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The Story of Antigone

The story of Antigone has been told by many poets, playwrights, and others over the centuries. The relationship between Antigone and her father, Oedipus, and the conflict between Antigone and Creon, point to various aspects of the social roles of women in Thebes at the time this play was written. The tragedy of Oedipus echoes through the generations, affecting his children and determining the course of their lives for them, and Antigone can be examined using this Freudian view, much as Willbern does when he writes,

Such a focus will therefore be one-sided, viewed through paternal eyes--the patriarchal perspective. Freud sometimes characterized the daughter's perspective, but he was naturally more familiar with the father's (Willbern 75-76).

Any analysis of Antigone must also deal with the Oedipus myth and with the role of the father, as Benjamin indicates:

For Freud, the tragedy of Oedipus was the key to our unconscious desires and our inevitable sense of guilt (Benjamin 141).

Yet, Benjamin further notes that Freud's approach does not take into account the father's transgression, namely the sin of Laius when he tries to murder Oedipus in his infancy, and Benjamin finds that putting Laius back into the story makes this a tale of a father's transgression. Feminist theorists similarly find that Freud's emphasis on other issues shifts the role of femininity in a certain direction and ignores elements that would offer a different perspective.

Chasseguet-Smirgel offers a clear statement of one aspect of the issue that Freud glosses over:

It is troubling to note that Freudian theory gives the father a central role in the boy's Oedipus complex but considerably reduces that role in the girl's (Chasseguet-Smirgel 88).

She notes that Freud may even suggest that the girl's positive Oedipus complex does not exist at all, and that if it exists, it is an exact replica of her relationship to her mother. Chasse...

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The Story of Antigone. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 07:03, November 01, 2014, from http://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1692605.html