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Reversals Of Oedipus At Colonus By Sophocles Antigone

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In Antigone we enter the final part of a trilogy collectively referred to as the Theban Plays. Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus, the unfortunate namesake of the complex (supposedly issuing from the repression of urges that he so infamously, if unwittingly, acted out). Oedipus transgressed some of the most universal taboos; he committed patricide and committed incest by sleeping with his own mother. Antigone is the product of that “unholy” union. Just before the action of Antigone, in Oedipus at Colonus, after the death of Oedipus, a conflict had broken out between his sons Eteocles and Polyneices (“The Internet Classics Archive | Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles.").
This conflict turned deadly and Eteocles proved victorious. The recently
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Burying a living person and leaving the dead unburied was a frightening inversion that can to some extend be resurrected by etymology: Many words for “human” are etymologically related to “the earth” (the etymon of human is humus, or earth in Latin – just as “adam” is derived from “adamah” meaning ground in Hebrew) ("Human" | Online Etymology Dictionary.). It should be remembered that the earliest known civilizations distinguished themselves by creating religious sites related to burial – these sites are often the earliest evidence of civilized architecture, close to the root of civilization. To these cultures, ritualized burial (honoring the dead) was of evident importance. The living were considered “sons of the earth” - i.e. progeny of the dead. Reversing the relation between the living and the dead thus represented an act so contrary to civilization that it threatened to overthrow it at its foundation. Thus Creon’s actions were an intimation of absolute chaos, to the Ancient Greeks, perhaps even surpassing the transgressions of Oedipus. While Creon’s behavior might be abhorrent today, the significance of his actions could be lost on a modern audience that has largely forgotten the terrors that loomed so large in the Greek…show more content…
Web. 7 Dec. 2014. <http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=human>.
"The Internet Classics Archive | Antigone by Sophocles." The Internet Classics Archive | Antigone by Sophocles. Web. 7 Dec. 2014. <http://classics.mit.edu/Sophocles/antigone.html>.
"The Internet Classics Archive | Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles." The Internet Classics Archive | Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles. Web. 7 Dec. 2014. <http://classics.mit.edu/Sophocles/colonus.html>.
"The Internet Classics Archive | The Iliad by Homer." The Internet Classics Archive | The Iliad by Homer. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.
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