How do the characters of "Antigone" in Anouilh's play Antigone and "Medea" from Euripides's play Medea cope with the competition from other more beautiful and socially successful women?

Essay by bagratCollege, Undergraduate March 2006

download word file, 7 pages 0.0

Downloaded 18 times

Both of the plays Medea and Antigone have tragic themes and their main characters are women who find themselves unhappy and so decide to act on behalf of these feelings. In both cases the result is a climax at the end of the play in the form of several deaths. One of the main reasons they decide to act is because they find it difficult to cope with competition of other women. Both Jean Anouilh in his play Antigone and Euripides in his play Medea have based their tragic plots on the roles of jealousy and spite and the extremes they can make a person go to. In my analysis I will first look at the effects competition has on both Medea and Antigone, in particular jealousy. After this, I will discus the aspirations both women have as a result of feeling jealous and how other characters in the play see them.

Finally I will look at how the two characters act on impulse of their jealousy and compare what it leads to in each play.

When talking about the character's jealousy it is important to first determine who is the cause of these feelings. In both cases, we could say it is other, in the characters opinion 'rival', women. In Antigone's case, the jealousy is aimed mainly at her "radiant" and "beautiful" sister Ismene. Ismene is not only the more beautiful of the two sisters, but she is also more favoured and admired by the others.

"Ismene surrounded by a group of young men..."

Here we can see Ismene gets most attention. She is admired by young men and enjoys her life. Antigone on the other hand seems to be in her shadow. Therefore it is only natural for the author to have chosen for her to have feelings...