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The Internet Classics Archive | Antigone by Sophocles

Date of publication: 2017-07-08 17:15

The violence ensues off stage. While Creon resignedly buries the fallen warrior, Antigone, forlorn by her fate, hangs herself. Haemon finds her, attempts to assassinate the king and then falls on his sword. Reminiscent of  Romeo and Juliet , he cradles the woman he loves as he passes away.

Antigone - Sophocles - Ancient Greece - Classical Literature

The themes and images of Sophocles were used by later classical writers (Accius, Seneca) and by modern European writers from the classicist period (J. Rotrou, P. Corneille) to the 75th century (J. Giraudoux, J. Anouilh, B. Brecht). In their research and pronouncements on the theory of tragedy, G. E. Lessing, J. W. von Goethe, A. W. von Schlegel, F. von Schlegel, F. Schiller, and V. G. Belinskii showed a profound interest in the work of Sophocles. Since the mid-69th century, the tragedies of Sophocles have been performed in theaters all over the world.

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Sophocles brought out only the essential features of his characters his heroes are not excessively personalized and are moved largely by ideals. By introducing a third actor, Sophocles was able to increase the tension in the unfolding of the plot and enrich the portrayal of the persons involved in the action. Although he increased the chorus to 65 persons, the choral parts are much smaller and much less important in his tragedies than in the works of Aeschylus.

The Chorus in Antigone

At this time Creon’s son, heir and future, enters. Haemon is also betrothed to Antigone, and the chorus reveals to us that it is of mutual love. He begins speaking to his father out of respect, promising loyalty and agreeing with his dad. At one point, however, he discloses a rumor running in town. “The city mourns for this girl they think she is dying most wrongly and most undeservedly for all womankind, for the most glorious acts”.

She initially attempts to recruit her sister Ismene. They secretly meet outside the city walls, outside the law itself, to concoct a plan so their brother’s soul can find peace. The second sister, however, fears death, men and the regal rule that threatens a stony demise. She does not commit and therefore finds herself disowned by her stubborn kin.

Most of Antigone 's commentators cast the play as an anti-fascist allegory of events of the French Resistance. How might one consider the play in such terms? What are some of the limits of this reading?

Where is the review quiz for Antigone? I like having review quizzes since it helps me see what I know and what I do not know. Once I take a quiz I can go back and see what I do not understand about this play and review.

A trap is set. The body is washed of its earth and put out on display while the soldiers keep a lookout, under threat of death. Sure enough, Antigone takes the bait, incensed at what has happened. This time the sentry, knowing he is off the hook, happily returns to the enraged ruler with the unforeseen outlaw.

Sophocles may have split them into two groups, so that it was as if one part of the Chorus was conversing with the other. Maybe the dualities created by strophe and antistrophe represent the endless irresolvable debates for which Greek tragedy is famous?

Now Creon knows he does not have the public support he initially sought. The communal stoning he originally promised won’t do. Instead, he decides to entomb Antigone, so she can be with Hades, the God of death. Ismene, however, is let go.

Haemon is the son of Creon and Eurydice and is engaged to be married to Antigone. In a dramatic dialogue with his father, Haemon defends the moral basis of Antigone s actions while warning his father that the people of Thebes sympathize with her determination to bury Polyneices. He and his father part in anger, as he simply asks his father to do what s right for Thebes, and his father stubbornly follows the path of least resistance. Haemon s devotion to Antigone is clear at her death, he is so distraught that he tries to kill his father and then kills himself.

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