Antigone Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta. Chorus – Theban elders/senators Teiresias Blind prophet
Antigone Creon King of Thebes after the deaths of Oedipus’s sons Eurydice Creon’s wife Pronounced: Ur-rid’-a-see Haemon Creon’s son Betrothed to Antigone Pronounced: He’-mon
Antigone Oedipus’s other children: Ismene Pronounced: Is-me’-ne Eteocles Refused to give up his post as King of Thebes to his brother Polyneices Creon says he should receive an honorable burial. Pronounced: Eh-tee’-acleez Polyneices Marches on Thebes with the help of the city of Argos Creon states that his body should be cast out unburied. Pronounced: Pol-lee-nice-eez’
Themes Guilt Honor and tradition The Greeks had very specific rules about burials. The role of a leader
Freytag’s Pyramid Gustav Freytag’s analysis of Greek and Shakespearean drama
Homework Read Antigone, Pages 80-94 (paperback) or Pages 91-106 (hardback), and answer the corresponding questions.
Do Now What sorts of “debts” do people rack up? Which debts do you think are important to pay back?
Antigone Part 1, Pages 80-94 or Pages 91-106 About what are Antigone and Ismene disagreeing? What tone do you imagine each taking? What are your impressions of Creon? What words or phrases would you use to describe him? Does he remind you of any other literary or movie characters? Why was it so important to Antigone to bury Polyneices? Do you think she would have done the same for her other brother?
Antigone Part 1, Pages 80-94 or Pages 91-106 Why does Creon compare Ismene to a viper on Page 93(paperback)/104 (hardback)? How does she lie? Why? Why does Antigone contradict her? In what tone do you imagine Antigone telling Ismene on Page 94 (paperback)/105 (hardback), “Do not share my death”? Does Creon fear his son’s reaction to his plan for Antigone? Does he feel guilty that he has condemned the woman who was to be his daughter-in-law? What does Creon mean when he instructs the servants to take the women inside so they cannot “range at large; even the bold seek to fly when they see Death now closing on their life”?
Homework Read Antigone, Pages 95-110 (paperback) or Pages 106-123 (hardback), and answer the corresponding questions.
Do Now What sort of things make us feel ashamed or guilty? Does it do any good to feel guilty about your behavior? Can you feel shame for someone else’s actions?
Antigone Part 2, Pages 95-110 or Pages 106-123 How does Haemon react when he hears the news of his father’s order? Does his attitude toward his father change from the beginning of their discussion to the end? How does Creon try to convince his son that Antigone is not worth all this trouble? Is there anything he could have said that would have convinced Haemon to go against Antigone? Do you think Creon is more concerned about the state of his own reputation? What does he seem to value? On Page 103 (paperback)/Page 115 (hardback), what omen did Teiresias observe? What does he now advise Creon to do? How do you think Teiresias is feeling toward Creon? Does he want to help him? What is the tone of the Chorus after Creon goes to free Antigone? What sort of celebration are they describing?
Antigone Part 2, Pages 95-110 or Pages 106-123 What news does the Messenger bring? How does this change the mood that was set in the previous scene? Would Antigone have killed herself if she had known of her brother’s monument? Why do you think she killed herself? Do you think she spoke to Haemon before she died? Why do you suppose Eurydice did not communicate with her husband before killing herself? What was she feeling? Why do you think she killed herself? Could she have influenced her husband to save Antigone if she had spoken before? Should she have realized something was wrong, and tried to talk to Haemon about his problem with his father? Why do you suppose Creon does not kill himself? What will happen to him now? Are Sophocles’s sympathies more with Creon – or with Antigone? Who do you think is worse off?
Quiz #1 To what does Antigone compare her “tomb, eternal prison”? What does Creon say is “the worst of evils”? Who rebukes Creon for his actions in Part 2 by saying “you have thrust children of the sunlight to the shades”? How does Antigone kill herself? What “humbles the lucky or unlucky from day to day”?
Answers #1 To what does Antigone compare her “tomb, eternal prison”? Bridal chamber What does Creon say is “the worst of evils”? Disobedience Who rebukes Creon for his actions in Part 2 by saying “you have thrust children of the sunlight to the shades”? Teiresias How does Antigone kill herself? Hanging What “humbles the lucky or unlucky from day to day”? Fortune
Quiz #2 How did Haemon kill himself? Who instructs Creon to release “the maiden from her rocky chamber”? Who is Creon’s father? According to Haemon, does the city of Thebes agree or disagree with Creon’s ruling about Antigone? According to Haemon, what do the gods “implant” in men?
Answers #2 How did Haemon kill himself? Stabs himself with a sword Who instructs Creon to release “the maiden from her rocky chamber”? The Chorus Who is Creon’s father? Menoeceus According to Haemon, does the city of Thebes agree or disagree with Creon’s ruling about Antigone? Disagree According to Haemon, what do the gods “implant” in men? Reason