The Vilification of Nature: Juxtaposing Antagonists in Sophocles’ Antigone and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream College
The success of the narrative arc of both Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone and Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream heavily rely on character interactions with the natural world. In each play respectively, the protagonists must purpose and negotiate elements of nature to achieve their particular objective. The plot of Antigone revolves around returning the body of Polynices to the natural world through a ritualistic burial process. Similarly, A Midsummer Night’s Dream involves a necessary pastoral escape to nature in order to resolve matters of unrequited, intertwined love affairs. Because the natural world drastically hinders the progress of the protagonists’ achievement of objective in both dramas, this conflict is emphasized as the central antagonistic force both in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Antigone. In Shakespeare’s classic pastoral play, a character versus environment conflict is emphasized for the main human protagonists. Thus, the natural world is clearly meant to be the central antagonist in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Most importantly, the human lovers’ central objectives of romantically connecting with other specific characters are ultimately delayed by a very specific natural element. Lysander, one of the...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 741 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4427 literature essays, 1449 sample college application essays, 183 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in