The speeches of the Chorus and Choragos interrupt the action of the play to describe the battle to the audience. What do these city elders look forward to in the future?

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merricat eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Antigone and Ismene open the play, discussing the recent battle and the death of both of their brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices. Creon declared Eteocles was to be buried with full honors because he stayed loyal to Thebes. But Polyneices’ body was to be left to rot without burial. This would doom him to Hades. After Antigone declares her determination to follow the gods’ law instead of Creon’s by burying Polyneices, the Chorus arrives to explain what happened in the battle.

At the end of the description of the fall of Polyneices, the Chorus declares, “…let us enjoy forgetfulness after the late wars, and visit all the temples of the gods with night-long dance and song...” The Chorus looks forward to riotous celebration of victory. They also wish “may Bacchus be our leader, whose dancing shakes the land of Thebe.” Bacchus was the god of the grape harvest and wine. So their celebration would include a lot of drinking as well.

After such a long period of bloody war, the people of Thebes are ready to have a long celebration of song and drink, going to each temple to thank the gods for their blessings.