In Sophocles' Antigone, what final lessons does the chorus learn and discuss?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Sophocles' Antigone ends with a messenger appearing on stage to bring Creon the news of the suicides of his wife and son. The messenger's news and Creon's lamentations are intermixed with the final choral ode. 

In the play, Creon has represented the voice of human reason, making rational choices about how to end the civil strife in Thebes. Antigone, a female, represents traditional family ties and piety. What we discover in Creon is reason overstepping its natural boundaries and leading to a form of arrogance in which man usurps divine prerogatives. 

The chorus sees the deaths of Creon's wife and son as punishment for this pride and suggests three lessons can be learned. First, that with age we should attain wisdom and renounce pride, second that we should always obey and give due reverence to the gods, and third that mortals cannot escape their destined sorrows. 

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