Chorus In Medea And Antigone English Literature Essay

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"Medea" is about a tragedy of a woman who feels that her husband has betrayed her with another woman and the jealousy that consumes her. She is the protagonist who arouses sympathy and admiration because of how her desperate situation is. "Antigone" is about a girl who is fighting back for her brother against the king. In this story Antigone has two brothers and bothe killed ezch other in the war, one was given the proper funeral and that was not given to another brother. So here the Antigone fights for her brother.

In both the stories chorus plays very important role. Greek tragedy implies that chorus is consisted of group of 8 to 10 members. Chorus plays the role of death messenger, they dance and sing and the main role is to comment throughout the play on every character. The chorus introduces every action and character. They perform the offstage actions. Without the chorus both the plays wouldn't have been interested as they create the suspense. Also they easily they change their mind after listening to others talks but they think in a positive manner. They always tries to support the right person and they always give positive thoughts to all the characters. Chorus is like a narrator in both the play.

The Chorus is an important part of Euripedes' Medea. In this play, it follows the journey Medea makes, and not only narrates, but commentates on what is happening. Euripedes uses the Chorus as a literary device to raise certain issues, and to influence where the sympathies of the audience lie. In the play Antigone the chorus was not only a major part, but also the most insightful portion of this play's cast.  The members of the chorus tell Creon and the audience very important truths about themselves.  Throughout the playthe chorus comments on Creon's actions, and gives us all unbiased views on our hypocritical species.

In the play "Antigone" we see that the chorus has the male members while in the play "Medea" the chorus consists of female constituent. In the play "Antigone" the chorus is Godfearing, patriotic and political minded so they are loyal to Creon, "There are many strange and wonderful things, but nothing more strangely than man" here also the Chorus the power of man and they mean to say that nothing is dominant than man. In the play "Medea" the Chorus has feminist ideas so they can understand the pain of Medea and hence they support Medea. "Flow backward to your sources, sacred rivers, And let the world's great order be reversed. It is thoughts of men that are deceitful" here the chorus mean to say that men has the dishonest thoughts and they support the Medea.

"O God and Earth and Heaven! Did u hear what a cry was that Which the sad wife sings?" this is the intial stage of chorus in "Medea" and here the chorus is consoling and sympathising medea, here the chorus supports the medea. "The man swinged down, torch still in hand, and smashed into unyielding earth-the one who not so long attacked" here the chorus describes the defat of their enemies, this build up their strength and this shows that they were powerful. In "Antigone" the chorus in his initial dialogues describes all about their power and victory and also they describe that after the war they had started with new life. "You are in the right, Medea, in paying your husband back" here the chorus supports Medea as chorus can understand the situation through which Medea is passing and after listening the Medea's plan chorus thinks that she is on right track. Till the stage Medea was successful in manipulating the Chorus because she is a foreigner but then too she manages to take Chorus on her side. "Since you have shared the knowledge of our plan with us, I both wish to help you and support the normal ways of mankind, and tell you not to do this thing" at this stage Medea tells about her plan, Chorus tell her that not go through this plan because no one can bear the pain of killing the own children and also chorus tell her that this act is against the ways of mankind, after this stage Chorus dint support Medea but chorus was not able to tell her anything, this shows the cleverness of Medea. In the play "Antigone" the same advice was given to creon by chorus but he dint listen and atlast he suffered.

"Will she come into our presence? Will she listen when we are speaking To the words we say? I wish she might relax her rage and temper of the heart" here the chorus is trying to help Medea in calming down her anger and they support the Medea because they can understand the pain of Medea through which she is passing, in the further speech of Chorus they tell the nurse to bring the Medea so that they can talk to her and they can suggest the Medea in right manner.

In play "Antigone" and the play "Medea" the chorus had few roles and they are to explain the action, to interpret the action in relation to the law of the state, to foreshadow the future, to serve as an actor in the play, to present the author's views. In some ways, the chorus is like the narrator of a modern film or like the background music accompanying the action of the film. In addition, it is like text on the film screen that provides background information or identifies the time and place of the action.

"Often before I have gone through more subtle reasons, and have come upon questioning greater than a woman should strive to search out. But we too have Goddess to help us and accompany us into wisdom" here the chorus speaks a very feminist speech and this speech was spoken before the chorus killed her children. Initially when the Medea decides to kill her children at that time Chorus oppose it. In this speech chorus says that one doesn't know how her children will turn out when they will grow and chorus also say that women's life is wasted because when the children are small we toil for them and we bring them up well, but when the children grow up they may ignore their parents from their life. Here the Medea is successful in manipulating the chorus, this shows the intelligence of Medea. "Yes, my lord, as fast as possible swift footed injuries sent from the Gods hack down those who act imprudently" here the Chorus explain the creon that whatever he had done is wrong and chorus tells him that now he has the last opportunity to save his family, creon fails in saving his family as he had committed many sins in past. Here also chorus manipulates through Antigone as initially chorus was supporting creon but in the climax chorus oppose the creon .

   Through the chorus Creon begins to see that he is wrong and God is superior to himself, but it takes a lot to shake his belief that a perfect society is run by an unrelenting rule.  This play also teaches us a lot about humans in general, that the they aren't interested in anything but the fulfillment of their own needs, and that they refuse to see that something may be more powerful than themselves.  This revelation is the major theme of the play and is very important in Creon's growth as a person. "It's clear enough the spirit in this girl is passionate- her father was the same. She has no sense of compromise in times of trouble" here the chorus oppose the Antigone as she is against Creon and chorus as a political minded helps the their king and they believe that going against the king is illegal. They say that she is like her father who don't know how to handle harsh situation.


     This play couldn't have existed without a chorus, these singers give too much to the structure of the play, without them Creon would never have changed as a person and the play would have been much more ambiguous as to the relationship of Creon's problems to our own.  With the help of the chorus Creon learns that he is just a frail being in a world much greater than his own pitiful kingdom.  Because of this he becomes much more god-minded, and sees his place in the scheme of things.  This play is about loyalty to a much greater

power, and with the help of the chorus he sees the power he must follow.