The Role of Fate and the Gods in Antigone

The Role of Fate and the Gods in Antigone

The Role of Fate and the Gods in Antigone Divine law can be defined as a rule or regulation coming directly from the gods. According to Greek mythology, each god is believed to possess individual and unique powers that can either help or hinder the lives of mortals. Their role in the lives of humans is illustrated in Antigone with her death. Sophocles emphasizes in Antigone that the gods’ will is carried out by people and that fate takes control of all life. Sophocles was one of the three most distinguished playwrights of Ancient Greece, the other two being Aeschylus and Euripides (Jebb 1). Of his 100 or more plays, seven have been completely saved and fragments of many others have been recovered. Fate is a recurring theme not only in Sophocles’ plays, but in much of Greek drama. For example, in Oedipus Rex, a prophet warns Laius that his fate is to be killed by his own son. Laius attempts to avoid his fate by leaving his infant son on a mountainside, but the boy is saved by a shepherd and eventually kills his father, although unaware of Laius’s identity. Aeschylus also illustrates divine law and the power of the gods in his work Prometheus Bound, where Prometheus is rebellious and therefore punished by Zeus. In Antigone, as in all Greek drama, the gods control the fate and actions of humans and punish or reward them appropriately. For example, it is said “I pray he may be found. But caught or not (And fortune must determine that) thou never Shalt see me here returning; that is sure. For past all hope or thought I have escaped, And for my safety owe the gods much thanks.” Guard in Antigone (Sophocles 10) The guard recognizes that the gods will decide whether or not the person that buried Polynices will be found. He also thanks the gods for his safety because he is aware that it is their decision if he is to be safe or not. Creon, aside from his judgement of Antigone, seems to understand the role …


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