In Antigone, Episode 4, how would you describe the exchange between the chorus and Antigone?

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The exchange between Antigone and the Chorus in this scene is at first sympathetic.  The Chorus bemoans the fact that a young beautiful, soon-to-be bride is being led away to her death. It tries to console Antigone by telling her that she will be remembered because of her faithfulness to the gods even though her impending physical death is difficult to bear.  Antigone does not find much comfort in their words, and refutes their "comfort" with all that she will miss in life and the fact that she is being punished for following the gods' wishes and her culture's traditions.

Near the end of the exchange, the Chorus admits to Antigone that she is being punished for her father Oedipus's woes and sins.  She does not take kindly to this suggestion and calls herself "thrice-cursed." The Chorus, rather weary with Antigone's defiant attitude, tell her:

"Reverence is a mark of character,
but power, for a man who has it,
does not tolerate offenses against itself.
Your self-guiding anger destroyed you (lines 877-880)."

Afterwards, they supply the title character with numerous examples of other women who suffered as she is suffering.