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Antigone by Sophocles: Summary

The basic subject material of the Antigone is drawn from Greek mythology.  Several ancient epic poems known as the Theban Cycle, now lost, dealt with the family history of the house of Oedipus.  Aeschylus too composed a trilogy about the tragic history of the Theban family, of which Seven Against Thebes is the only surviving play.  There existed different versions of the same myth, as authors chose to focus on different aspects of the material.  It is not certain whether any other versions centred around the denial of burial to Polyneikes as the Antigone does, but it seems to have been Sophocles’ innovation.  The motif of the irreplaceability of a brother – as opposed to that of a husband or child – points to familiarity with Herodotus’ Histories, in which text we find a similar argument. more...

The cast sits about palace. The Chorus descends from the top of the staircase and introduces the players to the audience. It begins with Antigone, explaining that she is about to "burst forth as the tense, sallow, willful girl" who will rise up alone against the king and die young. With the rise of the curtain, she began to feel the inhuman forces drawing her from the world of those who watch her now. They watch with little concern, for they are not to die more...

Summary edited from Troy

Animated play summary

Short summary

Plot summary

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