Antigone By Sophocles (Summary, Book Review, Online Reading, PDF, Download)

    Abdulaziz Sobh

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    Written by Sophocles
    Chorus Theban Elders
    Characters Antigone
    The leader of the Chorus
    First Messenger
    Second Messenger
    Mute Two guards
    A boy
    Date premiered c. 441 BC
    Place premiered Athens
    Original language Ancient Greek
    Genre Tragedy

    Summary: Antigone of Sophocles: Antigone is a tragedy of Sophocles written before or in 442 a. Chronologically, it is the third of Theban's three plays, but it was written first. The work extends the Theban legend that preceded it and picks up where it ends Siete contra Tebas de Esquilo.Before the beginning of the work, the brothers Eteocles and Polyneices, who were leading opposing sides in the civil war of Thebes, died fighting among themselves for the throne. Creon, the new ruler of Thebes, has decided that Eteocles will be honored and that Polinices will be in public shame. The body of the rebellious brother will not be sanctified by the sacred rites and will remain unburied on the battlefield, prey to scavengers such as worms and vultures, the most severe punishment of the time. Antigone and Ismene are the sisters of the dead Polyneices and Eteocles. At the opening of the play, Antigone takes Ismene out of the palace gates late at night for a secret meeting: Antigone wants to bury the body of Polyneices, defying Creon's edict. Ismene refuses to help her, without believing that it is actually possible to bury her brother, who is in custody but can not prevent Antigone from burying her brother.Enter Creon, along with the choir of the Theban elders. He seeks your support in the coming days and, in particular, wants you to support his edict regarding the elimination of Polyneices body. The Leader of the Chorus promises his support out of respect for Creon. A sentinel enters, informing with fear that the body received funeral rites and a symbolic burial with a thin layer of earth, although no one saw who had committed the crime. Creon, furious, orders the sentinel to find the culprit or face death himself. The Sentinel leaves and the Choir sings about honoring the gods, but after a brief absence, he returns, bringing Antigone with him. The Sentinel explains that the watchmen discovered the body of Polyneices and then trapped Antigone as it did with the funeral rituals. Creon questions her after sending the Sentinel, and she does not deny what she has done. She discusses with Creon about the morality of the edict and the morality of his actions. Creon is enraged and, thinking that Ismene must have known Antigone's plan, seeing her upset, summons the girl. Ismene tries to confess the crime, wishing to die with her sister, but Antigone will not. Creon orders that the two women be imprisoned temporarily.Haemon, the son of Creon, enters to swear allegiance to his father, although he is committed to Antigone. At first, he seems willing to give up Antigone, but when Haemon tries to convince his father to save Antigone, claiming that "under the cover of darkness the city is in mourning for the girl", the discussion deteriorates and the two men Soon they insult themselves... When Creon threatens to execute Antigone in front of his son, Haemon leaves, vowing never to see Creon again.Creon decides to forgive Ismene and bury Antigone alive in a cave. By not killing her directly, she expects to pay the least respect to the gods. She is taken out of the house, and this time, she is sad instead of defiant. She expresses regret for not having married and dying to follow the laws of the gods. She is taken to her grave alive, with the Leader of the Choir expressing great pain for what is going to happen to her.Tiresias, the blind prophet, enters. Teiresias warns Creon that Polyneices must now be buried urgently because the gods are disgusted, refusing to accept any sacrifice or prayer from Thebes. Creon accuses Tiresias of being corrupt. Tiresias responds that due to Creon's errors, he will lose "a son of [his] own loins" for the crimes of leaving Polyneices unearthed and putting Antigone on earth (it does not say that Antigone should not be condemned to death, only that it is improper to keep a living body under the earth). All Greece will despise Creon, and the sacrificial offerings of Thebes will not be accepted by the gods. The Choir Leader, terrified, asks Creon to take Tiresias's advice to free Antigone and bury Polyneices. Creon nods, leaving with a retinue of men. The choir offers a choral ode to the god Dionysus (god of wine and theater, this part is the offering to his patron god). A Messenger enters to tell the Choir Leader that Antigone has committed suicide. Eurydice, the wife of Creon, and the mother of Haemon enter and asks the Messenger to tell him everything. The Messenger informs that Creon saw the burial of Polyneices. When Creon arrived at Antigone's cave, he found Haemon lamenting over Antigone, who had hanged herself. After trying unsuccessfully to stab Creon, Haemon stabbed himself. After listening to the Messenger's account, Eurydice disappears into the palace.Enter Creon, carrying Haemon's body. He understands that his own actions have caused these events and he blames himself. A Second Messenger arrives to tell Creon and the Chorus that Eurydice has committed suicide. With her last breath, she cursed her husband. Creon blames himself for everything that has happened, and, like a broken man, asks his servants to help him enter. The order he valued so much has been protected, and he remains the king, but he has acted against the gods and as a result, lost his sons and his wife. After Creon condemns himself, the Choir Leader closes saying that although the gods punish the proud, punishment brings wisdom.