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Background on Antigone

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Megan Suarez

on 23 January 2013

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Transcript of Background on Antigone

Antigone: Plot, Characters, and their pronunciations Mt. Olympus Crete Athens Sparta Antigone is the final installment of the Oedipus Triology, that started with Oedipus the King, and picks up where Oedipus at Colonus leaves off. Oedipus- passed away in Colonus Oedipus's daughter, Antigone and her sister Ismene decide to return to Thebes with the intention of helping their brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices, avoid a prophecy that predicts they will kill each other in a battle for the throne of Thebes. When she returns to Thebes, Antigone learns that both of her brothers are dead. Eteocles has been given a proper burial, but Creon, Antigone's uncle who has inherited the throne, has issued a royal edict banning the burial of Polyneices. Antigone intends to defy the law to bury her brother according to the wishes of the gods. She asks if Ismene will help her.
Ismene says she can’t bring herself to do it. Well, Antigone does it anyways, and get caught (rookie mistake). She is sentenced to death by Creon. Creon was also going to punish Ismene, who he assumes was involved (you know what they say about assumptions...), but Haimon (Antigone's fiancee) talks to Creon, and says that he will honor and obey whatever Creon decides about Antigone, which is either honorable (for respecting his father) or despicable (for letting his fiancee die). Haimon tells his father that he should listen to others opinions, as well. They argue and as the argument escalates, Haemon tells Creon he’s insane and Creon tells Haimon he’s a woman’s slave. Ouch. Haimon leaves, and Teiresias arrives and advises Creon not to leave Polyneices unburied or to kill Antigone. Good old Teiresias. Creon grapples with his choices and he decides to release Antigone and see to Polyneices’s burial. But disaster strikes! It is revealed that Antigone hanged herself, and finding her there dead, Haimon took his own life out of anger and despair. Eurydice, in despair over her lost son and enraged with Creon, then took her own life. In despair and fear of his own death, Creon asks…to be killed? For pins to gouge out his eyes? No, not that. He asks to be led off stage. Not really what we were expecting, but alright. Sophocles, the son of Sophilus, was born a few years before the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC: the exact year is unclear. Sophocles died at the age of ninety or ninety-one, having seen within his lifetime both the Greek triumph in the Persian Wars and the Peloponnesian War. As with many famous men in classical antiquity, his death inspired a number of stories. The most famous is the suggestion that he died from the strain of trying to recite a long sentence from Antigone without pausing to take a breath. Characters in Antigone Antigone: Daughter of Oedipus. She is a no-nonsense kind of woman. She first appears at the end of Oedipus the King as a little girl. Creon: Declares himself King when both of Oedipus' sons die fighting for the crown. He shows up in all three of Sophocles' Theban plays. Teiresias: A blind seer who first appears in Oedipus the King. Though he's blind, he can see better than any of those around him. He's in tune with the mind of Apollo and receives visions of the future. Ismene: AKA"Antigone Lite". She is just as loyal and devoted as Antigone, but with less confidence, and guts to stand up for her morals against Creon's law. Thebes Thermopylae Delphi Argos Relationships: Oedipus Queen Jocasta King Laius Eteocles Polynices Antigone Ismene Cadmus Spartoi Creon Eurydice Megareus Haimon Marriage Children Siblings Pronunciations: Antigone: an-tig-o-nee Haimon: Hay-mahn or Hee-mon Sophocles (s AH - f uh - k l ee z) Eurydice: uu r ih d ih ch ee
YOUR-ih-DIH-see Oedipus: EE d - ih - p uh s Polyneices: Jocasta: Teiresias: Plot Eteocles and Polyneices: Sons of Oedipus, and brothers of Antigone and Ismene. Haimon: Son of Creon and Eurydice, Fiancee of Antigone. Oedipus: Father of Antigone, Ismene, Eteocles, and Polyneices. Old king of Thebes. Jocasta: Mother/wife of Oedipus. Eurydice: Wife of Creon, and mother of Haemon. pol-uh-nahy-seez tahy-ree-see-uhs joh-kas-tuh Ismene: is-mee-nee Eteocles: ih-tee-uh-kleez Creon: kree-on Pylos Olympia Marathon
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