The Power of Relationships in “Antigone” by Sophocles and “The Odyssey” by Homer

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When an single feels powerless to undertake a state of affairs. one is persuaded to move against one’s will. one experiences the importance of power ; when one is able to exert one’s will and experience what one does is right. power comes to the bow once more. All human relationships have implied power. good or bad. Social construction and power construction are interlinked. Power kineticss is the built-in portion of human life. The construct of influence is latent within the construct of power.

In footings of historical context. Antigone is written when the state is in convulsion. Sophocles is one of the 10 Generals to take a military expedition against Samos Island in 440 BC. Antigone has the indispensable virtuousnesss of literature. and provides no backing for a peculiar type of political doctrine or backup for any leader. no propaganda. non even a passing mention to Athens. Antigone remains devoted to characters and subjects. which is the trademark of the great literature. Therefore. it has cosmopolitan. dateless entreaty. It explains the echt relationship of human being in seeking state of affairss.

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One such of import relationship explained in Antigone is that of province and the person. This is the cardinal job through the Ages. which the society has non been able to work out satisfactorily until now. The single resents curtailment or violation of one’s freedom and province control as for personal affairs of religion. Antigone refuses to be guided by the waies of King Creon and wants to exert her freedom to execute a personal duty. She defies Creon’s edict and decides to travel by her ain. as for the ritual to bury her brother. She is guided by the rational idea and non merely the self-generated will. Here is an of import illustration of clang of power of relationships.

The King want to exert his built-in power and the single retaliating with the power which 1 considers as one’s birthright. The issue associating to the 2nd entombment besides is the perfect illustration of the power of relationship– power every bit good as relationship. As per the imposts of burial so predominating Antigone completes the burial rites. when she puts dust over her brother’s organic structure. ( Dust returns to dust! )

Therefore she has done her obligatory responsibilities to her brother and maintains the indispensable self-respect of the relationship with him. With such a perfect and procedural entombment the psyche of Polynices can continue with its onward March to the underworld. When his organic structure is exposed once more as per king’s orders. she has the audaciousness and strong belief to execute the ritual once more. forgetful of the effects. She therefore exercises her single powers of freedom of action and strong belief. against the bossy. undue power of the province.

Another of import illustration of power of relationships in the heroic poem is the competition between the sisters. Ismene and Antigone. These blood relation sisters try to outwit each other. The feminine trait of green-eyed monster is shown in their common interactions. They are poles apart by nature and their relationship can t be expected to be smooth. Many sentimental scenes are frequently created and they highlight their contradictory nature. “As with Sophocles’ sisters. Ismene and Antigone appear as foils and challengers. Ismene is “reasonable. ” cautious. and obedient. full-figured and beautiful in being a good miss. In contrast. Antigone is fractious. unprompted. and Moody. sallow. thin. and unquestionably immune to being a miss like the remainder. ( Antigone… )

Ismene is shown as an obedient and sober miss. In contrast. Antigone is Moody and unprompted and non so beautiful and attractive like her sister. Antigone’s animus with her sister is due to another facet of her sister’s personality. It has to make with the muliebrity. Antigone hates her sister to the point of being barbarous. and this peculiar relationship is seen right through her childhood.

Antigone is so pitiless on her sister that she one time binds her to a tree to mangle her. She is highly covetous about work forces appreciating her and the built-in capacity of her beauty to pull work forces. She goes to silly and utmost extent and wishes to go the adult female of Haemon and for that she schemes to steal the feminine assets like. aroma. pulverization. frock. paint and lip rouge. A curious love-hate relationship is pictured between the two sisters.

As explained earlier. Antigone’s solid finding to bury Polynices has twin aims. To honour the household relationship. and to dispute the unfair authorization! Her trueness and attachment to the familial traditions is deeper than her trueness to the present swayer.

She makes a ardent entreaty to her sister Ismene that they must care for the brother more than anything and demo their sisterlike love. This is the intense power of her internal. bosom to bosom relationship with her brother. Over this issue. she is willing to bewray the province if at all some think that it is an act of treachery. However. she does non advert a word about deity and Godhead Torahs being on her side. She does non hunger to set up any kind of sanctum relationship. Her trueness and relationship is with the Torahs of the household in the present instance.

The quandary of power and relationship is highlighted in the curious attitudes of Creon. when he applies two different yardsticks for the same inquiry in indistinguishable state of affairss. Like Antigone he excessively values household traditions. Here is a rare understanding between the two postulating powers ; two opposing powers ; the powers that do non see oculus to oculus on critical issues.

When covering with Haeon. Creon demands of him obeisance as the boy foremost and citizen following. He counsels his boy that all other issues are secondary as compared to father’s wish. This is nil but beging ballot for such a contradictory relationship. In Antigone’s instance. he declares that the Torahs of the province are supreme-obedience to them is perfectly necessary for the citizen. Therefore. Creon hesitations. when covering with his ain instance.

The Odyssey by Homer:

Homer. the unsighted bard. is credited with writing of The Odyssey. Or has he done merely the summing up of the long Grecian tradition of unwritten. unwritten poesy? The scholar’s argument on this issue still persists. This heroic poem is composed between 750 and 650 BC. The power of relationship is explicitly seen between Odysseus and his married woman Penelope. Penelope is in a extremely disadvantageous place. She has non seen her hubby for 20 old ages. She is intensely troubled by a figure of suers. who think that Odysseus is no more.

Why has he non returned to his Kingdom. even after the oversight of 10 old ages from the terminal of Trojan War? Her immature boy. Telemachus. is unable offer touchable resistance to the suers. One among them. Antinous. has programs to assassinate him. because he is the lone replacement to the assets of Odysseus. Under such inexorable fortunes. Penelope exhibits the strength of her loyal relationship to her hubby. Odysseus. besides his physical art. is a quick-thinking person. He is capable of run intoing the challenge of tough state of affairss and his presence of head is extraordinary. He excels in change overing state of affairss of licking into triumphs. He is an first-class speechmaker and has the capacity to rock his audience.

His captivation with Calypso is the impermanent aberrance of his existent strength of character. If he were fundamentally sensuous person. he would hold continued to remain at the alien land with her. The echt desire sprouts within him to return to his Kingdom and fall in his married woman. But he is blunt plenty to acknowledge that his married woman is no comparing to Calypso. This is the manner of Homeric characters. They are realistic and complex. The power of relationship exhibited in the character of Telemachus. when he is placed in the most hard state of affairs is noticeable.

He is an baby when his male parent leaves for Troy and knows about the glorification and heroism of his male parent. He has the added duty of looking after his female parent and attention of father’s estate. The suers are avaricious and brainsick and wish to take advantage of his incapacitated state of affairs. Penelope provides the greatest illustration of the power of relationship. Twenty old ages of uncertainness at the prime of her young person. and yet her love and trueness to Odysseus is perfect. The suers are using grim force per unit area on her to remarry but she withstands their tactics bravely. She spends her darks crying in her bed.

They say. despairing state of affairss need despairing redresss. Athena. the steadfast protagonist of Odysseus has disguised him as a mendicant. This is an illustration of the strong power of relationship between the two. Athena knows that Odysseus has a tough and unsafe occupation in front in covering with the combined might of suers. The individuality of Odysseus is merely revealed to Telemachus. Both of them invent a program to slaughter the suers and to take control of Ithaca. When he enters the castle the following twenty-four hours as a mendicant Odysseus has to bear the abuses from the suers. His old nurse. Eurycleia recognizes him but gives the solemn confidence that she will maintain it secret.

This is a alone cogent evidence of relationship between the maestro and the nurse and the power of earnestness is priceless. Her trueness to the importance of relationship and its time-value is deserving observing. Eurycleia does right things at the right clip. She is aged. and one time suckled Odysseus and Telemachus. as babes. How great she must be experiencing that she looked after both the male parent and boy! She is well-versed in castle arithmetic and takes attention about all confidential issues refering her Masterss. She understands what is to be told to a peculiar castle official. howsoever of import is one’s place. and what information is to be withheld from the person. In the present context. she takes two of import determinations ; to maintain Telemachus’s journey secret from Penelope. and besides Odysseus’s individuality secret.

She has recognized him. through his cicatrix on his leg. Even though Eurycleia is a little character. an undistinguished 1. at a really important clip. she does non make anything to damage the sure relationship. She could hold easy shifted truenesss. and informed the suers in secret about the cloak-and-dagger presence of Odysseus dressed as a mendicant. As for Penelope. she plays her cards with the suers good. She does non state ‘no’ or ‘yes’ to remarriage. She goes on enforcing one or the other conditions on them. Her 6th sense works good. and she has the intuition. whether the mendicant can be her hubby. The archery competition is the result of her mastermind and her supreme religion that merely Odysseus is capable of firing the pointer through the row of 12 axes.

Each suer attempts. fails. humiliated and finally can non win the custodies of Penelope. Destiny has taken the full circle as for the suers. when Odysseus non merely wins the competition. but turns the bow on the suers to kill each one of them. The penalty to the 12 family amahs is besides instant and terrible. for they have committed the grave wickedness of kiping with the suers. They have betrayed the sacred relationship of the maestro and the retainer. They are killed by hanging. The power of relationships does non stop here. “Odysseus reveals himself to the full castle and reunites with his loving Penelope.

He travels to the outskirts of Ithaca to see his aged male parent. Laertes. They come under onslaught from the vindictive household members of the dead suers. but Laertes. reinvigorated by his son’s return. successfully kills Antinous’s male parent and puts a halt to the onslaught. Zeus dispatches Athena to reconstruct peace. With his power secure and his household reunited. Odysseus’s long ordeal comes to an terminal. ” ( The Odyssey… )

The aged male parent is besides surcharged with the fiery relationship of love for his boy and successfully counters the onslaught on Odysseus. Each one of the household members and associates of Odysseus live up to the outlook and turn out to be the greatest illustrations of trueness and the power of relationships. The loyal shepherd. Eumaeus is another minor but commendable character as for keeping the self-respect of human relationships. He. along with the cowboy Philoetius. aids Odysseus reclaim his throne when he returns to Ithaca. When Odysseus appears disguised as a mendicant in his hut. he gives him nutrient and shelter. which is a great human quality.

The power of relationship between Gods and Odysseus is depicted by Homer in a alone manner. Athena is the goddess of wisdom and conflict. It is but natural that she supports Odysseus. good known for his crafty ways and heroism. Apart from her Godhead acts to assist Odysseus. when the decisive minute arrives. she assures him of triumph over suers. but desires and allows Odysseus to contend his ain conflict. She does non affect actively in the conflict. but watches the state of affairs carefully. This is a alone relationship where she has absolute trust in the power of Odysseus to hit triumph. without her aid.


The two heroic poems are full of incidents of loyal relationships and how they exercise power over their actions and reactions. Such relationships are portion of the personalities of child and major characters. The 10 old ages of the relentless attempts of Odysseus to return to his land. are as heroic and amazing as the ten old ages of the Trojan War. How Odysseus lives life in its tests. trials. responsibility and beauty—that is Homer’s The Odyssey! Antigone by Sophocles besides depicts the beauties and strains of the power of human relationships.


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The Power of Relationships in “Antigone” by Sophocles and “The Odyssey” by Homer. (2017, Jul 26). Retrieved from

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