The story of Antigone comes from Greek mythology, however its themes of civil struggle and deﬁance of authority are timeless. Antigone was one of the unlucky youngsters of Oedipus and Jocasta. Her story has been retold in lots of types, together with fashionable interpretations and performs.
When Oedipus blinded himself and went mad after studying that he had unknowingly married and mated along with his mom, Antigone and her sister Ismene stayed at his facet till his dying.
Eteocles and Polyneices
The sisters guided Oedipus from Thebes to Athens. Their brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices, had been cursed by their father. They agreed to share the dominion of Thebes by reigning in alternate years. In the ﬁrst year Eteocles dominated, however when the year ended he refused to give up the dominion to his brother. Polyneices ﬂed to Adrastus, king of Argos, who gave him his daughter in marriage and a military to assist stake his declare to the dominion. This led to the celebrated expedition of the so-called Seven Against Thebes, the battle through which seven champions fought in opposition to Eteocles. The Seven have been defeated and killed.
The civil struggle continued for years, with restricted success. Eventually, each side agreed that the brothers ought to resolve their quarrel in single fight. They fought and fell by one another’s palms. The armies then renewed the ﬁght, and finally the invaders have been compelled to yield. They ﬂed, leaving the useless unburied.
The uncle of the fallen princes was Creon, Jocasta’s brother. Creon grew to become king and had Eteocles buried with distinguished honor. He ordered that the physique of Polyneices be left the place it had fallen, forbidding anybody to give him a correct burial.
Antigone Returns to Thebes
After her father’s dying, Antigone’s life had vastly improved. She returned to Thebes and was engaged to Creon’s son Haemon. But following the dying of her brothers, Antigone heard of the edict consigning Polyneices’s physique to the canines and vultures. She may suppose of nothing however giving her brother a correct burial, and so she refused to marry Haemon. While Antigone was sure by Greek regulation to obey the king’s instructions, she was additionally sure by her sisterly want to see to her brother’s everlasting relaxation.
Ismene, Antigone’s timid however loving sister, did her greatest to persuade Antigone to obey the regulation, however Antigone refused to hear. When nobody would assist her, she visited the battleground alone at evening.
The subsequent day, the guards warned King Creon that somebody had been interrupted attempting to bury Polyneices. That evening, the guards caught Antigone attempting to dig a grave for Polyneices and introduced her to Creon. He ordered the guards away. Since nobody else had seen the arrest of his niece, Creon ordered her to go to mattress and fake to be ailing. Antigone replied that she would return to the battleground once more that evening.
Niece and uncle engaged in a traditional argument of the person in opposition to authority. At the top of it, Creon had no alternative however to arrest the unyielding Antigone and condemn her to dying. In her cell, awaiting dying, she wrote to Haemon, asking him for forgiveness and wishing him happiness.
Antigone was sealed in a tomb, however then Creon heard his son’s cry of despair—from inside. Opening the tomb, he discovered that
Antigone had hung herself. Haemon had reduce her physique down and stabbed himself to dying at her facet.
Antigone’s tragic story has impressed authors by the centuries. In roughly 441 B.C.E., the Greek playwright Sophocles wrote Antigone. Another Greek playwright, Euripides, additionally wrote an Antigone, however solely fragments of that work have survived. In the 20th century, the story impressed others, together with French playwright and ﬁlmmaker Jean Cocteau, whose ﬁlm titled Antigone premiered in 1922. French playwright Jean Anouilh premiered his Antigonein 1944, throughout the German occupation of France. Anouilh’s model has a up to date political slant. The story of Antigone additionally impressed composers comparable to Carl Orff, whose opera Antigone premiered in 1949.