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date: 30 November 2022

Antigone(1)locked

Antigone(1)locked

  • Andrew Brown

Extract

Antigone (1), daughter of *Oedipus and Iocasta, sister of *Eteocles, Polynices and Ismene.

*Sophocles (1)'s Antigone deals with events after the Theban War, in which Eteocles and Polynices killed one another (see seven against thebes). Antigone's uncle *Creon (1), the new king of Thebes (1), has issued an edict forbidding anyone to bury the body of the traitor Polynices. Antigone, despite efforts at dissuasion by Ismene, insists on defying the edict. She is arrested and brought before Creon, and proudly defends her action. He decrees that she should be imprisoned in a tomb and left to die, although she is engaged to his son *Haemon (3). Creon is left unmoved by Haemon's arguments against such punishment, but is finally made to change his mind by the prophet *Tiresias, who reveals that the gods are angry at the exposure of Polynices and the burial of Antigone. He buries Polynices but arrives at Antigone's tomb too late: she has hanged herself, and Haemon, who has broken into the tomb, kills himself in front of his father. Creon's wife Eurydice also commits suicide, leaving Creon a broken man.

Subjects

  • Greek Literature
  • Greek Myth and Religion

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