The story opens with a seer who reveals that the king will be killed by his own son and will even take over Thebes. In fear, the king, thus, sends the son named Oedipus away but that does not stop the prophesy of the seer, for after many years, Oedipus takes over the Thebian throne, kills the king and even take Jocasta, wife of the king, as his own. It is too late for Oedipus since he learns that he killed his own father and his new wife was actually his mother. Upon learning that, he blinds himself. Jocasta and Oedipus raise four children-two sons named Polynices and Eteocles.
Their daughters are named Ismene and Antigone. There is an omen that says that the siblings will destroy each other. Antigone objects to the improper burial of her brother Polynices and defies orders of Creon. When asked why she does not follow orders, she remarks in no uncertain terms, “Because it was not Zeus who ordered it, nor justice dweller with the nether gods.”
Several themes stand out in the Greek Tragedy, Sophocles’ Antigone. Evident is the struggle between what must be done right and what to leave the wrong behind. One also sees the tug of conflict between the family and the government. Foremost in the themes, though is the ultimate struggle between the laws of man and the laws of the Divine. The setting of the story encourages women to be subservient. Yet Antigone stood out among the rest because she spoke her mind on issues.
In fact, Antigone’s obstinate will in the work of Sophocles, is seen in the strong principles carrying her through her death. There is fearlessness in facing death—an almost strange fascination to be executed. In fact, Antigone seems to court death as she turns a deaf ear to Ismene’s pleading to keep everything from being seen. Even if Creon accuses her of being in love with death, occupied with the next world rather than what presently befalls her, she remains adamant to these pleadings (Tatar, R).
2. Opinion on: “Children should be allowed to choose their own paths.”
“Two Kinds” by Amy Tan is the story of a young Chinese immigrant girl Jing-mei whose mother directs her path and the career she thinks her daughter needs to pursue. The story showcases conflicting values as Jing-mei’s mother eyes her to be a prodigy at age nine. She tries to obey but because her heart and passion is not in it, she ends up frustrated and resentful of her mother.
Applying this theme in a real situation, I believe that young children need structure and limits set on their behavior. These external controls come before the emergence of internal self-control. Permissive parents fail to provide this essential guidance. Most parents want to see their children turn into happy, productive adults.
However, fostering children’s happiness does not mean sparing them every sort of bad feeling. To become the adults we hope they will be, kids need to learn self-control, frustration, tolerance and empathy. They acquire these qualities through parental modeling, limit-setting and discipline and by learning from the consequences of their actions. Occasional bad feelings facilitate the process.
There is another side to this coin, however. To achieve happiness and well-being, kids do not need unconditional approval. They do need unconditional love and acceptance. Understanding the difference between approval and acceptance is crucial to implementing a style of parenting that is authoritative without being either authoritarian or permissive.
Sophocles, Antigone. Jebb, RC (translation). Retrieved October 5, 2006 at:
Tan, Amy. “Two Kinds”: A Study Guide from Gale’s “Short Stories for Students” (Volume 9, Chapter 13).