'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"

Essay by pinkorchidHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 2004

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"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...