Satisfactory Essays
Title: Antigone

Author: Sophocles

Setting: The play takes place in Thebes and starts at dawn following the night Polyneices and Eteocles (Antigone's brothers) fight for the thrown Oedipus (their father) held. Polyneices fights against his own country, the city of Thebes, and his brother fights defending it. They kill each other in the battle and Creon (their uncle and the king of Thebes) decided to leave Polyneices on the field to rot because he defied his own country, and anyone who tried to interfere with his edict would be dealt harsh consequences, even death. "Let him lie unwept, unburied, a toothsome morsel for the birds of heaven, and whoso touches him shall perish by the cruel death of stoning." Antigone decided to give her brother a proper burial and was prepared to face Creon's harsh consequences because she felt it was worth keeping her loyalties to her brother, Polyneices. A good portion of the scenes took place at Creon's palace.

Time period: Sophocles wrote Antigone in 441 B.C.

Author background: Sophocles borrowed some of Aeschylus ideas in his Seven Against Thebes for Antigone. Antigone was actually the earliest of the plays Sophocles devoted to the Theban cycle of myths. Sophocles was around his fifties when he wrote it and used three tragedies to tell a single story—Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone.

Main Characters:

Antigone – Daughter of Oedipus and sister of Polyneices, Eteocles, and Ismene. She is determined to give her brother the proper burial he deserves. Ismene opposes the idea, but Antigone is not swayed, or even thinks twice of reconsidering. She is a martyr, willing to die for her dead brother's sake, "A death martyrdom can render blest". When Creon leaves her in the tomb to die she feels self-pity. Nonetheless, she is a tragic heroine.

Ismene- She believes in listening to Creon even though his actions are wrong. She tries to talk Antigone out of her plan but she can not, but in the end she tries to take part in the crime placed upon her sister Antigone, but Antigone rebukes her. "But now that your poor ship is buffeted, I'm not ashamed to sail the voyage at your side", Ismene said that to Antigone when they faced Creon. She loved her sister, she was the only immediate family she had left. Though she was weak to defy Creon in the beginning to bury her brother with Antigone, she proved her loyalty to the family by trying to regain it in the end.
Get Access