Antigone Study Guide

Antigone Study Guide

Original title:
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.

New Essays

The Theme of Fatalism in Antigone

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Roles of Women in Antigone

Despite the male dominant society of Ancient Greece, the women in Sophocles’ play Antigone all express capabilities of powerful influence and each individually possess unique characteristics, showing both similarities and contrasts. The women in the play are a pivotal aspect that keeps the...

Characterization of Antigone

Sophocles’ tragic drama, Antigone, presents to the reader a full range of characters: static and dynamic, flat and round; they are portrayed mostly through the showing technique.  In “Sophocles’ Praise of Man and the Conflicts of the Antigone,” Charles Paul Segal takes...

Antigone by Sophocles - The Characters Analisis

Antigone is story of divine retribution and human imperfectness. In this tragedy a powerful king, Creon is brought down by the Gods because of his contempt against their divine laws and true justice is shown to triumph at the end. Creon makes the mistake of putting his personal views over and...

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