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Antigone. Analysis of Sophocles’ Greek tragedy. The protagonist. Antigone? Title character Begins the action Anarchist Other arguments? Creon? Experiences each stage of the tragic hero Attention at the end of the play is on Creon Other arguments?. Elements of a tragedy.

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antigone

Antigone

Analysis of Sophocles’ Greek tragedy

the protagonist
The protagonist
  • Antigone?
    • Title character
    • Begins the action
    • Anarchist
    • Other arguments?
  • Creon?
    • Experiences each stage of the tragic hero
    • Attention at the end of the play is on Creon
    • Other arguments?
elements of a tragedy
Elements of a tragedy
  • Aristotle’s criticism and philosophy
    • The Poetics—reference on tragedy and poetry
    • History of tragedy began when characters emerged
      • Thespis—separated the first actor from the chorus
      • Aeschylus—added a second actor
      • Sophocles—added a third actor
        • “The number of players was limited (in the plays of Sophocles) to a chorus and three actors” (1065).
aristotle s description of tragedy
Aristotle’s description of tragedy

“Tragedy is ‘an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament;…in the form of a drama, not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions’”(1065).

aristotle s description of tragedy5
Aristotle’s description of tragedy
  • “action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude”

1. Characters must be royal or aristocratic.

2. The subject matter must be elevated.

  • “in a language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament”

3. Lofty vocabulary and poetic devices are necessary for tragedies (1068).

aristotle s description of tragedy6
Aristotle’s description of tragedy
  • “in the form of drama, not of narrative”

4. A tragedy must be acted out rather than told.

  • Aristotle’s final phrase asserts the idea that tragic drama “arouses fear and pity in the spectators and leads to a catharsis of these emotions” (1066).

5. Tragedy leads to catharsis.

  • “Tragedy is a terrible beauty.”
terms for greek drama
Terms for Greek drama
  • Polis vs. Oikos
    • Public vs. Private
    • How does Creon allow these two spheres to overlap?
  • Dramatic irony (136)
  • Tragic irony (137)
  • Tragic dilemma (1067)
  • Peripeteia & Anagnorisis
    • “The reversal occurs simultaneously with understanding” (1067) or recognition.
  • Machiavelli
the idea of love in the play
The idea of love in the play
  • Does Haimon love Creon and vice versa?
  • Does Antigone love Haimon and vice versa?
  • Does Ismene love Polyneices?
  • Why does love lead to a denial of love?
  • The chorus sings of “Merciless Aphrodite.”
what s in a name
What’s in a name?
  • Antigone
    • “anti” means not or against
    • “gon” (the same stem as “gen”) means gender or generation
  • Creon
    • Means rule
  • Polyneices
    • “poly” means many
    • A fighter in many battles
discussion questions
Discussion Questions
  • Why does Antigone return to her brother’s body a second time?
  • How would Antigone be different if Antigone were a man?
  • What was the importance of a funeral to the Greeks? To us?
  • Which characters in the play commit suicide? Why? How do these reasons relate with the same tragic choice in today’s society?
  • Ismene asks Antigone, “But why attempt a hopeless act at all?” Why would someone attempt a hopeless act?