reference, in House of spirits, when we read on how Blanca used to escape at nights to meet Pedro, we extrapolate that they love each other basing on how they used to meet. We feel sad for the two sisters in Antigone when we read that they lost their father and both the brothers at the same time and one of them is still left unburied. Emotions enable to bring out the themes of the novel and the play hence allowing more understanding from the reader’s side.


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