Sophocles’ Antigone 2. February 5, 2008. Agenda. Recap and Update Plot and Play Tragic Themes Gender Dialectics Problem of the Chorus “We Are Too Old” Gender Dialectics in Antigone Two Views Your Views. Recap and Update. Plot and Play Tragic Themes Gender Dialectics.
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Sophocles’ Antigone 2 February 5, 2008
Agenda • Recap and Update • Plot and Play • Tragic Themes • Gender Dialectics • Problem of the Chorus • “We Are Too Old” • Gender Dialectics in Antigone • Two Views • Your Views
Recap and Update Plot and Play Tragic Themes Gender Dialectics
Myth Background: House of Thebes Labdacus Menoeceus Laius Jocasta Creon Eurydice Oedipus Jocasta Polynices Eteocles Antigone Ismene Haemon Megareus
Prologue (59 ff.) Antigone, Ismene (burial) Parodos (choral entry ode, 65 f.) victory song 1st episode Creon, Sentry (Polynices’ burial) 1st stasimon (choral ode, 76 f.) “Many the wonders …” 2nd episode Sentry, Creon; Creon, Antigone, Ismene (Creon-Antigone agōn) 2nd stasimon (91 f.) “Blest they who escape misfortune” 3rd episode (92 ff.) Creon, Haemon (agōn) 3rd stasimon (101) madness of erōs 4th episode (101 ff.) Choral dialogue (kommos) w/ Antigone (bride of death); Antigone, Creon 4th stasimon (108 f.) myth parallels to Antigone 5th episode (110 ff.) Tiresias, Creon (prophecy, warning) Hyporchema (choral ode, 118 f.) Dionysus save the day! Exodos (119 ff.) Messenger, Eurydice; Choral dialogue (kommos) w/ Creon Play Analysis(nums. refer to Penguin pages)
Antigone – Tragic Themes • Hubris (arrogance, transgression) • “Zeus hates with a vengeance all bravado, / the mighty boasts of men” (Chorus, p. 65) • Cycle of suffering • “… once / the gods have rocked a house to its foundations / the ruin will never cease, cresting on and on” (Chorus, p. 91) • Atē (delusion, ruin) • “Sooner or later / foul is fair, / fair is foul / to the man the gods will ruin” (Chorus, p. 92) • Knowledge too late • “Too late, / too late, you see what justice means” (Chorus Leader, p. 124)
Problem of the Chorus “We Are Too Old”
Choral Reflections – What Are They About? • “Numberless wonders / terrible wonders walk the world but none the match for man. … But the city casts out that man who weds himself to inhumanity…” (1st stasimon, pp. 76-77) • “Love (erōs)! … you have ignited this, / this kindred strife, father and son at war” (3rd stasimon, p. 101) • “You went too far, the last limits of daring – / …. I wonder ... / do you pay for your father's terrible ordeal?” (choral dialogue with Antigone, p. 103)
Danaë (lines 1035 ff.) Perseus’ mother imprisoned pregnant in bronze chamber floating casket Lycurgus (1051 ff.) opposed Dionysus killed son imprisoned in cave Cleopatra (1066 ff.) divorced by husband imprisoned by husband, whose … new wife blinds buries children Choral Reflections, Myth Parallels: On Target? (4th stasimon, pp. 108 f.)
Danaë (lines 1035 ff.) both royal locked away reversal inescapable fate Danae = life, birth not in love with love Lycurgus (1051 ff.) Lyc = Ant but reversed Gods = Creon religion higher plus knowledge too late Cleopatra (1066 ff.) kings queen = EGO children = anyone affected Ant = Cleo bad marriage, bad karma walled in stone Choral Reflections, Myth Parallels Do They Fit? (pp. 108 f.)
Gender Dialectics in Antigone Two Views Your Views
Hegel’s… Antigone divine law private sphere versus Creon human law public sphere Butler’s… Incest as interrogation of gender Antigone as proto-feminist Antigone’s Claim (Butler’s book) shows “how a culture of normative heterosexuality obstructs our capacity to see what sexual freedom and political agency could be” (book blurb) Gender Dialectic in Antigone: 2 Readings
ANTIGONE female private inside oikos (family, household) lamentation divine law CREON male public outside polis (politics, city) retribution human law Parallel Antinomies CREON:“I am not the man, not now: she is the man / if this victory goes to her and she goes free” (p. 83)