who is the author of antigone

Antigone is the third play in the Oedipus trilogy written by the great Greek playwright Sophocles (circa 496 – 406 BC). Produced around 441 BC and received first prize at the Dionysia festival, the tragedy was actually written long before both King Oedipus and Oedipus at Colonus. In the play, Antigone returns to Thebes after the death of her father Oedipus. Her brothers Polynices and Eteocles were both killed in the war between Argos and Thebes. Creon, Antigone’s uncle, assumed leadership of Thebes and by decree denied the traitor Polynices a proper burial. Antigone chose to disobey Creon and bury his brother. Violating Creon’s orders, she was imprisoned and left to die, eventually hanging herself. Haemon, her fiancé and son of Creon, joins her, taking her own life. Finally convinced by an oracle to change his mind, Creon is too late to save his son or Antigone. His wife, Eurydice committed suicide, blaming Creon for her son’s death. In the end, Creon was left alone.



Sophocles was born around 496/5 BC into a wealthy family in Colonus, a deity near the center of Athens. Unlike many of his fellow playwrights, he was active in Athenian politics, serving as treasurer and general in 441-440 BC alongside statesman Pericles. He later became part of a select group of judges tasked with reorganizing finances and domestic affairs after Athens’ disastrous defeat at Syracuse (412-411 BC). He had two sons who became minor playwrights; Iophon of his wife Nicostrate and Sophocles of his mistress Ariston. Written close to the day of his death, his final play in the Theban trilogy, Oedipus at Colonus, was presented in contest by Iophon in 401 BC. Sophocles received eighteen victories in the contest at Dionysia, more than Aeschylus and Euripides. Although active in Athenian political circles, his plays rarely have any mention of contemporary events or issues, making it difficult to date his plays. Unfortunately, of his more than 120 plays, only seven have survived.According to Edith Hamilton in her book The Greek Way, by the time of Sophocles, the “stream of life” (196) that had existed a few short years earlier in the time of Aeschylus had long since disappeared. Athens was in decline. Hamilton believes that Sophocles viewed life as difficult. The always conservative playwright – even in matters of religion – still believes in his beloved city and its laws, always maintaining the established order. As for Hamilton, he represented all we know as Greek. He was “outspoken, lucid, simple and reasonable” (199).

Myths & Characters

Like many plays based on Greek mythology, audiences are familiar with both the legend and its characters. In Antigone, understanding the story that led to her return to Thebes is essential. Long before Antigone left Oedipus and returned to her home in Thebes, her two brothers, Eteocles and Polynices, went to war. The two quarreled about the leadership of the city. After a long time and heated debate, they finally agreed to serve the year-long alternate dynasties; however, at the end of Eteocles’ first year, he refused to cede the throne. Enraged, Polynices left Thebes and became an exile. Currently living as an outcast, similar to his father Oedipus, he allied with the king of Argos and waged war against Thebes; This war is the theme of Aeschylus’ play Seven against Thebes. The solution is simple: the two brothers will engage in a one-on-one battle. Unfortunately, the result was the unforeseeable death of both brothers. Seizing the opportunity, Creon, the brothers’ uncle, ascended the throne and ordered that only Eteocles’ body be buried and the appropriate rites performed; The body of the Polynics will be exposed to the elements. This is where Sophocles’ Antigone begins. There are relatively few characters in the play:

  • Antigone
  • Ismene
  • Creon
  • Haemon
  • the prophet Teiresias
  • Creon’s wife, Eurydice
  • two messengers
  • a protector
  • and, of course, the chorus.
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The opening scene is at the royal palace of Thebes. Antigone and her sister Ismene stood outside the palace door. Both had just learned of Creon’s edict concerning their brothers. Antigone turns to her sister: Creon will give honor to one of our two brothers in the tomb: the other will not. Eteocles, as long as compliance is treated, as the law stipulates, he has hidden under the earth to have total honor with those who have died below. (Grene, 22 years old) Read more: Who voiced the cookie clover violates religious tradition. Creon claimed that no one could bury him, leaving him “unguarded, unattended, a richly sweet sight for hungry birds to prowl and devour” (22). While Ismene looked clearly resentful, she replied that they were women and there was nothing they could do. However, Antigone devised a plan and asked her sister to join and share in her labor. Fearing they would be punished for breaking the law, Ismene tried to talk to Antigone, but she refused. Antigone said: “I am now going to build a burial ground for my dearest brother” (24). and defiled by each other’s hands, I now hold all power and throne through close association with the dead. (27) He claimed that the Eteocles who died in defense of Thebes would be given holy rites, but the Polynics who had harmed Thebes did not, leaving his body in disgrace. Anyone who violates this ordinance will die. A guard arrives with disturbing news: Someone has just dropped the body, the burial is done, the dust of thirst is splattered on the flesh, the ceremony is complete. (30) Creon was angry and ordered to find the culprit. He threatened the guard. The Guardian exits but quickly returns to Antigone. Creon confronts her as the guard explains how she was captured. Antigone listened quietly and finally said: “I say I did and I do not deny it” (37). Defiantly, she said that she understood the edict but chose to defy Creon’s order because it did not come from Zeus. She couldn’t leave her brother. She fully realizes that she must die and will not grieve because she has buried her mother’s son:… What greater glory can I find than giving my brother’s funeral? (39) In defense of her actions, Creon claims that no one else in Thebes saw it like she did, but Antigone quickly refuted this; There are others who share her beliefs, but Creon everyone shrinks. Despite the king’s challenges, she refused to submit or regret her actions. When Creon asserts that her brother is a criminal, she replies: “He was my brother, not a slave, dead” (40). With no regrets, she will accept her fate. Unmoved, Creon reveals that he is also charging Ismene, as she shared the burial plan. Ismene was brought before him under protection and stood next to her sister. Antigone begs his sister, “My death is enough” (41). However, Ismene tells Creon that her life is nothing without her sister and reminds Creon that if Antigone dies, he will take his son’s bride from his hand. The sisters were led away.AntigoneHaemon appears and confronts his father. Creon asked if his son had heard the vote that condemned his bride. In an attempt to convince his father, Haemon reassures him that he still loves him; however, the city of Thebes grieves for Antigone as she will not let her brother be buried. Creon denies this and says that his son’s mind is poisoned; he should not let lust distract his mind. Creon defends his actions and tells Haemon that obedience is essential to keeping the city safe, so he must protect those who obey order. He added that he refused to be beaten by a woman. Unmoved, Haemon swore that if she died, her death would bring another death. Before leaving, he said: “If you weren’t your father, I should have called you crazy” (49). The cave is empty and left to die. He departs when Antigone enters and says with the chorus: The last night of my sun, then never again. Who died, but sentient beings stopped sleeping, brought me to live on the banks of the underground river. For me not a marriage hymn, no one will start the song at one of my weddings. Acheron is my son-in-law. (51) Creon returns and orders her to be taken. As she leaves, the blind old oracle Teiresias arrives with the assistance of a young servant. He tells Creon that he must pay attention to the signs. He begs Creon to cancel his order; All men make mistakes. As well as his son’s pleas, Creon was undaunted and reminded the old seer that he was talking to the king. Teiresias replied: You have settled a person living without honor in a grave; you continue here which belongs below; a corpse that is not buried and has no demons. Neither you, nor any of the gods above, should have any business with this. The violation is yours. […] Men and women will wail in your house and all the cities you have ever fought… will all be against you. (60) The old seer was escorted by his attendant. Creon tackles the chorus and asks for their guidance. The choir leader agrees with the old prophet and advises the king to bury the dead properly and release Antigone. Creon eventually complied and escaped. A messenger quickly stepped in and addressed the chorus. Both Antigone and Haemon are dead. As the messenger speaks to the chorus, Eurydice, Creon’s wife emerges from within the palace and is informed that her only surviving son has passed away. The messenger recounts how they buried Polynices and went to release Antigone; However, when they arrived, she hanged herself. Creon begs Haemon to return to the palace. Haemon refused, spitting in his father’s face and leaning on his blade. When he died, he embraced Antigone. “He found his marriage, in celebration in Hades’s hall.” (65) Creon returns to the palace carrying Haemon’s body. The messenger told him about the death of his wife, self-harm. Before she died, she cursed him to be the killer of her children. To the messenger and chorus, Creon says, “I died, and you killed me again” (67). Creon prays for death: Will no one attack and kill me with a sword? […] My life is the past changed. An unbearable fate has descended upon my head. (68-69)

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In a sense, the play leans more towards Creon than Antigone. According to Paul Roche in his book The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles, Oedipus and Creon both embody the glory and weakness of a self-sufficient man. Creon initially did what he believed was right; However, his frivolity and unwillingness to listen to the advice of those around him eventually brought his whole family down. In the Greek drama, it is easy to praise Antigone as a saint and condemn Creon as a tyrant. However, Creon was right not to honor the traitor Polynices with proper burial rights; he is an enemy of the state. On the other hand, Antigone was wrong to openly disobey the king’s orders. Although Creon may have shown a devotion to duty, Hadas believes the play is justifiably named for Antigone because she sacrificed her life and love for an ideal. However, someone may recognize Antigone, the play will continue to be performed. Authors would follow in Sophocles’ footsteps and write about her, though often with a different ending; Euripides’ lost game helped her survive, marry Haemon and have children. Even poets like Shelley and Goethe would write about her. Today, many see her as a martyr and a symbol of someone who fights for ideals. Read more: Who is brent rivera dating 2021

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