Role of Prophets...in Greek Plays Generally give prophecies that end up coming true In tragedies, this heightens the sense of unavoidable fate in play; however, the character often can learn from the prophecies Illustrate how fate cannot be avoided...in Antigone Teiresias Usually not believed Creon does not believe him (nor did Oedipus) Leads to worse circumstances in the end Defines an undesirable fate that is too late to change (heightens sense of tragedy) Helps Creon to see that his actions are wrong Teiresias: “Yield to the dead man; do not stab him- / now he is gone – what bravery is this, / to inflict another death upon the dead?” (1078-1080)
Antigone Premiere ZeusDionysusHermesHadesAphrodite Entertainment Greek Ruler of Olympian gods God of the sky Punishes people for evil deeds, protects defenseless, etc. In Antigone: Referred to throughout Judges characters’ actions Chorus: “For Zeus, who hates the most / the boasts of a great tongue... /...struck him down...” (143- 147) God of fertility, wine, the arts God celebrated by theatre Not an Olympian In Antigone: Shows celebration of war victory Chorus: “Let Bacchus lead the dance” (169) Anger of the gods/ their power: Chorus: “The... son of Dryas... / in fury mocked Dionysus, / who then held him in restraint in a rocky dungeon” (1004-1007) Messenger of Zeus God of thieves, commerce An Olympian Leads people to Underworld In Antigone: Referenced indirectly: Sentry: “...I will never claim my shortness of breath / is due to hurrying, / nor were there wings in my feet” (243)- Reflects Sentry being a messenger Ruler of Underworld God of wealth (though not exactly god of death (Thanatos)) An Olympian In Antigone: Antigone references Hades many times Antigone: “My husband is to be the Lord of Death” (870) -Illustrates her willingness and courage to die for her cause Goddess of Love, Beauty, Desire An Olympian In Antigone: Chorus: “For the golden Aphrodite holds her play there / and then no one can overcome her” (855-856)- Dislikes how the King is ruling cold-heartedly, disregarding Greek morals (of burying the dead)
Antigone Premiere The FatesAresMusesHephaestusAthenaHectate Entertainment Greek Not Olympians Three: Clotho (spinner)– begins life Lachesis (measurer) – determines how long life will be Atropos – ends life Life seen as a thread In Antigone: Chorus: “But, my child, the long-lived Fates / bore hard upon her, too” (1032- 1033) - In talking about various myths God of War An Olympian In Antigone: Referenced indirectly Chorus: “There the god of war who lives near the city / saw the terrible blinding wound” (1016- 1017)- In talking about the various myths Nine Muses: Clio (History) Calliope (Epic Poetry) Erato (Love Poetry) Euterpe (Lyric Poetry) Polyhymnia (Songs to Gods) Urania (Astronomy) Melpomene (Tragedy) Thalia (Comedy) Terpsichore (Dance) Not Olympians In Antigone: Chorus: “when he provoked the Muses that love the lyre” (1013) God of Fire, Forge An Olympian In Antigone: Teiresias: “...the god of fire refused to burn from the sacrifice” (1055) - Illustrates gods’ displeasure with Creon’s actions Goddess of Wisdom, the City, Agriculture... An Olympian In Antigone: Eurydice: “I / was going out to greet Pallas with my prayers” (1252)- Said almost in passing Goddess of Crossroads Not an Olympian In Antigone: Messenger: “We prayed to Hectate, goddess / of the crossroads” (1265-1266)- May be referring to Oedipus and how he met his fate at crossroads (with killing his father), hoping that this does not happen to Antigone
Niobe Story: Niobe was boastful Because of this, her children were killed Ended up as a stone on Mount Siphylus Tears were rivers on mountain In Antigone: Antigone: “But indeed I have heard of the saddest of deaths - / of the Phrygian stranger” (878-879) Antigone does not see her own death as sad, since it saved her brother from a poor afterlife Danae Story: Locked up to prevent the prophecy that her son would kill her father from being fulfilled Gave birth to Perseus by Zeus Son fulfilled prophecy anyway In Antigone: Chorus: “Danae suffered, too, when, her beauty lost, she gave / the light of heaven in exchange for brassbound walls” (994-995) Compares Danae’s punishment to Antigone’s Cleopatra Story: First wife of Phineus but locked up Second wife of Phineus blinded her sons In Antigone: Chorus: “the terrible and blinding wound / dealt by his savage wife / on Phineus’ two sons” (1016-1019) Reflects poor fate of Antigone, Haemon, etc.; seems to bring in blinding as well (such as in Oedipus) Lycurgus Story: Lycurgus, a king, insulted Dionysus because of new worship Imprisoned in rocky chamber as a result In Antigone: Chorus: “The hot-tempered son of Dryas... / in fury mocked Dionysus, / who then held him in restraint / in a rocky dungeon” (1004- 1007) Similar to Antigone being put in a “rocky tomb” (931, Creon) Quest of the Golden Fleece Part of Story: King Æeates did not want Jason (and the Argonauts) in his land Told them they had to sow dragon’s teeth and defeat the army created as a result to get the fleece In Antigone: Chorus: “in the ground sown by the fierce dragon’s teeth” (1191) Shows that because of Oedipus’s dishonor, Antigone was fated to have problems; also shows how Creon’s policies are harming the land The Myths
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