Antigone Book Summary

 Antigone Summary, it is an Athenian tragedy written by Sophocles in (or before) 441 BC and first performed at the Festival of Dionysus of the same year. It is thought to be the second oldest surviving play of Sophocles, preceded by Ajax, which was written around the same period.

The play is one of a triad of tragedies known as the three Theban plays, following Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus. Even though the events in Antigone occur last in the order of events depicted in the plays, Sophocles wrote Antigone first. The story expands on the Theban legend that predates it, and it picks up where Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes ends. The play is named after the main protagonist Antigone.

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Antigone Summary

Antigone Summary

Antigone's play takes place in the war-torn city of Thebes. After Oedipus left the city, his sons, etiocles and Polynices, fought for the throne. Polynices besieged the city with foreign troops. Both died during the fight, and this leaves Oedipus ' son-in-law, Creon, to rule. While burying Eteocles with full funeral rights, Creon declared Polynices a traitor, forbade anyone in Thebes from burying him. This was a powerful statement. The Greeks believed that this meant that an unburied soul could not enter the afterlife.

Antigone, the sister of Polynices and Eteocles, decides to defy her uncle and ensure that her brother enters the afterlife. All she has to do is sprinkle a little dirt on him, and he will be released. She succeeds, but is discovered, and is brought before her uncle. She did not deny the allegations when questioned. Antigone is sentenced to death. Later he talked with his son Hemon, who finances Antigone. It turns out that even his son does not approve of Creon's choices. The two argue, and when Creon threatens to execute Antigone in front of them, Haemon comes out. Creon orders that Antigone's wall be placed in a cave, and he is left to die.

The famous seer Tiresias arrives and advises Creon to bury Polynices. Although Creon states that he will do as Tiresias says, he does not, and Tiresias predicts that Creon's actions will bring the plague upon the city. Creon responds to the words of Tiresias, fearing the wrath of the gods, and decides to spare Antigone a life. Too late. While Creon is properly burying Polynices, Haemon finds that Antigone has hanged herself. When Creon arrives at the cave, Haemon tries to kill his father, and when he fails, he kills himself. The Queen, hearing that her only living son was dead, stabbed herself, but at first she curses her husband. Creon is left at the end of the play, alive, but full of sadness.

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Questions about Antigone Plot

What is the main point of Antigone? A central theme of Antigone is the tension between individual action and fate. While free choices, such as Antigone's decision to defy Creon's edict, are significant, fate is responsible for many of the most critical and devastating events of the trilogy.

Who is the tragic hero in Antigone? Both Creon and Antigone can be seen as the tragic hero in Antigone. Creon is the tragic hero because he tries to restore order in Thebes and is a good ruler but ends up alone due to his excessive pride.

What is the conflict in Antigone? The conflict between Antigone and Ismene is an external conflict as they are in opposition to each other. Antigone wants to bury their brother, but Ismene refuses for fear of being caught. Both of them love their brother and want him buried but disagree on the practicality of going against Creon's command.

What is the meaning of Antigone? The meaning of the name is, as in the case of the masculine equivalent Antigonus, "worthy of one's parents" or "in place of one's parents". She appears in the three 5th century BC tragic plays written by Sophocles, known as the three Theban plays, and she is the protagonist of the eponymous tragedy Antigone.

How does Antigone end? But Creon's change of heart comes too late. Antigone has hanged herself and Haemon, in desperate agony, kills himself as well. On hearing the news of her son's death, Eurydice, the queen, also kills herself, cursing Creon. Alone, in despair, Creon accepts responsibility for all the tragedy and prays for a quick death.

Why Antigone is a tragedy? Antigone insists that she is willing to die in order to bury her brother. Her stubborn insistence on burying her brother, regardless of the consequences to herself or others, leads to tragedy.

What is Antigone's tragic flaw? Antigone's tragic flaw was her stubbornness and loyalty to both the gods and her brother which resulted in her death. Creon's fatal flaw was his insistence on returning law and order to Thebes which led to the death of his wife and son.

Why is Antigone the protagonist? She's the one who sets the tragedy into motion. She's the one who buries Polyneices despite Creon's strict edict. It's Antigone's suicide that causes her fiancé Haemon to stab himself, which in turn cause's Creon's wife Eurydice to commit suicide.

Was Creon a villain? King Creon plays an interesting role in Sophocles's play Antigone. He is the title character's antagonist, or adversary, but he isn't a villain. He is like the strict parents who make their children clean the house before going out with friends.

What are the moral values of Antigone? Antigone's values were based on divine law which supersedes the laws of Thebes, so her actions were in favor of the Gods which should have her being praised instead of being sentenced to death. Being a strong woman, she was prepared to fight for her own beliefs.

What are the themes and issues in Antigone? Many of these themes can be found in the conflict between Antigone and Creon. Antigone explores a variety of themes, including pride, emotion versus reason, destiny versus self-determination, men versus women, individual decisions versus rules, sight versus blindness, power, and mortality.

What is the role of religion in Antigone? Antigone's firm opinion is one that supports the gods and laws of heaven. Her reasoning is built by her belief that if someone is not given a proper burial, that person would not be accepted into heaven. Antigone was a very religious person, and acceptance of her brother by the gods was extremely important to her.

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