Antigone: How to ruin your life.

Hello friends, today I blog about a whimsically lighthearted play, Sophocles’ Antigone. (heavy sarcasm intended).

I must start off saying that this book was actually a very inviting read, and I found that it made its point whilst allowing for a lot of eye-rolling and gaffawing at characters in the play.

Antigone is quite similar to other Greek Tragedies; someone dies, the death causes another person to die, and the final chapter is the left over person commiserating over the bloodshed and joining the rest of them in Hades. (But that is not a very scholarly way of interpreting this story, so I will attempt to dig deeper.)

First of all, may I just say it must have been terrible to be a woman at this time. Poor Antigone literally found her whole identity in the men in her life. Men dominated everything she was, and for them to die was like killing her as well. This was one of my first gut feelings when unravelling the relationship between herself and her siste, Ismene. At least her sister was a prospect for marriage, possibly giving her more incentive to dry her tears and act like a lady.

Then there’s the world’s most typical mega-tyrant Kreon, who is obviously full of pride and very insecure with his manhood and leadership, as he cannot take an ounce of criticism from anyone, not even a professional forewarner! Kreon strikes me as someone who is not capable of trust, and has somehow gone a bit paranoid by having so much power over his citizens.

Haimon strikes me as the golden-boy and I quite liked him from the second he had a line. He seems like a much better choice for a ruler than his father, as he is quite level-headed and wise for a young man. (must have inherited his mama’s genes) This is evident to me by the way that he crafts his conversation with Kreon while discussing the fate of Antigone. He is careful to stroke his father’s ego while planting a seed of truth in his dad’s head by bringing up the notion of popularity among his people. It is really unfortunate that things go so sour for him, because he seems like a great candidate for ruler.

This is a morsel of the thoughts that came out from my interaction with the play, mainly my responses to characters, and I will have more to say/question in seminar!

Stay tuned! 🙂 Megan B.

1 thought on “Antigone: How to ruin your life.

  1. I completely agree with you about Haimon–he seems very shrewd and rational. I was impressed by how he started off talking to his father in a way that showed deference to him and his role as an authority (in the family sense, b/c he is H’s father, less so as a ruler), and then slowly brought it around to asking him to reconsider. The request to reconsider is then deftly put in terms of H’s own worry about his father, wanting, as a good son would, to ensure that his father continues to have success and glory. Seems like a good strategy to me. But Kreon seems unable to listen to anyone, really, so perhaps no strategy would have worked with him. Interesting that Kreon does finally begin to “bend,” only after receiving a prophecy from Teiresias. I’m still thinking about why it would be that exchange that finally pushes him to reconsider. Perhaps something about hearing from the gods through T’s mouth? I’m still not sure…

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