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I would like to know the gist of Sophocles' Antigone.It doesn't have to be very...

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aartisaiganesh | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 24, 2009 at 1:27 PM via web

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I would like to know the gist of Sophocles' Antigone.

It doesn't have to be very elaborate, maybe just 50 words.  It has to be a very basic summary .

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sfwriter | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted February 25, 2009 at 4:32 AM (Answer #1)

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There is a good summary here at enotes, which gives a paragraph or two for each of the eight scenes.  The play is primarily concerned with a family dispute over an issue that is personal, religious, and political all at once: the burial of Antigone's brother Polyneices, who fought against their city of Thebes in the war.  The uncle of Antigone, Creon, is now king of Thebes.  Politically, he shows loyalty to his city by refusing to bury his own nephew's body, since the nephew is considered a traitor.  The Greeks believed that an unburied body's soul roamed the world in sadness for a hundred years, so Antigone is very motivated to bury her brother.  In addition, this family is already so torn apart by incest and murder that such things as burials assume an even greater importance.  Here, in capsule form, are the main events of the play:

Antigone begs Creon to allow her brother, Polynieces, to be buried.  He refuses, and Antigone surreptitiously sprinkles dust on the body; but she is caught.  Creon decides to trap her in a cave with limited food and water until she dies; when she is interred she hangs herself.  Creon finally relents and goes to free Antigone, but finds her dead.  Haemon, Creon’s son and Antigone’s betrothed, tries to kill his father, but fails and kills himself.  Eurydice, Haemon’s mother, kills herself.  Creon mourns his stubbornness and folly. 

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