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Antigone

by Sophocles

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,955611,877 (3.71)1 / 154
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 Ancient History: Sophocles's Antigone6 unread / 6Garp83, April 2009

» See also 154 mentions

English (50)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  All languages (60)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
I first read Antigone when I took a course in college dedicated to the early Greek plays. I find it weathers well, but then that should be no surprise since it has already weathered more than 2000 years.

Twice I was taken by the presence of phrases we still use commonly today. Is this the possible first use of “bit the dust”?

Here, there, great Ares like a war horse wheeled;
Beneath his car down thrust
Our foemen bit the dust


And this of “stand your ground”?

Such a man would in the storm of battle stand his ground.

The story revolves around the girl Antigone, daughter of Oedipus, whose brothers have fought and slain one another in battle. The brother on the non-victorious side, Polyneices, is laid out to be eaten by dogs and scavenger birds, and Creon, the king, makes it a crime for anyone to bury him. Antigone, heeding the laws of the Gods over the rule of one man, defies the king and attempts to bury her brother.

What ensues is tragedy. Creon’s insistence that he, and he alone, rules in Thebes, costs everyone in the play dearly, including himself.

His son, Haemon, pleads with him to listen to reason and be swayed by those who see the other side of the question, but he is stubborn and closes his eyes and ears. Haemon’s words are powerful, especially now, when I find so many people have their ideas set in stone and refuse to entertain the possibility of being wrong about anything.

Haemon’s plea:
The wisest man will let himself be swayed
By others’ wisdom and relax in time.
See how the trees beside a stream in flood
Save, if they yield to force, each spray unharmed,
But by resisting perish root and branch.


Finally, there was a stanza that jumped out at me as being so true of our own time and made me stop and think that little really changes over time:

Of evils current upon earth
The worst is money. Money ‘tis that sacks
Cities, and drives men forth from hearth and home;


I was surprised how much of the mythology I have retained from my school days and my subsequent readings of Bulfinch’s and Edith Hamilton, although I will confess to being happy to have Google available for the more obscure references. I realized, after reading this, that I would really enjoy revisiting all these early plays. Perhaps the other Oedipus plays from this trilogy will make my list before the end of the year.







( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
I was going to do review of the edition containing the whole Oedipus trilogy but I'm honestly so sick of Greek theater, and I just got 2 books that I'm super excited about, so I'm not going to read any more for now. Anyway, I guess I'm missing some context from the other two but in this one not much happens and like everyone dies. It honestly seems more like a parody of tragic theater. Why were they even fighting in the first place? The one virtue of this was the characterization was very well written.

This translation was very easy to read. I didn't really read the footnotes because they were all in a section at the end, and there were no numbers in the text to refer to them, so this is maybe not a very useful edition if you're an academic, but it was fine for my purposes. ( )
  jooniper | Sep 10, 2021 |
Didn’t read this translation, but Antigone by Sophocles ( )
  Nikki_Sojkowski | Aug 26, 2021 |
classic statement of conflict between duty to family and duty to the state
  ritaer | May 10, 2021 |
I really, really enjoyed this play. I flew through it. It was entertaining, engaging, and easy to follow. the plot was littered with simplicities and complications, it was a work of genius. The translation was easy to understand, yet it still holds a great feeling to it, like reading Shakespear. It was not dumbed down or overly simplified. ( )
  afrozenbookparadise | Apr 22, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (442 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
SophoclesAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amelung, WalterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bayfield, M.A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bayfield, M.A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Böckh, AugustTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boeckh, AugustTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Castellanos i Vila, JoanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Donner, Johann Jakob ChristianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Falk, Eugene H.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferranti, FerrantePhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fitts, DudleyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fitzgerald, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Griffith, MarkEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gullberg, HjalmarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hölderlin, FriedrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jebb, Richard C.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jebb, Richard ClaverhouseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kamerbeek, J.C.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koolschijn, GerardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuchenmüller, WilhelmTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leeuwen, J. van, JrTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Masqueray, PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Murray, GilbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Plumptre, E. H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Plumptre, E. H.Prefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rayor, Diane J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reinhardt, KarlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schadewaldt, WolfgangTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stolpe, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Svensson, Lars-HåkanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Townsend, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verhagen, BalthazarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woerner, RomanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyckoff, ElizabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Young, Sir GeorgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zink, NorbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Ismene, my dear sister through common blood, do you know of any evil from Oedipus Zeus will not perform on us who still live?
My own flesh and blood—dear sister, dear Ismene,
how many griefs our father Oedipus handed down!
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The Pearson Education Library Collection offers you over 1200 fiction, nonfiction, classic, adapted classic, illustrated classic, short stories, biographies, special anthologies, atlases, visual dictionaries, history trade, animal, sports titles and more

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