Antigone Opening Scene. Use with dialectical journal. Tips for Creating a Dialectical Journal.
Use with dialectical journal
Line and Quote and Character
Antigone: “All that misery which stems from Oedipus?”
Interpretation: Oedipus is Antigone and Ismene’s father who had a turbulent backstory. He mistakenly killed his father and married his mother (fathering four children with her) before finding out the truth which caused him to stab his own eyes.
Connection: Allusion to Oedipus the King
Ismene: “I’ve had no word at all, Antigone, nothing good or bad about our family,
not since we two lost both our brothers, killed on the same day by a double blow.”
Interpretation:Polyneices and Eteocles fought over control of the kingdom after it was decreed that the two brothers should rule together after Oedipus’s death. Polyneices left Thebes to gather an army while Eteocles stayed behind in Thebes to rule the city. Polyneices and his men stormed Thebes, intent on destroying the people and killing Eteocles, while Eteocles and his army fought against the intruders. The brothers stabbed each other at the same time, killing each other.
Connection: Oedipus at Colonusby Sophocles
Antigone: “Look – what’s Creon doing with our two brothers?
He’s honouring one with a full funeral
and treating the other one disgracefully!
Eteocles, they say, has had his burial
according to our customary rites,
to win him honour with the dead below.
But as for Polyneices, who perished
so miserably, an order has gone out throughout the city – that’s what people say.”
Interpretation: This is what Creon (the new king of Thebes) has decreed should happen to the brothers. Since Eteocles stayed behind with the city and protected the people of Thebes, he will receive a funeral with the customary rites and therefore his soul will pass to the dead below. Polyneices will not get a proper burial because his actions killed innocent people in Thebes. His body will be left out in the open where it will biodegrade, but also animals will eat at his body, thus torturing his soul and his soul will hover in a state of agony for eternity.
Antigone: “Anyone who acts against the order will be stoned to death before the city.”
Interpretation: Write your own!
Connection: Write your own!
Antigone: “Will you help these hands
take up Polyneices’ corpse and bury it?”
Write your own interpretation and connection
Antigone: “But he’s no right to keep me from what’s mine.”
Interpretation: Antigone is making a statement here. She is loyal to her family members, no matter what the cost.
Connection: Write your own!
Ismene: “We must remember that by birth we’re women,
and, as such, we shouldn’t fight with men.”
Interpretation: Ismene doesn’t believe in going against any man. She does not think for herself.
Ismene: “I’m not disrespecting them. But I can’t act
against the state. That’s not in my nature.”
Interpretation: Ismene is making a statement here. She is a rule-follower, and it is not in her nature to go against rules or men.
Connection: Make your own!
Antigone: “Let that be your excuse. I’m going now
to make a burial mound for my dear brother.”
Interpretation: Make your own. Consider what Antigone is planning and what will happen if she’s caught.