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Essentially, Antigone is a tragic play written by Sophocles presumably in 442 BC and the setting is in Thebes, which lies in the outskirts of Athens. The play widely preoccupied with conflict, which is exhibited in most of the characters. Ideally, the major conflict is between Antigone and Creon. The stage is set when the two brothers Eteocles and Polyneices who were actively taking part in the Thebes civil war kill each other in the battlefield. King Creon who is the reigning ruler of Thebes is determined to ensure that Eteocles is to be buried honourably while Polyneices was to be disgraced because he was a traitor. Ismene and Antigone are sisters to Eteocles and Polyneices. Antigone is opposed to the ruling and she vows that her brother must be given honourable burial (Rosenfield 105) Antigone decides to bury her brother but Creon catches up with her. Creon orders his men to bury Antigone alive. “Tiresias” the blind prophet underlines that the gods are on Antigone’s side and this softens Creon’s heart.
However, when Creon changes his mind it is too late because Antigone had already committed suicide in the jail cell where she had been locked up. Antigone kills herself to escape Creon’s sentence. The play reaches its climax when Haemon is overwhelmed with anger and misery, and he attacks his father but the father ducks. Haemon take his own life. Creon’s wife is also overwhelmed with the sorrow of losing her son and she takes her own life. Eventually, Creon is left alone to embrace the suffering and anguish that he had precipitated through the adherence to the law of the state at the expense of the moral law. Further, Creon comes to terms with the fact that sentencing Antigone to death was a fatal mistake just as had been predicted by the blind prophet. This play has been adapted into a film this paper will explore the similarities and differences that exists between the play and the film (Rosenfield 121)
Essentially, the differences between the play and the film are widely noticed in the use of dialogue, the expression of emotions, in the conclusion and in the subtle behaviours or aspects of the characters. The primary similarity between the film and the play lies in the plot, which has minor deviations. As aforementioned, the plot is about a king, two brothers and two sisters in the city of Thebes, which lies in the outskirts of Athens. The plot used in the film is adapted from the play and it attempts to written word into action and motion pictures that enhances the understanding of the play. Moreover, both the play and film have very tragic endings. The expression of emotion and sentiment in the film is different from that in the play. Expressing or showing emotional overtones is very difficult to achieve in written, but it can be achieved using particular words, exclamations and expressions.
Emotions can be expressed in writing using words such as “boyishly earnest” (Rosenfield 117) and “ironically” (Rosenfield 114). By using such word, the readers are able to establish a rough overview of the characters moods and emotional states. However, while watching the movie, the audience can see the emotional expressions on the characters facial expressions and the tonal variations in their voices. That is, the characters expressions of pain, anger and happiness are easily discernable in the movie as opposed to the written play. The film enables the viewers to identify and have a very clear perspective on the personalities of the different characters. On the other hand, while reading the written play the reader has to analyse and read between the lines to establish the emotional states of the characters.
There is also a very great difference in the dialogue used in the play and that used in the film. It is very evident that some of the words used in the play are not similar to the ones used in the movie. The difference in dialogue results from the fact that the play and the film had different translators. The wording used in the film appears to be very modern while the wording used in the play is very ancient. Through the words used, the reader is able to have an in-depth understanding of the plot of the play and have a clear perspective on the different emotions and expressions of the characters (Rosenfield 106). Therefore, using words that are not comprehensible make that understanding of the play very difficult.
This is not the case while watching the movie or film because the characters actions and expressions are visible to the audience and the words are only used to reinforce and relate to the unclear visual expressions. Moreover, in the movie, there is a lot of pace in the dialogue and this make the comprehension to be very difficult. Moreover, the fast pace of the dialogue makes it very difficult for the viewers to follow the conversations being made by the characters in the film. Further, the directors of the film have added some curse word to inject some emphasis and underline e certain emotions of feelings. There is no doubt that with the changing of the words and quotes and the ignoring of quotes, some of the power or strength of the play is compromised immensely.
Upon close analysis, there is also a marked difference in the relationships and the portrayal of the character’s personalities and temperaments. For example, in the play, Antigone is portrayed as a very virtuous, righteous and honourable character that is ready to settle for nothing less than respect, both for herself and for other members of her family. However, in the film, the viewers are able to see and relate to her assertive and aggressive personality as well as her virtuous side. Antigone’s assertive side is made clear when Creon reiterates, “like father, like daughter: both deaf to reason” (Rosenfield 105). The depiction of Creon’s personality in the play is also very different from that in the movie. Both the play and the movie portray him as a very strong and bold individual who is very proud and arrogant.
Nevertheless, the movie subtly portrays him as a very cool and soft person especially towards the end when he is contemplating the consequences of his actions. Further, it is very difficult to establish Creon’s emotional expression after realizing that his actions have lead to the death of his wife and son. However, in the movie, the facial expressions are very clear and the viewers can easily establish that Creon is very dejected and crestfallen. Indeed, there is a slight difference in the conclusion; the film ends when the ruler “Creon” is sitting at his throne dejected and lonely, while the play ends when Antigone has hang herself, Haemon has killed himself and the kings wife has also killed herself. Moreover, Creon comes to terms that the tragedy was widely caused by his pride, and he regrets his actions.
Even though there are some differences and similarities between the film and the lay, the film plays a very critical role in helping an individual who has read the play to connect and associate with the different characters. The differences between the play and the film are widely noticed in the use of dialogue, the expression of emotions, in the conclusion and in the subtle behaviours or aspects of the characters. Nevertheless, both the movie and the play are crucial vehicles of relaying the story to the readers and viewers.
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