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Antigone by Sophocles

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by

Cassie McQuaig

on 26 April 2013

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Transcript of Antigone by Sophocles

Antigone Summary Character Elements Setting Tone & Mood Plot Elements Literary Devices Two brothers, Polyneices and Etocles, fight against each other for the throne of Thebes after their father and mother pass. In the midst of their civil war, they kill one another and their uncle Creon takes the throne. King Creon declares that the body of Polyneices will be treated like a traitor's and will not be buried. Antigone, Polyneices' and Etocles' sister, holds familial loyalty and honor above her king's decrees and decides to bury his body. Her sister Ismene refuses to help her, claiming that she will not go against her king's authority. Later, a sentry reports that during the night the body has been given proper burial rites and the king tells him to leave a trap. They'll undo what little burying has been done and wait for the culprit to come at night while all of the guards stand watch over the body close by. When the person comes to give the rites to the body, they discover Antigone and take her to the palace. When Creon questions her, she does not deny what she has done. Ismene tries to falsely confess to the crime, and Creon orders that they be locked up. Haimon, Antigone's betrothed and Creon's son, tries to persuade Creon to spare the sisters, but the discussion deteriorates. After consideration, Creon agrees to free Ismene but decides to imprison Antigone in a tomb. Then, Teiresias, a blind prophet, warns Creon that the gods side with Antigone and that he will pay for his mistakes. Shaken, Creon rushes to fix his mistake. Creon, along with his guards, head to the tomb to free Antigone. A small time after, a messenger comes to bring news. He states that Haimon has killed himself after seeing that Antigone had hung herself. Creon's wife Eurydice overhears, kills herself, and with her last breath she curses her husband. Afterwards, Creon enters carrying Haimon's body, and a second messenger then tells Creon that his wife is also dead. He mourns over his wife and son's deaths, claims that he wishes he had done things differently, and goes back inside the palace to continue his rule. Antigone- sister of Ismene, Etocles, and Polyneices, fiance of Haimon, protagonist, static, round Takes place around 1880 B.C.E. - 1760 B.C.E. in Thebes, Greece
The setting helps set a mood for the story. In Greece during this time period there's an emphasis on religion and loyalty, but also a strict social conduct where the king's rule is law.
The setting helps portray the tense atmosphere that the characters live in Tone: Sophocles makes every event as dramatic as possible with a very heavy emphasis on the depressing feelings they bring with them
The Sisters' Rivalry- As with Sophocles' sisters, Ismene and Antigone appear as foils and rivals. Ismene is "reasonable," timid, and obedient, full-figured and beautiful in being a good girl. In contrast, Antigone is impulsive, moody, thin, and resistant to being a girl like the rest. She is a complete believer in family loyalty and moral rightness. While Ismene is extremely hesitant when it comes to disobeying authority, Antigone is willing to do anything when she knows it's the right thing to do, no matter the potential consequences. By: Alexis Fendrick, Cassidy McQuaig, & Alex Stanton Point Of View Told in 3rd person to help you gather the information from the different characters of the story in a non-biased way
Story doesn't focus on just one person's thoughts/actions Symbols: ~also could symbolize Creon's close-mindedness and pig-headed lack of judgement ~symbolizes that her love and loyalties lie more with the dead, (i.e. her brothers, mother, father) than with the living Strengths Antigone being emtombed Diction & Syntax: The author uses diction and syntax to enhance the already somber mood present in the story. "The inflexible heart breaks first, the toughest iron cracks first, and the wildest horses bend their necks at the pull of the smallest curb."
-Creon, speaking of Antigone's insolence "You shall not lessen my death by sharing it." -Antigone to Ismene when Ismene tries to share the blame with her sister "This death of mine is of no importance; but if I had left my brother lying in death unburied, I should have suffered." -Antigone to Creon, facing her imprisonment The book was hard to follow at times, with events occurring sporadically
Some parts of the story referred to another one of Sohocles' works, Oedipus
The entirety of the story is a conflict of loyalties and beliefs Antigone: loyalty to family, tradition, religion, honor, morality Eurydice: loyalty to family; doesn't believe husband does the right thing Haimon: loyalty to his betrothed; believes in what's right, willing to go against his father, believes his father is too caught up in himself Creon: loyalty to himself; vain, wants to stay in power, more focused on how he looks to people in his kingdom than how he's treating family Ismene: loyalty to her king; full sense of self-preservation Plot Elements (Cont.) Theme There could be many themes for this story: Inaction vs. Action Battle of morality Family ties Breaking gender stereotypes Loyalty Pride Eurydice- wife of Creon, mother of Haimon, flat, static The book as a whole had a great overarching theme and once you understand the difficult language used it is a great piece of literature with real meaning
Great portrayal of emotion Weaknesses Teiresias- blind prophet of Thebes, flat, static Haimon- son of Creon and Eurydice, betrothed to Antigone, flat, static Creon- new king of Thebes, static, round Ismene- sister of Antigone, Etocles, and Polyneices, static, (almost dynamic) round Mood: Antigone's voice of reason and morality wars with her sister and uncle's views setting a conflicting mood throughout the story; makes the reader want to continue reading Broader Significance Antigone really makes the reader think. It makes you question where your loyalties might lie, or if you would stand up for what's right as Antigone does. This book portrays the 'hero' of the story as a normal girl, with no superpowers of any kind, who just stood up for what is right.
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