Antigone Summary From LitCharts
Antigone Summary: In the 1960s, Rosa Place refused to give her seat up to a white person and introduced one of the biggest legal fights of the era. Granted, while that was a premeditated act of civil disobedience, in Antigone, a misfortune scrawled by Sophocles around 441 BCE, the heroine has a similar choice. She chooses to disobey the law and bury her brother not because she requires to make any big constitutional announcement but because he has every right to it.
Antigone begins with The two sons of Oedipus, Eteocles and Polyneices, who are fighting for the kingship of Thebes. Both men die in the battle. Their replacement, Creon, determines that King Eteocles will be buried, but Polyneices, because he was leading a foreign army, will be left on the field of battle. Antigone, his sister, buries him nevertheless.
Summary Of Antigone
The Chorus invents the impersonators. Antigone is the girl who will rise up solely and die young. Haemon, Antigone’s dashing fiancé, chats with Ismene, her beautiful sister. Though one would have required Haemon to go for Ismene, he inexplicably proposed to Antigone on the night of a ball. Creon is king of Thebes, bound to the services of rule. Next to the sisters’ sits the Registered nurse and Queen Eurydice. Eurydice will knit until the time comes for her to go to her room and die. Finally three Defenders play cards, unsympathetic to the tragedy before them.
The Chorus describes the events leading to Antigone’s misfortune. Oedipus, Antigone and Ismene’s father, had two sons, Eteocles and Polynices. Upon Oedipus’ death, it was agreed that each would take the authority from one year to the next. After the first year, however, Eteocles, the elder, refused to go down down. Polynices and six unfamiliar princes patrolled on Thebes. All were defeated. The kinspersons killed each other in a duel, manufacturing Creon king. Creon ordered Eteocles buried in honor and left Polynices to rot on the pain of death.
It is dawn, and the building is still asleep. Antigone sneaks in and the Nurse appears and asks where she has been. Quickly Ismene enters, also asking where Antigone has been. Antigone sends the Nurse away for espresso. Ismene declares that they cannot bury Polynices and that she must consider Creon’s purposes. Antigone refuses and bids Ismene to go back to bed. Suddenly Haemon enters and Antigone asks Haemon to hold her with all his effectiveness. She tells him that she will never be able to promise him. Stupefied, Haemon departs. Ismene returns, terrified that Antigone will attempt to bury Polynices despite the sunshine. Antigone reveals that she has already done so.
Later that day, the nervous First Defender enters and informs Creon that luminary covered Polynices’s body with a little dirt last night. He requests the guards to bring to light the body and keep the transaction secret. The Chorus appears and indicates that the tragedy is on. Its spring is wound, and it will uncoil by itself. Unlike melodrama, misfortune is clean, restful, and flawless. In tragedy, everything is inevitable, hopeless, and known. All are bound to their parts.
The Guards enter with the contending Antigone. The First proposes that they throw a party. Creon appears, and the First explains that Antigone was found digging Polynices’ sepulcher by hand in broad daylight. Creon expresses the defenders out. Once he is certain no one saw Antigone arrested, he orders her to bed, telling her to say that she has been ill. Antigone responds that she will only go out again tonight. Creon asks if she thinks her being Oedipus’s daughter puts her above the law. Like Oedipus, her death must seem the “natural climax” to her life. Creon, on the other hand, devotes himself only to the order of the kingdom. Antigone’s marriage is worth more to Thebes than her death.
Antigone insists that he cannot save her. Enraged, Creon seizes her arm and twists her to his side. Antigone remarks that Creon is squeezing her arm too tightly, but his grasp no longer hurts. Creon releases her. He knows his reign makes him loathsome but he has no choice. Antigone rejoins that he should have said no; she can say no to anything she thinks vile. While ruined, she is a queen. Because Creon said yes, he can only sentence her to death. Creon asks her to pity him then and live. Antigone replies that she is not here to understand, only to say no and die.
Creon makes a final appeal, saying that Antigone needs to understand what goes on in the wings of her drama. As a child, she must have known her brothers made her parents unhappy. Polynices was a cruel, vicious voluptuary. Being too cowardly to imprison him, Oedipus let him join the Argive army. As soon as Polynices reached Argos, the attempts on Oedipus’ life began. But Eteocles, Thebes’ martyr, too plotted to overthrow his father. Both were gangsters. When Creon sent for their bodies, they were found mashed together in a bloody pulp. He had the prettier one brought in.
Dazed, Antigone moves to go her room. Creon urges her to find Haemon and marry quickly. She must not waste her life and its happiness. Antigone challenges his servile happiness. She is of the tribe that asks questions and hates man’s hope. A distraught Ismene rushes in, begging Antigone’s forgiveness and promising to help her. Antigone rejects her, but she does not deserve to die with her. Ismene swears she will bury Polynices herself then. Antigone calls on Creon to have her arrested, warning him that her disease is catching. Creon relents. The Chorus protests. Haemon enters and begs his father to stop the guards. Creon replies that the mob already knows the truth, and he can do nothing.
Antigone sits before the First Guard in her cell; his is the last face she will see. The Guard rambles about his pay, rations, and professional quibbles. Antigone interrupts him, pointing out that she is soon to die. She asks how she is to be executed. The Guard informs her that she is to be immured. The Guard asks if he can do anything for her. She asks if he could give someone a letter, offering him her ring. Reluctant to endanger his job, the Guard suggests that she dictate her letter and he write it in his notebook in case they search his pockets. Antigone winces but accepts. She recites her letter, “Forgive me, my darling. You would all have been so happy except for Antigone.” Suddenly a drum roll is heard, and the Guards lead Antigone out.
The Chorus enters, announcing that it is Creon’s turn. The Messenger delivers the news: Antigone had just been immured, when the crowd heard Haemon’s moan from within. Creon howled for the slaves to remove the stones. Antigone had hung herself. Haemon then stabbed himself and lay beside Antigone in a pool of blood. Upon being told of Haemon’s death, Eurydice finished her row of knitting, climbed to her room, and cut her throat. Creon is alone. The Chorus notes that truly if it had not been for Antigone, all would have been at peace. All who had to die have now died. Only the Guards are left, and the tragedy does not matter to them.
Antigone Sophocles Summary
After the bloody siege of Thebes by Polynices and his allies, the city stands unconquered. Polynices and his brother Eteocles, however, are both dead, killed by each other, according to the curse of Oedipus, their father.
Outside the city gates, Antigone tells Ismene that Creon has ordered that Eteocles, who died defending the city, is to be buried with full honors, while the body of Polynices, the invader, is left to rot. Furthermore, Creon has declared that anyone attempting to bury Polynices shall be publicly stoned to death. Outraged, Antigone reveals to Ismene a plan to bury Polynices in secret, despite Creon’s order. When Ismene timidly refuses to defy the king, Antigone angrily rejects her and goes off alone to bury her brother.
Creon discovers that someone has attempted to offer a ritual burial to Polynices and demands that the guilty one be found and brought before him. When he discovers that Antigone, his niece, has defied his order, Creon is furious. Antigone makes an impassioned argument, declaring Creon’s order to be against the laws of the gods themselves. Enraged by Antigone’s refusal to submit to his authority, Creon declares that she and her sister will be put to death.
Haemon, Creon’s son who was to marry Antigone, advises his father to reconsider his decision. The father and son argue, Haemon accusing Creon of arrogance, and Creon accusing Haemon of unmanly weakness in siding with a woman. Haemon leaves in anger, swearing never to return. Without admitting that Haemon may be right, Creon amends his pronouncement on the sisters: Ismene shall live, and Antigone will be sealed in a tomb to die of starvation, rather than stoned to death by the city.
The blind prophet Tiresias warns Creon that the gods disapprove of his leaving Polynices unburied and will punish the king’s impiety with the death of his own son. After rejecting Tiresias angrily, Creon reconsiders and decides to bury Polynices and free Antigone.
But Creon’s change of heart comes too late. Antigone has hanged herself and Haemon, in desperate agony, kills himself as well. On hearing the news of her son’s death, Eurydice, the queen, also kills herself, cursing Creon.
Alone, in despair, Creon accepts responsibility for all the tragedy and prays for a quick death. The play ends with a somber warning from the chorus that pride will be punished by the blows of fate.
Sophocles Antigone Summary
Antigone picks up in the same (uber-dismal) place that Oedipus at Colonus leaves off. Oedipus has just passed away in Colonus, and Antigone and her sister decide to return to Thebes with the intention of helping their brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices, avoid a prophecy that predicts they will kill each other in a battle for the throne of Thebes.
But upon her arrival in Thebes, Antigone learns that both of her brothers are dead. Eteocles has been given a proper burial, but Creon, Antigone’s uncle who has inherited the throne, has issued a royal edict banning the burial of Polyneices, who he believes was a traitor. Antigone defies the law, buries her brother, and is caught. When Creon locks her away in prison, she kills herself.
Meanwhile, not realizing Antigone has taken her own life, the blind prophet Teiresias, Creon’s son and Antigone’s fiancé Haemon, and the Chorus plead with Creon to release her. Creon finally relents, but in an instance of too-late-timing, finds her dead in her jail cell. Out of despair, Haemon and Creon’s wife have by now also killed themselves, and Creon is left in distress and sorrow.
Antigone Scene 1 Summary
The action of “Antigone” follows on from the Theban civil war, in which the two brothers, Eteocles and Polynices, died fighting each other for the throne of Thebes after Eteocles had refused to give up the crown to his brother as their father Oedipus had prescribed. Creon, the new ruler of Thebes, has declared that Eteocles is to be honoured and Polynices is to be disgraced by leaving his body unburied on the battlefield (a harsh and shameful punishment at the time).
As the play begins, Antigone vows to bury her brother Polynices‘ body in defiance of Creon‘s edict, although her sister Ismene refuses to help her, fearing the death penalty. Creon, with the support of the Chorus of elders, repeats his edict regarding the disposal of Polynices‘ body, but a fearful sentry enters to report that Antigone has in fact buried her brother’s body.
Antigone Ode 1 Summary
Polyneices and Eteocles, two brothers leading opposite sides in Thebes’ civil war, have both been killed in battle. Creon, the new ruler of Thebes, has declared that Eteocles will be honored and Polyneices disgraced. The rebel brother’s body will not be sanctified by holy rites, and will lay unburied to become the food of carrion animals. Antigone and Ismene are the sisters of the dead brothers, and they are now the last children of the ill-fated Oedipus. In the opening of the play, Antigone brings Ismene outside the city gates late at night for a secret meeting: Antigone wants to bury Polyneices’ body, in defiance of Creon’s edict. Ismene refuses to help her, fearing the death penalty, but she is unable to dissuade Antigone from going to do the deed by herself.
Creon enters, along with the Chorus of Theban Elders. He seeks their support in the days to come, and in particular wants them to back his edict regarding the disposal of Polyneices’ body. The Chorus of Elders pledges their support. A Sentry enters, fearfully reporting that the body has been buried. A furious Creon orders the Sentry to find the culprit or face death himself. The Sentry leaves, but after a short absence he returns, bringing Antigone with him. Creon questions her, and she does not deny what she has done. She argues unflinchingly with Creon about the morality of the edict and the morality of her actions. Creon grows angrier, and, thinking Ismene must have helped her, summons the girl. Ismene tries to confess falsely to the crime, wishing to die alongside her sister, but Antigone will have none of it. Creon orders that the two women be temporarily locked up.
Haemon, Creon’s son and Antigone’s fiance, enters to pledge allegiance to his father. He initially seems willing to obey Creon, but when Haemon gently tries to persuade his father to spare Antigone, the discussion deteriorates and the two men are soon bitterly insulting each other. Haemon leaves, vowing never to see Creon again.
What is the main idea of the play Antigone?
The main theme of Antigone is that the gods’ laws are more important than the laws of man. Creon, who takes over the rule of Thebes after the civil war, decrees that Polynices should not be buried. He wants him to rot in the open air as a punishment for his treason and to set an example for others.
Why did Antigone kill herself?
These are almost Antigone’s last words. She killed herself because she could not bear to live even a moment longer once she had been thrown into that dark dungeon. Victims arouse hate. Antigone could not survive hate.