Romeo And Juliet And Antigone Analysis Essay

In 1856, Swiss philosopher, poet, and critic Henri-Frederic Amiel said: “Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark”. As human beings we can choose to be either like the flint and prudently wait for a spark to come along, think about the consequences, weigh out the pros and the cons only to discover when we have reached our conclusion, the flame has already died out.

It we can ignite ourselves with passion, but unfortunately far too often the passionate burns time. Too often we see reflections of this theme in our everyday life. For example, we see civil rights leaders such as Malala Yousafzai or Martin Luther King Jr. , being shot for standing for what they believe in. This is not a new concept, and has been explored and reflected in arts and literature for quite some being prudent. Antigone. Despite classic examples that explore this concept are William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and Sophocles’s Antigone.

Despite some superficial variances in things such as the setting or time periods, the two playwrights agree that one can not be prudent and act on what they believe in at the same time. The playwrights however disagree about whether or not it is good to be passionate and act on your beliefs. Sophocles believes that it is better to die from an excess amount of passion and die knowing you fought for what was right than sitting around Antigone. Lady and thinking about things while life passes you by, whereas Shakespeare believes that being too passionate is foolish and often ends in catastrophe.

In both Romeo and Juliet and Antigone, familial love is a theme that overshadows and interferes with all themes. The preponderant nature of the parents is used to show Shakespeare and Sophocles’ opinions on the actions of the youths, Juliet, Romeo, and Antigone. Lady Capulet is a mouthpiece to show Shakespeare’s negative opinion of Juliet’s passionate actions. The entire play, Lady Capulet and Juliet have a strained relationship; throughout the whole play she was not a fraction of the motherly figure that the nurse was. We even hear Juliet call her mother’madam’ (Shakespeare l. . 7). When luliet choses to ignite herself with passion by expressing her unwillingness to be married to Paris, her mother’s reaction is not surprising; Lady Capulet demeaningly says, “Talk not to me, for I’ll not speak a word: Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee. ” (Shakespeare III, 5, 2317) This quote supports the fact that her actions are condoned because Lady Capulet cuts her ties to her daughter, refuses to speak to console her, and mercilessly abandons her, merely because Juliet stood up for her right to be with the one she loves.

Similarly, to his Lady, Lord Capulet will do anything to extinguish Juliet’s flame of passion. When Capulet hears that Juliet is not going to blindly obey her father and go against her moral integrity he is outraged and becomes a tyrant calling Juliet worthless baggage and insulting her looks. Lord Capulet goes as far as to tell Juliet if she does not obey she will be living on the just. They III, 5). This theme is prevalent throughout, not just in Act 5 Scene 3. Lady Capulet had disciplined Juliet’s passionate tendencies prior to her disobedience.

When Juliet is emotionally distraught about Tybalt’s death her mother replies with,” Some grief shows much of love, But much of grief shows still some want of wit” (Shakespeare 111,5,2176-2177).. Although seeming cold at the time, the message ofbehind her words are intended to warn Juliet that her uncontrolled passion is stupid. These words prove to be wise at the conclusion of the play. If Juliet had heeded her mother’s father. In restricted her grief on Romeo’s exile or his death, the play could have ended out much less tragically. The oreshadowing content of her words shows she, like Shakespeare, has elevated knowledge on the fate of the characters. This connection between the two proves Lady Capulet is a mouthpiece for Shakespeare. These unquestionably illustrate that Shakespeare, through the use of the parent’s condemning dialogue, believes that being passionate is foolish and as the plot shows the passion that is allowed to burn will eventually burn out catastrophically. In his own play, Sophocles places an importance on familial love like Shakespeare but in a very different way.

Antigone’s parents are deceased but this does not prevent them from influencing Antigone’s passion. In contrast, to the condemning nature of Juliet’s family, Sophocles tells us that they would approve of her passion. In the previous installment to Antigone, Oedipus the King, we meet her father, Oedipus. Like father, like daughter, Oedipus ignores prophecies much like Antigone ignores Creon’s edict to because of their passion for doing what is a rational. Juliet are both ignore their close confidents; Oedipus ignores his wife Jocasta’s objections to his plans much like Antigone to Ismene (Sophocles). ince they both share many characteristics, Sophocles conveys that Oedipus approves of her passionate actions. The significance of the repetitive nature in Sophocles’ plays show that he, like Oedipus, believes passion for doing the right thing. The play in the middle of Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus further shows the importance of Antigone’s relationship with her father. In this play Oedipus is weak, blind, and heavily reliant on his daughters but specifically Antigone.

Antigone acts as Oedipus’s eyes and this shows they have a relationship that allows each other to do the others bidding. As for Oedipus’s other daughter, Ismene, although she shows that she feels bad by saying “O father, sad thy plight” (Sophocles 8), neglects to make much action in comparison to Antigone, just like her lack of action in Antigone. Romeo and tragic. It undoubtedly contrasting to this as Lord and Lady Capulet continuously snuff out their daughters flames of passion whereas Oedipus adds fuel to the fire in his approval.

By showing this we can clearly see the high level of disagreement the playwrights have on the subject of passion. Although being a secondary character by definition, Benvolio of Romeo and Juliet serves to argue the main points of Shakespeare’s opinion of passion. Benvolio is a character that provides Benvolio, to foil to the crazy suicidal tendencies of other characters. The prudent pacifist refuses to duel Tybalt and avoids fights in general regardless of the context they are under.

To illustrate, just before the fight happens, the wise, thorough thinking Benvolio says: “I pray thee, good Mercutio, let’s retire. The day is hot, the Capels abroad, And if we meet we shall not ‘scape a brawl, For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring” (3. 1. 1-4). This quote supports the idea that Benvolio, despite the tense family feud conniption, is still level headed. Much like Lady Capulet’s advice to Juliet, this is Benvolio’s advice to Romeo. If Romeo had listened this would have altered the play to be much less tragic.

It is no coincidence that out of the younger generation of Montague’s, Shakespeare chose the most prudent, Benvolio, to be the lone survivor. This supports Shakespeare’s belief that being too passionate is foolish and often ends in catastrophe and by extent being prudent leads to a long, intelligent life like the one Shakespeare plotted for Benvolio. Romeo is a foil to Benvolio through his contrasting passionate actions, this undoubtedly dictates Shakespeare’s intentions for Romeo’s passion is his hamartia.