Antigone Context

Antigone Context

Author:
Original title:
Ἀντιγόνη
Published:
December 1st 2005 by Ingram (first published -441)
ISBN 1580493882 (ISBN13: 9781580493888)

Antigone is an eternal work of art that transcends time, literary style, authorship, and taste. It’s one of the signature Sophocles plays tightly intermingled with Oedipus and Colonus.

The events of the play happen in Ancient Greece. After the death of Thebes ruler Oedipus, his sons are faced with a tough task of dividing and conquering. Since it has never been an easy thing to do peacefully, they enter in a fight and even involve long standing enemies of the city. 

In a midst of a fierce battle, both heirs die. Their uncle Creon assumed the throne and wants to make sure nobody will seek to take over his place anymore. He proclaims one dead son, Eteocles, a hero while the other one, Polyneices, isn’t allowed a burial. For an ancient Achean to be banned from burial means great shame and eternal sorrow on the soul. That’s why Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus and the sister of Polyneices, breaks the order. She buries the body and is sent to prison. 

What’s more important: pride or common sense? Is love for the dear brother more important than politics and security of the state? The opposition between Creon and Antigone is a fight between two rules in the society. There’s always a long-standing tradition, obedience to the older people and rich customs that aren’t written in the laws but nevertheless dominate the lifestyle of families. 

But there are also new tendencies to comply with the government and obey the law. New rules will always succeed old ones as society develops, but how much damage will it take before they are fully accepted?

Meanwhile, Antigone is blind with her call of duty in front of her whole family and previous generations. She is aware of the consequences her actions will invoke, and faces the death with a peaceful heart. It’s her protest against the new logic imposed on the society by the new ruler. Tragic story, just like any of those Sophocles produced, but definitely worth discovering in original.

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