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  • The next time we hear the Chorus is the First Ode. This little ditty just happens to be the most famous choral ode in all of Greek tragedy, and is popularly referred to as the "Ode to Man." In this celebrated ode the Chorus sings about all the wonderful accomplishments of man. The word "wonderful" in Greek is deinon . It can also describe something that is terrible. In a way, the word means both wonderful and terrible at the same time. But how could all of man's accomplishments be both of those things at once?

    Let's take a look at the achievements that the Chorus lists. Humanity has: built ships to conquer the seas, crafted plows to tame the earth, bent animals to his will, raised houses to defeat the rain and the snow. Do you notice a common thread here? Nearly everything is about humanity asserting its will over nature. This echoes the basic conflict of the play.

    Creon represents the state or man-made civilization. Antigone represents the primal will of the gods, . nature. The storm outside of Thebes and the auguries of Teiresias hint that nature is offended by Creon's actions and stands on the side of Antigone. When all of Creon's family members kill themselves by the end of the play, it's as if nature itself is taking payment for his sacrilege. In a way, all of man's accomplishments could be seen as being just as terrible as they are wonderful. Each time we take a step forward, we separate ourselves father from the place that we began.

    The Chorus ends the "Ode to Man" by praising the laws of the city. They disdain anybody who would want to bring anarchy back to Thebes:

    Topics for antigone essays

    topics for antigone essays


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