Antigone defies her uncle's decree that her traitorous brother should go unburied and therefore find no rest in the afterlife; however, her actions have tragic consequences.Antigone defies her uncle's decree that her traitorous brother should go unburied and therefore find no rest in the afterlife; however, her actions have tragic consequences.Antigone defies her uncle's decree that her traitorous brother should go unburied and therefore find no rest in the afterlife; however, her actions have tragic consequences.
This review acts as a strict focus on how moral and ethical points are made throughout the film, and how they act as catalysts to progress the story and keep the viewer involved. Be it known that I have not read the Sopheclean text of Antigone, and fully derive all of my comments and criticisms solely within the boundaries of the film.
The character flaws present in the film mostly derive from wayward and distorted adherences to moral ideologies. For example, Antigone's ethical and moral backbone throughout the film is guided by powerful intangibles like love and loneliness, which makes her rash and at times misguided. Creon's moral code is also in knots as he acts as a Euthyphro in the fact that he is conflicted and contradictory to many of his beliefs that shape him, i.e. his aforementioned moral code.
Values undoubtedly shaped the society of Ancient Greece. Loyalty was a cornerstone value in this society, yet loyalty drifts and fades as tides turn in Antigone. For example, as Creon is crowned King of Thebes he is shown immediate support as the new benevolent King, yet mourning for Oedipus, or any mention of him whatsoever is non existent. Is this a loyal Thebes? Though support of Creon was warranted by his grace, the remembrances of a fallen king laid flat.
As Creon sits on his thrown surrounded by his court he states, "The country's foe is always mine." Little did Creon know that he was the biggest threat to his country, and thus his own foe. Because of the nature of Greek Tragedies and the intuition of most people, the common viewer could understand this at first glimpse. It was clear that Creon's hubris and pride would be his downfall.
Antigone, acting as the protagonist in the film, is the embodiment of good. Yet, contradictions within her moral ideology leads to questioning what "good" actually is. Is her entire moral and ethical embodiment good? Is it her choices of which moral standpoints to act upon that are what is good? Or is it her actions that are good? Simply put, Antigone is a walking paradox. It is impossible to know what is good. Acting against Zeus due to her undying love and care for her brother, or burying her brother because it is just in the Gods' eyes to do so. Both are contradictory and both can be good.
It is clear that both the protagonist and antagonist have inner conflicts. Their inner ideologies contradict. What makes one a "protagonist" and another an "antagonist" lies in the fact that the shared ideologies between them also conflict. Inner contradictions within an individual which conflict with another individuals already clashing ideologies makes it impossible to know who is right and who is wrong. Both characters were acting upon the same ethical grounds. They acted to safeguard human law, religious law, and family values. Is it then that moral grounds are shaped by convenience and circumstance? Does one's moral backbone fit the skeleton of a different distortion of themselves? Is moral rectitude a variable of space and time? Is it the contradictions of moral standpoints that are convenient because they can be malleable to fit any form? These are the questions that I believe the film poses.
The film does a fantastic job at examining exactly what grants a legitimate moral claim or action, which most people are curious about. Reason is man's most precious gift, and by the will of nature, the tone of his reasoning is determined by his moral code.
- May 15, 2013