Antigone and Socrates, hmm?

So, I was flipping through some old notes of mine and I stumbled upon some things I had written out for blogs a while back. I have a few ideas that will meet future creation, but this also sparked a new idea. What if  Thebes during the setting of “Antigone” had been formed into a Republic, and the characters in Sophocles’ tragedy met a structure loosely based on thoughts of Socrates. Also, what might Socrates think of Antigone?

For one, Antigone would not actually have a real story such as this to be told of if her world was made a Republic. Everyone would have been trained to avoid the traumatic events that came forth and tragedy itself would not exist or be spoken of. She would not have even had anything to cry about because her brother would not be dead due to the training that would be used to eradicate the violent nature in people. In this republic, it’s hard to tell who may be chosen to be the ruler of who we met in this tragedy, because everyone seems to have something a little bit crazy going on. If I were to pick the best fit, Ismene would definitely be up there due to her seemingly level head she displays. Creon may be a guardian, and the rest would fall under the lower tier in the Republic.

I would like to have asked Socrates to read Antigone and see what he would have to say about it. My guess would be that Greek tragedy would not be on the top of the list of “Socrates’ Favorite Casual Readings”, but it may prove to intrigue him a bit. I could imagine him maybe being proud of Creon since he was able to hold strong and not performed the irrational end that everyone around him did, but even he may have disappointed Socrates due to the unfairness that he treated Antigone with and looked at it as a form of injustice. It may be argued that Antigone stepped out of her place, but at the same time she had been following her own beliefs which may spark some favor in Socrates’ eyes. Although he may have liked Creon, he may hold a heavy distaste for him as well due to the views of ruling a city that Socrates created for himself anyways (which we know he holds strongly to due to the fact that he sacrificed his own life for his beliefs).

I feel like Antigone may be Socrates’ character, though, due to the fact that she died to defend her own cause, just as Socrates did. Also, it seems as they both did not fear death at all, but rather accepted it due to their strong beliefs in what defined them- Socrates and his philosophies and Antigone’s loyalty to her brother. They may be looked at as ancient anarchists in the sense that they both fought the law, but as the song goes, “I fought the law and the law won”

Alas, two tragic heroes, two people fighting for a cause.


One Response to Antigone and Socrates, hmm?

  1. Fred says:

    For what it’s worth, I believe Sophocles himself was just a bit older than Socrates, and it’s entirely possible that Socrates was indeed aware of Sophocles’ play Antigone – and could have been inspired by it when giving his defence as documented in Apology!

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