Antigone

Antigone: Essay Q&A

1. What was the influence of 5th Century Athens on the plays of Sophocles? By the 460s B.C.E. when the great statesman, Pericles, ruled Athens, it had become the most powerful and prosperous city-state in Greece. It was a center of commerce, the arts, philosophy, and religion. Athens was known for its magnificent public monuments, like …

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Antigone: Biography: Sophocles

Sophocles was the Shakespeare of Greek dramatists, the poet whom Aristotle felt had perfected the form of tragedy, though the great Aeschylus (c. 525-456, B.C.E.) and Euripides (c. 480-408, B.C.E.) were his contemporaries. These three playwrights competed for prizes in the golden age of drama in fifth century Athens. Sophocles was born in Colonus, Greece, …

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Antigone: Top Ten Quotes

“There is no art that teaches us to know/ The temper, mind or spirit of any man/ Until he has been proved by government/ And lawgiving.” (lines 175-78). Creon ironically says this to the Counsellors before he tells them his first law, forbidding the burial of Polyneices. He ultimately fails by his own test, for …

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Antigone: Theme Analysis

Human Law vs. Divine Law  The play opens with the debate between the sisters Antigone and Ismene about which law comes first—the religious duty of citizens, or the civil duty? Antigone invites Ismene to join her in burying their brother Polyneices, though the king has forbidden burial on pain of death. Ismene reminds Antigone that …

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Antigone: Metaphor Analysis

Fate as a Storm When Creon condemns Antigone to death for defying his order not to bury Polyneices, the Chorus laments the fate that never leaves the house of Oedipus: “Once a house is shaken of Heaven, disaster/ Never leaves it, from generation to generation” (lines 583-84). They compare this fatal disaster to a storm, …

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Antigone: Character Profiles

Antigone Antigone is part of the fated royal line of Labdacus and one of the two surviving daughters of Oedipus, the former king of Thebes. She is also the sister of Oedipus through incest, since he married his own mother, Iocasta. Antigone had accompanied her father Oedipus into exile after he blinded himself and stayed …

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Antigone: Lines 1091-1352

Summary of Lines 1091-1352 The Chorus is upset by the doom pronounced by Teiresias, for they know he has never been wrong. Creon says he too is terrified, and though it is hard to go back on his word, disaster is worse. He asks the advice of the elders (The Chorus). They tell him to …

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Antigone: Lines 781-1090

Summary of Lines 781-1090The Chorus now sings to Eros or Love, blaming it for unhinging minds and causing injustice, as it has stirred up the mind of son (Haemon) against father (Creon). Aphrodite, the goddess of Love, is invincible. The Chorus sings in grief as it sees Antigone on her last journey to the cave …

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Antigone: Lines 526-780

Summary of Lines 526-780The Chorus chants of the sorrow of Ismene as she is led from the palace by the guards. She laments her sister’s fate.Creon accuses Ismene of sharing the crime of burying Polyneices and asks if she denies she had a hand in it. Ismene now comes forward to share the blame, if …

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Antigone: Lines 241-525

Summary of Lines 241-525This next section of the play brings Creon and Antigone into open conflict.Creon urges the guard to quit stalling and tell his news. The guard informs Creon that the body of Polyneices has been given proper burial with all the rites. Creon asks what man did it, and the guard says he …

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