by Sophocles

(Set up and questions for great book discussion.)
   Antigone is an extreme idealist. She will sacrifice her life and all her possible achievements for one principle. That principle, the universal right to proper burial, obviously means more to her than it does to me. Ismene in her early conversations with Antigone seems to represent the pragmatic. She could see some of the wisdom of Antigone's desires, but also the likely outcome.
   Is the action of the play after Antigone's burial activities within the realm of the probable (or possible) actions? Did Antigone foresee the turn of events? Did she care?
   Is it possible that both Antigone and Ismene followed reasonable courses of actions? What was Creon's purpose in banning Polyneices's burial? What was the function of the chorus? Why use a chorus?
   How did the guard's handling of Creon appeal to you? Do you think the guard handled Creon well? What does this



mean about Creon? And thus Antigone and Ismene's discussions on what was their 'right' courses of actions?
   Why do you think Sophocles has so many people dying in the play (Antigone, Haemon, Eurydice)? Does that enhance the sense of reality the play has - or does it serve some other purpose?
   The basic conflict seems to be Antigone's devotion to the laws of the gods Vs Creon's earthy law. Does this play support either side or both sides or what? It does seem to indicate that transgressing a law of the gods will make all pay - right, wrong, and indifferent to that law. Antigone pays so that, from then on, the law will be sacred.
   Creon mentions several times the power of money over men's actions. Is he really talking about himself?
   What is the purpose (the effect) of using a prophet and his prophecies?





Book Notes
Copyright 2005