Creonthe new ruler of Thebes, has declared that Eteocles is to be honoured and Polynices is to be disgraced by leaving his body unburied on the battlefield a harsh and shameful punishment at the time. As the play begins, Antigone vows to bury her brother Polynices ' body in defiance of Creon 's edict, although her sister Ismene refuses to help her, fearing the death penalty. Creonwith the support of the Chorus of elders, repeats his edict regarding the disposal of Polynices ' body, but a fearful sentry enters to report that Antigone has in fact buried her brother's body.
Yet Sophocles was not content to write tragedies exactly as Aeschylus had done.
Tradition reports that Sophocles introduced several innovations in the staging of Greek drama, such as the use of a third actor, scene painting, and a slightly larger chorus. The real contribution of Sophocles, however, was in his approach to plot and character.
The later a Sophoclean tragedy is, the more its plot tends to be focused upon an individual hero. This tendency is quite different from the tragedies of Aeschylus, which usually deal with an entire household or even trace a story over several generations.
In Sophocles, the individual hero is always at the core of the story.
Perhaps also for this reason, Sophocles, unlike Aeschylus, did not write connected trilogies but allowed each play in a trilogy to deal with a different character and a different story. The long passages of monologue, familiar from Aeschylean drama, are now replaced by dialogue.
Information that the audience needs to understand the plot is allowed to emerge gradually through conversation between the characters. Moreover, exchanges between characters with differing points of view—Antigone and Creon, Teucer and Menelaus, Oedipus and Polyneices—are able to provide the audience with insight into the psychological motivation of each individual.
This psychological motivation is frequently the key to another element of Sophoclean tragedy: It is frequently noted that nearly every tragedy by Sophocles hinges upon the fulfillment of an oracle or a prophecy. Yet this does not necessarily mean that Sophocles believed that humanity was a pawn in the hands of the gods.
It is always true that, in Sophoclean tragedy, the destiny of the characters follows logically from their own choices. The gods may predict human suffering, but they are rarely the primary causes of disaster in these works.
Ultimately, however, these same heroic flaws destroy the persons whom they once made great. English translation, Type of work: Antigone, Oidipous Tyrannos c. That is to say, they were not originally written to be performed on a single occasion.
Nevertheless, the Theban plays, as they are called, together tell the complete story of Oedipus from the height of his power as king of Thebes to the execution of his daughter for the burial of his son, Polyneices.
Antigone, although it concerns the last events in the mythic history of this family, was the first of the three plays to be written.
In it, certain elements of plot seem to indicate that Sophocles, in this early period of his career, was still imitating the works of his predecessor Aeschylus. Although Antigone suffers because she violates the law of Creon by burying her brother Polyneices, she would have neglected her religious duty had she left him unburied.
Creon suffers because he regards his will as more important than the demands of the gods, although political pressures compelled him to punish the traitor of his city. Antigone and Creon thus represent the two sides that may be taken toward any issue of great importance.
Antigone defends the will of the gods, emphasizing the bond that she has to her family more than that which she has toward the state. Creon defends the need for law and order in a community, viewing civil law as more important than the will of the The entire section is 2, words.From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Antigone Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.
Antigone is a tragedy written by Sophocles in the year BCE and is a play about the aftermath of a civil war in which the two sons of Oedipus, Eteocles and Polyneices, kill each other, where the new king and their successor, Creon, tries to punish Polyneices for his disloyalty by not burying him properly.
The action of “Antigone” follows on from the Theban civil war, in which the two brothers, Eteocles and Polynices, died fighting each other for the throne of Thebes after Eteocles had refused to give up the crown to his brother as their father Oedipus had prescribed.
Antigone makes an impassioned argument, declaring Creon's order to be against the laws of the gods themselves.
Enraged by Antigone's refusal to submit to his authority, Creon declares that she and her sister will be put to death. Haemon, Creon's son who was to marry Antigone, advises his father to reconsider his decision.
From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Antigone Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.
“Antigone” is a tragedy by the ancient Greek playwright Sophocles, written around BCE. Although it was written before Sophocles ’ other two Theban plays, chronologically it comes after the stories in “Oedipus the King” and “Oedipus at Colonus”, and it picks up where Aeschylus ' .