Overview

One of the world’s greatest plays of all time, “Antigone” has endured for more than 2450 years. Written by the great Greek playwright, Sophocles, this play is the final installment of his “Oedipus” cycle, which includes “Oedipus Rex,” “Oedipus at Colonus” and, of course, “Antigone.”

Even though this play has been around for thousands of years, one of its strengths is that Sophocles somehow found a way to make it both universal and timeless. Perhaps it is because of the themes that the play addresses. Maybe it’s because the key conflicts feel so familiar. Or it could be because Sophocles created characters that were both heroic and flawed, thus making them tragic and real. Whatever the case may be, “Antigone” lays bare much of the human experience, while at the same time providing each new generation an opportunity to learn from its insights.

Think this old play doesn’t connect to your life in the 21st century? Here are some direct references and connections pulled right out of today’s headlines:

Open Government

Individual v. State Rights

Role of Authority

Reverse Ageism

Sexism

Minority Rights

Women’s Rights

Role of Women

Teen in Gitmo

Teen Voting Rights

Unintended Consequences

Also, here’s the script: Antigone (Text)

If you’re looking for some assistance in understanding the play, or just want some additional resources, here are some good Web sites to check out:

Antigone study guide 1
Antigone study guide 2

A former student of mine, Samantha Savage, talked to me about ancient Greek theaters, so I did a little research and came up with the following links, for those of you who are interested:

Greek theater 1
Greek theater 2
Greek theater 3
Greek theater 4
Greek theater 5

Several of you have asked for assistance with the poetry options. Here are some helpful resources:

Elegy info
Info on eclogues

Finally, you may want to have access to a couple of things I shared with you in class to better understand the background of this tragedy. Here are a few helpful files:

Antigone Genealogy

• Conflicts, Topics & Themes (coming soon)

The story before the story

Here’s my take on the Oedipus story that leads up to the events in “Antigone.” There are several versions of this story, so mine may be different from others you may encounter. Enjoy.

~ Mr. DeMiero

Historical timeline

Thanks to student Matthew Hipolito, here’s a (highly editorialized) timeline of the centuries between the days of Sophocles and the present. Matthew clearly had a little fun with this, so read carefully. Disclaimer: These are his words and his take on history. Enjoy!

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