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Antigone Opening Scene. Use with dialectical journal. Tips for Creating a Dialectical Journal.

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antigone opening scene

Antigone Opening Scene

Use with dialectical journal

tips for creating a dialectical journal
Tips for Creating a Dialectical Journal
  • Read the entire ode and write a summary before creating your dialectical journal entries. Underline or highlight important passages while you are reading, then check to see if they are important to the summary.
  • Your journal entries should reflect both powerful lines in the play and the storyline. Don’t pick random passages.
opening scene example for dj
Opening Scene Example for DJ

Line and Quote and Character

Line 4-5

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

opening scene example for dj1
Opening Scene Example for DJ

Lines 14-17

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

opening scene example for dj2
Opening Scene Example for DJ

Lines 25-33

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.


What is your connection to this? Write it down!

  • Personal Issues
  • World Issues
  • Another text (summer reading?)
  • Show me that you can make some sort of connection
opening scene example for dj3
Opening Scene Example for DJ

Lines 43-44

Antigone: “Anyone who acts against the order will be stoned to death before the city.”

Interpretation: Write your own!

Connection: Write your own!

opening scene examples for dj
Opening Scene Examples for DJ

Lines 55-66

Antigone: “Will you help these hands

take up Polyneices’ corpse and bury it?”

Write your own interpretation and connection

opening scene example for dj4
Opening Scene Example for DJ

Line 61

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!

opening scene example for dj5
Opening Scene Example for DJ

Lines 77-78

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.

opening scene example for dj6
Opening Scene Example for DJ

Lines 97-98

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!

opening scene example for dj7
Opening Scene Example for DJ

Lines 99-100

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.

due dates
Due Dates
  • Dialectical Journal and Ode Summaries are due on Wednesday, October 9, 2013. I ALSO REALIZE THAT THIS IS HOMECOMING WEEK.
  • We will do a group reading of all odes in class on Thursday, October 3, 2013. This will help you understand the course of the play (because you have already read it!)
  • I will assign play groups next class period on Monday, September 30, 2013. Please let me know if you will not be here.