Sophocles: Ἀντιγόνη



Er Polyneices attacked Thebes with his army to remove his brother and set himself up as king Creon by default becomes king and his first order of business is to give Etocles a state funeral while leaving the body of Polyneices exposed To be exposed was the worst thing that ou could do to a corpse in the Ancient Greek world A proper burial meant that Prisoner of Night (Black Dagger Brotherhood, you would at least have a half decent afterlife while being exposed suggests thatou would be left wondering the earth as a ghost and a tormented one at that Antigone the sister of Polyneices is horrified at this and seeks to bury him much to Creon s displeasure so he orders her executed However the play is not as simple as that because Creon s son is in love with Antigone and when he finds her dead he kills himself and in a fit of grief over the death of her son Creon s wife also kills herself Now one of the main themes that comes out of this play is the struggle between one s loyalty to the state and one s loyalty to one s family and the dilemma that one will face when the state passes a law of which Insectissimo! you do not approve The uestion that is raised is doou dishonour the state by breaking the law and honouring Fields of Fire (Frontlines, your family or doou dishonour Redeemed (The MacKays your family by upholding the law even when the law is unjust In a way there was nothing wrong with Creon s law since Polyneices was a traitor and treachery is seen as one of the worst crimes to commit even today though the definition of treason has become very ambiguous in the globalised interconnected world However he was still family and not only that Etocles ascension to the throne was dubious at best The entire war was not so much about a deposed monarch seeking reinstatement but rather a family uarrel between two brothers We still face these dilemmas today though not to the same extent The uestion of whether the drug laws are just is one of them and I do believe that they are even though they can be considered to be an outworking of the Nanny State While it is true that people should be left to make their own decisions we demonstrate time and time again that we are actually not capable of doing so therefore the state actually does need to step in to protect us from ourselves Then there is the war that the state embarks on that many members of the state disapprove of and as a loyal soldier to the state doou ob Suck on that Creon They named the play after her Antigone is a real heroine she stands up for what she believes in She was faced with a strong dilemma The law of man the word of her uncle the king demands that her brother s body remains unburied in the open with no funeral rights to be savaged by animals For King Creon this is a symbolic justice for a traitor and a rebel but the laws of the God s and the ruling of Antigone s own mind demands that she gives him libations death rights that all men deserve She buries the body and faces the conseuences of the crime Creon And still ou had the gall to break this lawAntigone Of course I did It wasn t Zeus not in the least who made this proclamation not to meNor did that justice dwellin This was a reread for me The first time I read this play was in my sopho ear or high school and I remember liking it but I LOVED it this time around It s fabulous and now I want to read the rest of the Theban plays Book Review 4 out of 5 stars to Antigone the third in a trilogy of Theban plays written around 441 BC The Wedding (Lux, yes almost 2500ears ago by Sophocl Antigone is a strong contender in the Plays That Keep You Awake at Night competition The background of the story reads no surprise like a Greek tragedy Antigone is the orphaned daughter of Jocasta and Oedipus the mother and fatherbrother team from Oedipus Rex who has now lost both her brothers as well they killed each other fighting over who got to rule Thebes Uncle Creon the new king decreed that the traitor brother is to go unburied The conflict is that Antigone plans to ignore Creon s decree and bury her brother anyway while Creon says if she does he ll have her killed While the conflict seems simple enough it involves two competing arenas political and religious Politically Antigone represents the aristos the old ruling families who aren t as loyal to law as they are to their own families and Creon represents the demos or the voting masses whose primary focus is the interest of the state and the rule of law In the religious arena Antigone wants to honor the gods laws by burying her brother while Creon ignores the gods laws in favor of his own decrees So who s right What is the balance of power between individuals and the state The laws of man and the laws of gods Governing with firmness and listening with reason The good news is that Sophocles gives each character a leg to stand on but only one Antigone is right to honor the gods laws but wrong to disobey the king s decree and Creon is wrong to disregard the gods laws but right to expect the laws of the land to supplant individual wishes I m guessing Sophocles would argue that the play s success comes from the tension between these ideas as played out by two flawed characters On the one hand Antigone is a strident vigilante who doesn t care that she s breaking the law And on the other hand Creon is an insecure blowhard who doesn t care that he s breaking custom and the will of the gods by leaving his nephew s corpse to be eaten by birds Neither character is easy to side with but each has a pointHowever the bad news is that Sophocles clearly sides with Creon through the airtime he gives Creon far than he gives Antigone through the chorus s support who are supposed to state the opinion of the audience and through the plot itself which gives Creon the realization of his mistakes and the cathartic Woe is me ending Creon not Antigone follows the tragic hero trajectory Antigone s real tragedy is simply that she s a member of a spectacularly dysfunctional family While the plot vindicates Antigone s position Sophocles undermines her character at every turn and for some reason this drives me bonkers Obviously nobody would read Pride and Prejudice and SPOILER ALERT say Poor Wickham got short shrift Jane Austen was clearly in the bag for Darcy How unfair because those characters exist only as the author created them Wickham is a scoundrel because Jane Austen created a scoundrel However the characters in this play existed before Sophocles and therefore outside Sophocles so I don t think I m a lunatic for being irritated that Sophocles was manipulative in his treatment of them In his real life zeal to promote the interest of the polis Sophocles weakens Antigone s position by characterizing her as imbalanced and unnatural which makes the didactic focus of the story political That was his point and in keeping with Greek tragedy of the 5th century BC but it still irks Iterature canTo make this uintessential Greek drama accessible to the modern reader this Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Edition includes a glossary of difficult terms a list of vocabulary words and convenient sidebar notes By providing these it is our intention that readers will fully enjoy the beauty wisdom and intent of the pl.

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Ismene Sounds like BeckettAntigone He was paraphrasing Hegel The chorus in Anne Carson s translation of Sophocles Antigone to make the point that many writers and thinkers across time were and still are paraphrasing SophoclesI just saw a middle school production of a play of which I had never heard Antigone in Munich The Sophie Scholl Story by Claudia Haas about a high school girl Sophie who follows her college philosophy student brother Hans in getting involved in a German student resistance organization The White Rose Society that courageously opposed Hitler My daughter was in the crew for the production stage left props as I once was for a production of Antigone when I was in college decades ago Like Antigone Sophie was a teenager who defended her brother honorably following in their activist footsteps doing the right thing in the face of a patriarchal authority who like King Lear raged with demands of loyalty All men make mistakes but a good man ields when he knows his course is wrong and repairs the evil The only crime is pride AntigoneI thought the play was ambitious for a middle school as it circled back from Nazi resistance to Sophocles play about the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta who insisted on defying King Creon s order to bury her brother Polynices Creon s law forbidding the public mourning and burial of a member of one s own family even one seen as resistant to the state punishable by death is inhuman it s immoral I listened to a translation of the original play and also read some of Anne Carson s adaptation of the play and of course saw and read Claudia Haas playPhilosophy professor Hans Huber who guided The White Rose Society was executed for resistance to the Nazi state And thou shalt act as ifOn thee and on thy deedDepended the fate of all GermanyAnd thou alone must answer for itThe Nazi regime also executed Huber s student Hans and his sister Sophie Scholl on February 22 1943 I admired my daughter s drama department s ambition to stoke student activism through the production The student body of my daughter s school had staged a walkout this ear protesting political inaction on school shootings They made signs wrote and signed petitions and some of them were interviewed by the media When I was in high school we shut down the school on a couple occasions insisting that the curriculum reflect growing concerns with the Vietnam War racism the environment We made signs we wrote pamphlets we created sit down strikes and we got some concessions and curricular changes I lived to tell my tale but four students were killed for protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State during my time in school s some recent Chicago student climate change protesters Do not fear for me Make straight our own path to destiny Antigone The family or the state6 May 2012 This is probably the closest of all of the Greek tragedies to a Shakespearian tragedy This is due to the end of the play having a huge bodycount and the action of the play is driven by one person s fatal flaw not that I actually believe in the fatal flaw argument but that is beside the point However it is not Antigone who has the fatal flaw in this play but rather Creon the king of Thebes Unfortunately we cannot really look to Oedipus at Colonus to see the beginning of Creon s downfall because this play is not the final part of a trilogy at least in the Aeschylan sense of a trilogy though it is noticeable that when the copyists chose seven plays of Sophocles to preserve for posterity three of the Theban plays were kept which in a sense formed a trilogy and in this trilogy we see Creon go from being a loyal servant of Oedipus to a ruthless tyrant that believes that he is the state and that his words are not to be disobeyed First I will discuss the term Harmatia which is Aristotelian in origin at least from his text on drama The Poetics I shall also look at the action of the play and finish off by discussing the main theme which is the struggle between loyalty to one s family and loyalty to one s state Well no I will finish off by looking at Creon s character and how his actions bring about such a sticky end The concept of Harmatia is regularly found in the Bible where it has been translated into our word sin Now as I think about the concept of Harmatia I am somewhat torn between suggesting that Harmatia and sin are two different ideas or that our modern understanding of sin does not exactly weigh with how the modern church translates and preaches it The modern church preaches sin as being rebellion against God of which we are all guilty and then goes on to bombard us with what constitutes sin However to the Greeks or at least to Aristotle Harmatia is a fatal character flaw Now that concept does not alienate sin because sin in an of itself is a fatal character flaw that we have inherited from Adam and Eve This fatal character flaw of ours is our desire to live independently and we see this and as we meet with people and associate with them I also see it rampant throughout the church as people try to push God into a box and tell him what sin is rather than letting him demonstrate sin to them I say this because the list of sins seems to get longer and longer and we as humans and those of us who call ourselves Christian seem to think that sin is made up of our actions as opposed to our desire to rule ourselves I guess the best explanation is that our actions especially our selfish actions are merely a symptom of this character flaw of ours The Bible is correct when it says that the wages of sin is death because as we see especially in Antigone that Creon s Harmatia leaves him desolate and alone and as he says from his own lips it is as if he were dead Now the Greek concept of death the absence of life and the removal of ourselves from this world is somewhat different to the Biblical concept of death In fact our modern understanding of death is in line with the Grecian view However the biblical view is that death is to do with the break down of our relationships particularly our relationship with God than it is with the absence of life To the Bible life is defined by relationships and when we drive our relationships apart we are little than dead In fact it has been suggested that higher suicide rates occur among truly lonely people than it does among people who are surrounded by friends That though is only speculation However consider this even when we are surrounded by friends we can still be alone especially if these so called friends of ours only seek us out for company and in their self centred view of the world seek to only have us by their side to make them feel good and important than really doing anything that is remotely friendly Now the play itself is set after the Theban war where Etocles and Polyneices killed each other aft. Es the king for the right to bury her own brother Determined but doomed Antigone shows her inner strength throughout the playAntigone raises issues of law and morality that are just as relevant today as they were than two thousand ears ago Whether this is Mary Engelbreit (Leisure Arts your first reading orour twentieth Antigone will move ou as few pieces of

This drama highlights the differences between state and divine law Especially interesting is the language Sophocles has done very well to portray this conflict Even after 2500 ears still a worth reading profound text Antigone SophoclesAntigone is a tragedy by Sophocles written in or before 441 BC It is the third of the three Theban plays chronologically but was the first written The play expands on the Theban legend that predated it and picks up where Aeschylus Seven Against Thebes ends In the beginning of the play two brothers leading opposite sides in Thebes civil war died fighting each other for the throne Creon the new ruler of Thebes has decided that Eteocles will be honored and Polyneices will be in public shame The rebel brother s body will not be sanctified by holy rites and will lie unburied on the battlefield prey for carrion animals like worms and vultures the harshest punishment at the time Antigone and Ismene are the sisters of the dead Polyneices and Eteocles In the opening of the play Antigone brings Ismene outside the palace gates late at night for a secret meeting Antigone wants to bury Polyneices body in defiance of Creon s edict Ismene refuses to help her not believing that it will actually be possible to bury their brother who is under guard but she is unable to stop Antigone from going to bury her brother herself Creon enters along with the Chorus of Theban Elders He seeks their support in the days to come and in particular wants them to back his edict regarding the disposal of Polyneices body The Leader of the Chorus pledges his support out of deference to Creon A Sentry enters fearfully reporting that the body has been given funeral rites and a symbolic burial with a thin covering of earth though no one saw who had actually committed the crime Creon furious orders the Sentry to find the culprit or face death himself The Sentry leaves and the Chorus sings about honouring the gods but after a short absence he returns bringing Antigone with him The Sentry explains that the watchmen uncovered Polyneices body and then caught Antigone as she did the funeral rituals Creon uestions her after sending the Sentry away and she does not deny what she has done She argues unflinchingly with Creon about the morality of the edict and the morality of her actions Creon becomes furious and thinking Ismene must have known of Antigone s plan seeing her upset summons the girl Ismene tries to confess falsely to the crime wishing to die alongside her sister but Antigone will not have it Creon orders that the two women be temporarily imprisoned Haemon Creon s son enters to pledge allegiance to his father even though he is engaged to Antigone He initially seems willing to forsake Antigone but when Haemon gently tries to persuade his father to spare Antigone claiming that under cover of darkness the city mourns for the girl the discussion deteriorates and the two men are soon bitterly insulting each other When Creon threatens to execute Antigone in front of his son Haemon leaves vowing never to see Creon again Creon decides to spare Ismene and to bury Antigone alive in a cave By not killing her directly he hopes to pay the minimal respects to the gods She is brought out of the house and this time she is sorrowful instead of defiant She expresses her regrets at not having married and dying for following the laws of the gods She is taken away to her living tomb with the Leader of the Chorus expressing great sorrow for what is going to happen to her Tiresias the blind prophet enters Tiresias warns Creon that Polyneices should now be urgently buried because the gods are displeased refusing to accept any sacrifices or prayers from Thebes Creon accuses Tiresias of being corrupt Tiresias responds that because of Creon s mistakes he will lose a son of his own loins2 for the crimes of leaving Polyneices unburied and putting Antigone into the earth he does not say that Antigone should not be condemned to death only that it is improper to keep a living body underneath the earth All of Greece will despise Creon and the sacrificial offerings of Thebes will not be accepted by the gods The Leader of the Chorus terrified asks Creon to take Tiresias advice to free Antigone and bury Polyneices Creon assents leaving with a retinue of men The Chorus delivers a choral ode to the god Dionysus god of wine and of the theater this part is the offering to their patron god A Messenger enters to tell the Leader of the Chorus that Antigone has killed herself Eurydice Creon s wife and Haemon s mother enters and asks the Messenger to tell her everything The Messenger reports that Creon saw to the burial of Polyneices When Creon arrives at Antigone s cave he found Haemon lamenting over Antigone who had hanged herself After unsuccessfully attempting to stab Creon Haemon stabs himself Having listened to the Messenger s account Eurydice disappears into the palace Creon enters carrying Haemon s body He understands that his own actions have caused these events and blames himself A Second Messenger arrives to tell Creon and the Chorus that Eurydice has killed herself With her last breath she cursed her husband Creon blames himself for everything that has happened and a broken man he asks his servants to help him inside The order he valued so much has been protected and he is still the king but he has acted against the gods and lost his children and his wife as a result After Creon condemns himself the Leader of the Chorus closes by saying that although the gods punish the proud punishment brings wisdom 2004 1391 148 9789643292775 496 406 Your soul is blowing apartThe chorus in Anne Carson s translation of Sophocles ANTIGONEI love Antigone I think it is one of the very best of the Greek tragedies no one of the very best of all tragedies ever writtenRandom thought I suspect there is a play that is part of this cycle that is missing a play that focuses on the brothersThis review will not focus on the play itself but on the wonderful translation by Anne Carson Anne Carson is a poet She is a wordsmith in the highest sense of the word She has an ear for modern language that makes this translation fresh and contemporary while honoring Sophocles true intention Carson s translation is full of dry dark humor and avoids the pitfalls of those dour humorless translations that are of one note and written to emulate a funeral dirge But importantly Carson shows that Kreon not A Seeing a Middle School Production of Antigone in Munich The Sophie Scholl Story and Reflecting on How to Foster Youth Resistance in Meaningful Ways A Meditation I am not afraid of the danger If it means death it will not be the worst of deaths death without honor AntigoneAntigone We begin in the dark and birth is the death of usIsmene Who said thatAntigone Hegel. The curse placed on Oedipus lingers and haunts a ounger generation in this new and brilliant translation of Sophocles' classic drama The daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta Antigone is an unconventional heroine who pits her beliefs against the King of Thebes in a bloody test of wills that leaves few unharmed Emotions fly as she challeng.

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Σοφοκλής; German editions