Sophocles ' Oedipus At Colonus By Sophocles Essay

Sophocles ' Oedipus At Colonus By Sophocles Essay

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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 crowned king of Thebes - Creon, an ally of the ascendant Eteocles - decides to dishonor the corpse of Polyneices. He refuses to bury the fallen man’s body leaving it prey to insects and scavengers. In fact the king pronounces it a crime to bury the body of Polyneices. Antigone, sister of Polyneices, breaks the edict of Creon in order to bury her brother. Creon is furious when he discovers that his ruling has been disobeyed. He eventually discovers that Antigone was responsible for the burial of Polyneices. After an interrogation, her guilt is determined and an extreme punishment is decreed – she is to be buried alive. We will return to this concept of being buried alive in the following section; context will be provided to indicate the extreme contravening of the natural order that this act would have represented to an Ancient Greek audience (indeed for a Greek audience this would be comparable to the horror of incest). A treatment of the Ancient Greek concept of burial will also aid and extend...


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...f 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 imagination.

Works Cited
"Human" Online Etymology Dictionary. Web. 7 Dec. 2014. .
"The Internet Classics Archive | Antigone by Sophocles." The Internet Classics Archive | Antigone by Sophocles. Web. 7 Dec. 2014. .
"The Internet Classics Archive | Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles." The Internet Classics Archive | Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles. Web. 7 Dec. 2014. .
"The Internet Classics Archive | The Iliad by Homer." The Internet Classics Archive | The Iliad by Homer. Web. 30 Nov. 2014. .

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