What are some of the challenges of producing a play like Antigone in our modern society?

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Chase Burns eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Antigone is one of the classic Greek tragedies and many contemporary plays continue to draw inspiration from it. In the play, Antigone faces off with Creon, the new king, who orders that she cannot bury her brother's body. The play often gets produced because of its beautiful language and its masterful lead female role. However, there are problems that can arise in a contemporary production. These problems come down to two themes: narrative and aesthetic.

Narrative: In the play, Antigone is continuously suppressed by the patriarchal state, which is represented by Creon. Some of the expectations of Antigone, like that she be a modest and respectful woman, can come across as sexist to a contemporary audience. This dramaturgical conundrum will have to be addressed by the creative team of a contemporary production of Antigone

Aesthetic: The Greek theatrical aesthetic was very different from our current day aesthetic. The Greeks typically used large masks and a chorus. While we cannot be sure exactly how the Greeks produced their plays, we know that they were produced very differently from how we produce our plays today. Consequently, a director and creative team will have to choose how their production will differ from a classical production of Antigone.