Philosophical debates in regards to determinism and libertarianism can be fought within the realm of the story of Antigone, as written by Sophocles. Within the timeline of the mythical ancient city of Thebes, after the death of Oedipus, the story of Antigone and her family’s struggle for power and pride takes place. It can be argued that the ideals of determinism have set the course of Antigone’s life as well as that of Creon, and his son Haemon. I believe due to the utter failure of an attempt to change the set course of life within the play, of not just Antigone but almost all characters, that determinism shows true within the context of Antigone.Order now
Antigone, throughout the entire play, attempts to her fullest to redeem her family name, and keep her own place within the “royalty” of Thebes. Yet, with even the gods on her side, so to speak, these attempts are futile. As Antigone proceeds to commit suicide, after a hard fought struggle, it seems as if she had followed the path she had been on since her creation and entrance into the play. Antigone seems to be a strong character throughout the play, full of meaning, full of power. She is determined to change the course she had been set on, but it is to no use, she falls into the pre-determined end of her life.
Along with Antigone, the life of Creon, the king of Thebes, seems to be on an path set in stone. The tragic hero of this play, Creon has his flaws, and his strengths, but it seems none of which will change the course set for him the minute he steps into the play. Creon’s actions, can be traced back to those of Oedipus and his family, and according to the thought of determinists each action a character or person does creates a subsequent reaction that cannot be changed, creating a set path of decisions and actions to happen. Creon in the play, set by the actions of those before him, was determined to defy the gods, and make his decisions which subsequently end the life of everyone but himself.
Last of the predetermined characters of which I will speak is that of Haemon, the son of Creon, and the lover of Antigone. His course, while the most infrequent, can be argued against the determinist thought. During the play Haemon is on the side of his father, trying to convince him, trying to help him, but after arguing and the plot expanding his course turns. He ends up dying with the one he loves, Antigone. I believe his choices were set in the past the second he fell in love with Antigone, which voids the libertarian ideas in regards to Haemon’s life. I believe the determinist philosophy still applies to Haemon as it does to the other characters in the play.
Lastly, it is necessary to explain how the play sets standards on what it truly means to be human. According to my interpretation of the play, I believe to be human it means to live, think for yourself, and fight for what you believe in. Humanity is about opinion, and reason, in my opinion, and that is why we must live and fight for what it is that each and every one of us believes in.