Antigone Questions and Answers
by Sophocles

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What is the role of the chorus in Antigone?

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In Antigone by Sophocles, the Chorus, which consists of a group of Theban elders who are advisers to King Creon, performs three important roles. First, they provide information about what takes place offstage, filling in backstory or action that is necessary for the audience to understand the plot. For example, at the beginning of the play, they explain the battle that recently took place, where Eteocles and Polynices, Antigone's brothers, faced off for control of the city of Thebes and ended up killing each other. They introduce Creon as the new king.

The second role of the Chorus is to stand in for the audience, providing the response that the playwright intends the audience to have to the unfolding drama. Thus, at the beginning of the play, the elders are firmly on the side of Creon, expounding on the right of kings to make and enforce law. But as Antigone and Haemon make their arguments, the Chorus begins to waver. When Tiresias arrives and reveals the anger of the gods toward Creon's...

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