What does this quote mean?“There, we saw the girl! And she cried out a sharp, piercing cry, peering into its bed, and all the babies gone… Just so, when she sees the corpse bare she bursts into...

What does this quote mean?

“There, we saw the girl! And she cried out a sharp, piercing cry, peering into its bed, and all the babies gone… Just so, when she sees the corpse bare she bursts into long, shattering wailed calls down withering curses on the heads of all who did the words.”

 

 

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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This is a good question. This quotation does, indeed, come from Antigone. This was a play that was written by Sophocles. The basic premise of the play is a follows. Antigone, who is the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta desires to give a respectable burial to Polynices, her brother. The problem is that Creon forbids this act to take place.

Polynices and Etocles (Polynices' brother) had a civil war to take over Thebes and they both died. Etocles had a traditional burial with honor, now Antigone wants the same for her other brother. But Creon passed a law that the body of Polynices must not be buried but left to rot and be eaten by animals.

This quote then is the pain of Antigone after the death of Polynices. It is a cry of sorrow and anger. She just lost her brother and even worse, she is in a dilemma. Does she obey the law and leave the corpse of Polynices to rot, or break the law and bring curses on herself.

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