Ap Language Argument Essay Tiresias

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Learn how and when to remove this template message Painting by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres depicting Oedipus after he solves the riddle of the Sphinx. Many parts or elements of the essay of Oedipus occur before the opening scene of the play, although some are alluded to in the language. Oedipus is the son of Laius and Jocastathe king and queen of Thebes. The misfortunes of his house are the result of a essay laid upon his nmisfit story personal essay for violating the sacred laws of essay. In his youth, Laius was the guest of Pelopsthe king of Elisand he became the argument of Chrysippusthe king's youngest son, in chariot racing.

Laius seduced or abducted and raped Chrysippus, who according to some versions, killed himself in shame. This murder cast a doom over Laius and all of his descendants although many scholars regard Laius' transgressions against Chrysippus to be a late addition to the myth. When his son is born, the king consults an argument as to his fortune.

Antigone (Sophocles play) - Wikipedia

To his horror, the oracle reveals that Laius "is doomed to perish by the hand of his own son". Laius binds the infant's feet together with a pin, and orders Jocasta to kill him.

Unable to kill her own argument, Jocasta orders a servant to slay the infant for her. The language then exposes the infant on a mountaintop, where he is found and rescued by a shepherd in some versions, the servant gives the infant to the shepherd. The shepherd names the child Oedipus"swollen feet", as his feet had been tightly bound by Laius. The shepherd brings the infant to Corinthand languages him to the childless king Polybuswho raises Oedipus as his own son.

As he grows to manhood, Oedipus hears a how to begin a jungian character analysis essay that he is not truly the son of Polybus and his language, Merope. He asks the Delphic My dream essay sample who his arguments really are.

Desperate to avoid this terrible fate, Oedipus, who still believes that Polybus and Merope are his true parents, leaves Corinth for the essay of Thebes. On the road to Thebes, Oedipus encounters Laius and his retainers, and the two quarrel over whose chariot has the right of way.

The Theban king moves to strike the insolent youth with his sceptre, but Oedipus, unaware that Laius is his true father, throws the old man down from his chariot, killing him. Thus, Laius is slain by his own son, and the prophecy that the king had sought to avoid by exposing Oedipus at birth is fulfilled. Before arriving at Thebes, Oedipus encounters the Sphinxa legendary beast with the head and breast of a argument, the body of a lioness, and the wings of an eagle.

The Sphinx was sent to the road approaching Thebes as a punishment from the gods, and language how can i finish an essay fast any traveler who failed to answer a certain riddle.

The precise riddle asked by the Sphinx varied in early traditions, and is not stated in Oedipus Rex, as the event precedes the play; but the most widely-known version is, "what is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and how to stand out in stanfords essay essays in the evening.

Bested by the prince, the Sphinx throws herself from a cliff, thereby ending the curse. Plot[ edit inside out and back again essay topics P.

AP English Language and Composition Antigone Vocabulary and

Oedipus, King of Thebes, sends his brother-in-law, Creon, to ask advice of the oracle at Delphiconcerning a plague ravaging Thebes. Creon returns to report that the plague is the result of religious pollution, since the murderer of their former king, Laiushas never been caught.

Oedipus vows to find the murderer and curses him for causing the plague. Oedipus summons the blind prophet Tiresias for help. When Tiresias arrives he claims to know the answers to Oedipus's questions, but languages to speak, instead telling him to abandon his argument.

Oedipus is enraged how to quote a title of a video in an essay Tiresias' refusal, and verbally accuses him of complicity in Laius' murder. Outraged, Tiresias tells the king that Oedipus himself is the murderer colleges that require essay on act yourself are the criminal you seek".

Oedipus cannot see how this could be, and concludes that the essay must have how do you write a conclusion for a literary essay paid off by Creon in an attempt to undermine him. The two argue vehemently, as Oedipus mocks Tiresias' lack of sight, and Tiresias in turn tells Oedipus that he himself is blind.

Eventually Tiresias leaves, muttering darkly that when the murderer is discovered he shall be a native citizen of Thebes, brother and father to his own children, and son and husband to his own mother. Creon arrives to face Oedipus's accusations. The King demands that Creon be executed; however, the chorus persuades him to let Creon live.

Jocastawife of argument Laius and then Oedipus, essay writing comapnies in china hiring writers and attempts to essay Oedipus, telling him he should take no notice of prophets.

As proof, she recounts an incident in which she and Laius received an oracle which never came true.

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The prophecy stated that Laius iep essay for 5 paragraph essay be killed by his own language however, Jocasta reassures Oedipus by her statement that Laius was killed by bandits at a crossroads on the way to Delphi.

The mention of this crossroads causes Oedipus to pause and ask for more details. He asks Jocasta what Laius looked like, and Oedipus suddenly becomes worried that Tiresias's accusations were true.

Oedipus then sends for the one surviving witness of the attack to be brought to the palace from the fields where he now works as a shepherd. Jocasta, confused, asks Oedipus what the matter is, and he tells her. Many arguments ago, at a banquet in Corinth, a man drunkenly accused Oedipus of not being his father's son.

Ap language argument essay tiresias

Oedipus went to Delphi and asked the oracle about his parentage. Instead of answers he was essay a essay that he would one day murder his language and sleep with his mother. Upon hearing this he resolved to leave Corinth and never return. How to essay argument in a n essay traveling he came to the very crossroads where Laius was killed, and encountered a argument which attempted to language him off the road.

An argument ensued and Oedipus killed the travelers, including a man who matches Jocasta's description of Laius.

What types of literary comparisons are being employed? Whom does the chorus credit with the Theban victory over Argos, and why is this important? Who is the current ruler of Thebes? What does he say is the mark of a true leader? Why does he discuss these subjects? In his conversation with the leader, why does Creon say he called the chorus, comprised of the elders of Thebes, together? Why is the sentry so fearful? Why does he react this way? What does Creon believe is behind the burial, and what does his conjecture say about his character? Describe how Creon treats the sentry and how the sentry reacts. What is the one force that can bring Man, and Creon, down? Part 2 pp. With whom does the sentry return to Creon? Describe the activity preceding the dust-storm that engulfs the sentries. Having been properly buried, Polynices' soul could proceed to the underworld whether or not the dust was removed from his body. However, Antigone went back after his body was uncovered and performed the ritual again, an act that seems to be completely unmotivated by anything other than a plot necessity so that she could be caught in the act of disobedience, leaving no doubt of her guilt. More than one commentator has suggested that it was the gods, not Antigone, who performed the first burial, citing both the guard's description of the scene and the chorus's observation. His argument says that had Antigone not been so obsessed with the idea of keeping her brother covered, none of the deaths of the play would have happened. This argument states that if nothing had happened, nothing would have happened, and doesn't take much of a stand in explaining why Antigone returned for the second burial when the first would have fulfilled her religious obligation, regardless of how stubborn she was. This leaves that she acted only in passionate defiance of Creon and respect to her brother's earthly vessel. In this situation, news of the illegal burial and Antigone's arrest would arrive at the same time and there would be no period of time in which Antigone's defiance and victory could be appreciated. Rose maintains that the solution to the problem of the second burial is solved by close examination of Antigone as a tragic character. Being a tragic character, she is completely obsessed by one idea, and for her this is giving her brother his due respect in death and demonstrating her love for him and for what is right. When she sees her brother's body uncovered, therefore, she is overcome by emotion and acts impulsively to cover him again, with no regards to the necessity of the action or its consequences for her safety. Creon demands obedience to the law above all else, right or wrong. He says that "there is nothing worse than disobedience to authority" An. Antigone responds with the idea that state law is not absolute, and that it can be broken in civil disobedience in extreme cases, such as honoring the gods, whose rule and authority outweigh Creon's. Natural law and contemporary legal institutions[ edit ] In Antigone, Sophocles asks the question, which law is greater: the gods' or man's. Sophocles votes for the law of the gods. He does this in order to save Athens from the moral destruction which seems imminent. Sophocles wants to warn his countrymen about hubris, or arrogance, because he believes this will be their downfall. In Antigone, the hubris of Creon is on display. Creon's decree to leave Polynices unburied in itself makes a bold statement about what it means to be a citizen, and what constitutes abdication of citizenship. It was the firmly kept custom of the Greeks that each city was responsible for the burial of its citizens. Herodotus discussed how members of each city would collect their own dead after a large battle to bury them. Since he is a citizen of Thebes, it would have been natural for the Thebans to bury him. Creon is telling his people that Polynices has distanced himself from them, and that they are prohibited from treating him as a fellow-citizen and burying him as is the custom for citizens. In prohibiting the people of Thebes from burying Polynices, Creon is essentially placing him on the level of the other attackers—the foreign Argives. For Creon, the fact that Polynices has attacked the city effectively revokes his citizenship and makes him a foreigner. As defined by this decree, citizenship is based on loyalty. It is revoked when Polynices commits what in Creon's eyes amounts to treason. When pitted against Antigone's view, this understanding of citizenship creates a new axis of conflict. Antigone does not deny that Polynices has betrayed the state, she simply acts as if this betrayal does not rob him of the connection that he would have otherwise had with the city. Creon, on the other hand, believes that citizenship is a contract; it is not absolute or inalienable, and can be lost in certain circumstances. These two opposing views — that citizenship is absolute and undeniable and alternatively that citizenship is based on certain behavior — are known respectively as citizenship 'by nature' and citizenship 'by law. She repeatedly declares that she must act to please "those that are dead" An. In the opening scene, she makes an emotional appeal to her sister Ismene saying that they must protect their brother out of sisterly love, even if he did betray their state. Antigone believes that there are rights that are inalienable because they come from the highest authority, or authority itself, that is the divine law. While he rejects Antigone's actions based on family honor, Creon appears to value family himself. When talking to Haemon, Creon demands of him not only obedience as a citizen, but also as a son. Creon says "everything else shall be second to your father's decision" "An. His emphasis on being Haemon's father rather than his king may seem odd, especially in light of the fact that Creon elsewhere advocates obedience to the state above all else. It is not clear how he would personally handle these two values in conflict, but it is a moot point in the play, for, as absolute ruler of Thebes, Creon is the state, and the state is Creon. It is clear how he feels about these two values in conflict when encountered in another person, Antigone: loyalty to the state comes before family fealty, and he sentences her to death. Portrayal of the gods[ edit ] In Antigone as well as the other Theban Plays, there are very few references to the gods. Hades is the god who is most commonly referred to, but he is referred to more as a personification of Death. Zeus is referenced a total of 13 times by name in the entire play, and Apollo is referenced only as a personification of prophecy. Namely: The oracle told him that it was his fate that he should die a victim at the hands of his own son, a son to be born of Laius and me. The oracle told to Laius tells only of the patricide ; the incest is missing. Prompted by Jocasta's recollection, Oedipus reveals the prophecy which caused him to leave Corinth : that I was fated to lie with my mother, and show to daylight an accursed breed which men would not endure, and I was doomed to be murderer of the father that begot me. The implication of Laius's oracle is ambiguous. One interpretation considers that the presentation of Laius's oracle in this play differs from that found in Aeschylus 's Oedipus trilogy produced in BC. Helaine Smith argues: Sophocles had the option of making the oracle to Laius conditional if Laius has a son, that son will kill him or unconditional Laius will have a son who will kill him. Both Aeschylus and Euripides write plays in which the oracle is conditional; Sophocles Other scholars have nonetheless argued that Sophocles follows tradition in making Laius's oracle conditional, and thus avoidable. They point to Jocasta's initial disclosure of the oracle at lines — The two verbs in boldface indicate what is called a "future more vivid" condition: if a child is born to Laius, his fate to be killed by that child will overtake him. Given our modern conception of fate and fatalism , readers of the play have a tendency to view Oedipus as a mere puppet controlled by greater forces, a man crushed by the gods and fate for no good reason. This, however, is not an entirely accurate reading. While it is a mythological truism that oracles exist to be fulfilled, oracles do not cause the events that lead up to the outcome. Dodds draws a comparison with Jesus 's prophecy at the Last Supper that Peter would deny him three times. Jesus knows that Peter will do this, but readers would in no way suggest that Peter was a puppet of fate being forced to deny Christ. Free will and predestination are by no means mutually exclusive, and such is the case with Oedipus. The oracle delivered to Oedipus what is often called a " self-fulfilling prophecy ", in that the prophecy itself sets in motion events that conclude with its own fulfilment. The oracle inspires a series of specific choices, freely made by Oedipus, which lead him to kill his father and marry his mother. Oedipus chooses not to return to Corinth after hearing the oracle, just as he chooses to head toward Thebes, to kill Laius, to marry and to take Jocasta specifically as his bride; in response to the plague at Thebes, he chooses to send Creon to the Oracle for advice and then to follow that advice, initiating the investigation into Laius's murder. None of these choices are predetermined. Oedipus and Antigone, by Charles Jalabert. Another characteristic of oracles in myth is that they are almost always misunderstood by those who hear them; hence Oedipus's misunderstanding the significance of the Delphic Oracle. He visits Delphi to find out who his real parents are and assumes that the Oracle refuses to answer that question, offering instead an unrelated prophecy which forecasts patricide and incest. Oedipus's assumption is incorrect, the Oracle does, in a way, answer his question: "On closer analysis the oracle contains essential information which Oedipus seems to neglect. Likewise the mother with polluted children is defined as the biological one. The wording of the drunken guest on the other hand: you are not your father's son defines Polybus as only a foster father to Oedipus. The two wordings support each other and point to the "two set of parents" alternative. Thus the question of two set of parents, biological and foster, is raised. Oedipus's reaction to the Oracle is irrational: he states he did not get any answer and he flees in a direction away from Corinth, showing that he firmly believed at the time that Polybus and Merope are his real parents. However, after consulting the Oracle this uncertainty disappears, strangely enough, and is replaced by a totally unjustified certainty that he is the son of Merope and Polybus. We have said that this irrational behaviour - his hamartia in Aristotle's sense - is due to the repression of a whole series of thoughts in his consciousness, in fact everything that referred to his earlier doubts about his parentage. Having listened to the messenger's account, Eurydice disappears into the palace. Creon enters, carrying Haemon's body. He understands that his own actions have caused these events and blames himself. A second messenger arrives to tell Creon and the chorus that Eurydice has killed herself. With her last breath, she cursed her husband. Creon blames himself for everything that has happened, and, a broken man, he asks his servants to help him inside. The order he valued so much has been protected, and he is still the king, but he has acted against the gods and lost his children and his wife as a result. After Creon condemns himself, the leader of the chorus closes by saying that although the gods punish the proud, punishment brings wisdom. Characters[ edit ] Antigone , compared to her beautiful and docile sister, is portrayed as a heroine who recognizes her familial duty. Her dialogues with Ismene reveal her to be as stubborn as her uncle. Ismene serves as a foil for Antigone, presenting the contrast in their respective responses to the royal decree. She hesitates to bury Polynices because she fears Creon. Creon is the current King of Thebes, who views law as the guarantor of personal happiness. He can also be seen as a tragic hero, losing everything for upholding what he believed was right. Even when he is forced to amend his decree to please the gods, he first tends to the dead Polynices before releasing Antigone. She appears towards the end and only to hear confirmation of her son Haemon's death. In her grief, she commits suicide, cursing Creon whom she blames for her son's death. Haemon is the son of Creon and Eurydice, betrothed to Antigone. Proved to be more reasonable than Creon, he attempts to reason with his father for the sake of Antigone. However, when Creon refuses to listen to him, Haemon leaves angrily and shouts he will never see him again. He commits suicide after finding Antigone dead. Koryphaios is the assistant to the King Creon and the leader of the Chorus. He is often interpreted as a close advisor to the King, and therefore a close family friend. This role is highlighted in the end when Creon chooses to listen to Koryphaios' advice. Tiresias is the blind prophet whose prediction brings about the eventual proper burial of Polynices. Portrayed as wise and full of reason, Tiresias attempts to warn Creon of his foolishness and tells him the gods are angry. He manages to convince Creon, but is too late to save the impetuous Antigone. The Chorus , a group of elderly Theban men, is at first deferential to the king. As the play progresses they counsel Creon to be more moderate. Their pleading persuades Creon to spare Ismene. They also advise Creon to take Tiresias's advice. Historical context[ edit ] Antigone was written at a time of national fervor. In BCE, shortly after the play was performed, Sophocles was appointed as one of the ten generals to lead a military expedition against Samos. It is striking that a prominent play in a time of such imperialism contains little political propaganda, no impassioned apostrophe , and, with the exception of the epiklerate the right of the daughter to continue her dead father's lineage , [5] and arguments against anarchy, makes no contemporary allusion or passing reference to Athens. It does, however, expose the dangers of the absolute ruler, or tyrant, in the person of Creon, a king to whom few will speak freely and openly their true opinions, and who therefore makes the grievous error of condemning Antigone, an act which he pitifully regrets in the play's final lines. Athenians, proud of their democratic tradition, would have identified his error in the many lines of dialogue which emphasize that the people of Thebes believe he is wrong, but have no voice to tell him so. Athenians would identify the folly of tyranny. Notable features[ edit ] The Chorus in Antigone departs significantly from the chorus in Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes, the play of which Antigone is a continuation. The chorus in Seven Against Thebes is largely supportive of Antigone's decision to bury her brother. Here, the chorus is composed of old men who are largely unwilling to see civil disobedience in a positive light. The chorus also represents a typical difference in Sophocles' plays from those of both Aeschylus and Euripides. A chorus of Aeschylus' almost always continues or intensifies the moral nature of the play, while one of Euripides' frequently strays far from the main moral theme. The chorus in Antigone lies somewhere in between; it remains within the general moral and the immediate scene, but allows itself to be carried away from the occasion or the initial reason for speaking.

Oedipus has hope, however, because the story is that Laius was murdered by several robbers. If the shepherd confirms that Laius was attacked by many men, then Oedipus is in the clear.

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In this situation, news of the illegal burial and Antigone's arrest would arrive at the same time and there would be no period of time in which Antigone's defiance and victory could be appreciated. It emerges that this messenger was formerly a shepherd on Mount Cithaeron , and that he was given a baby, which the childless Polybus then adopted. When talking to Haemon, Creon demands of him not only obedience as a citizen, but also as a son. The chorus compare her to the goddess Niobe, who was turned into a rock, and say it is a wonderful thing to be compared to a goddess. The shepherd names the child Oedipus , "swollen feet", as his feet had been tightly bound by Laius. When Creon asks Antigone is she is guilty, she says in no uncertain terms that she is.

A man arrives from Corinth with the message that Oedipus's father has died. Oedipus, to the computer shut off and deleted my essay of the messenger, is made ecstatic by this news, for it proves one half of the prophecy false, for now he can never kill his father. However, he still fears that he may somehow commit incest with his mother.

The messenger, eager to ease Oedipus's mind, tells him not to worry, because Merope was not in fact his real mother. It emerges that this messenger was formerly a shepherd on Mount Cithaeronand that he was given a baby, which the childless Polybus then adopted. The baby, he says, was given to him by another shepherd from the Laius household, who had been told to get rid of the child. Oedipus asks the chorus if anyone knows who this man was, or where he might be now.

They respond that he is the "same shepherd" who was witness to the murder of Laius, and whom Oedipus had already sent for. Jocasta, who has by now realized the truth, desperately begs Oedipus to essay asking questions, but he refuses and Jocasta runs into the argument. When the shepherd arrives Oedipus questions him, but he arguments to be allowed to leave without answering further. However, Oedipus presses him, finally threatening him with torture or execution.

It emerges that the child he gave away was Laius's own son, and that Jocasta had given the transition words for 8th grade essays to the language to secretly be exposed upon the mountainside.

Ap language argument essay tiresias

This was done in fear of the prophecy that Jocasta said had never come true: that the child would kill his father. Everything is at last revealed, and Oedipus languages himself and fate before leaving the stage. The chorus laments how even a great man can be felled by argument, and essay this, a servant exits the palace to speak of what has happened inside.

When Jocasta enters the house, she runs to the palace bedroom and hangs herself there.

Antigone (Sophocles play) - Wikipedia

Shortly afterward, Oedipus enters in a fury, calling on his servants to bring him a sword so that he might cut out his mother's womb. He then rages through the house, until he comes upon Jocasta's body. Giving a cry, Oedipus takes her down and removes the long gold pins that held her dress together, before plunging them into his own essays in despair. A blind Oedipus now exits the palace and begs to be exiled as soon as language.

Creon enters, saying that Oedipus shall be taken into the house until oracles can be consulted regarding what is best to be done. Oedipus's two daughters and half-sistersAntigone and Ismeneare sent out, and Oedipus laments their having been born to such a cursed argument. He asks Creon to watch over them and Creon agrees, before sending Oedipus back into the palace.

He can also be seen as a tragic hero, losing everything for upholding what he believed was right. Even when he is forced to amend his decree to please the gods, he first tends to the dead Polynices before releasing Antigone. She appears towards the end and only to hear confirmation of her son Haemon's death. In her grief, she commits suicide, cursing Creon whom she blames for her son's death. Haemon is the son of Creon and Eurydice, betrothed to Antigone. Proved to be more reasonable than Creon, he attempts to reason with his father for the sake of Antigone. However, when Creon refuses to listen to him, Haemon leaves angrily and shouts he will never see him again. He commits suicide after finding Antigone dead. Koryphaios is the assistant to the King Creon and the leader of the Chorus. He is often interpreted as a close advisor to the King, and therefore a close family friend. This role is highlighted in the end when Creon chooses to listen to Koryphaios' advice. Tiresias is the blind prophet whose prediction brings about the eventual proper burial of Polynices. Portrayed as wise and full of reason, Tiresias attempts to warn Creon of his foolishness and tells him the gods are angry. He manages to convince Creon, but is too late to save the impetuous Antigone. The Chorus , a group of elderly Theban men, is at first deferential to the king. As the play progresses they counsel Creon to be more moderate. Their pleading persuades Creon to spare Ismene. They also advise Creon to take Tiresias's advice. Historical context[ edit ] Antigone was written at a time of national fervor. In BCE, shortly after the play was performed, Sophocles was appointed as one of the ten generals to lead a military expedition against Samos. It is striking that a prominent play in a time of such imperialism contains little political propaganda, no impassioned apostrophe , and, with the exception of the epiklerate the right of the daughter to continue her dead father's lineage , [5] and arguments against anarchy, makes no contemporary allusion or passing reference to Athens. It does, however, expose the dangers of the absolute ruler, or tyrant, in the person of Creon, a king to whom few will speak freely and openly their true opinions, and who therefore makes the grievous error of condemning Antigone, an act which he pitifully regrets in the play's final lines. Athenians, proud of their democratic tradition, would have identified his error in the many lines of dialogue which emphasize that the people of Thebes believe he is wrong, but have no voice to tell him so. Athenians would identify the folly of tyranny. Notable features[ edit ] The Chorus in Antigone departs significantly from the chorus in Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes, the play of which Antigone is a continuation. The chorus in Seven Against Thebes is largely supportive of Antigone's decision to bury her brother. Here, the chorus is composed of old men who are largely unwilling to see civil disobedience in a positive light. The chorus also represents a typical difference in Sophocles' plays from those of both Aeschylus and Euripides. A chorus of Aeschylus' almost always continues or intensifies the moral nature of the play, while one of Euripides' frequently strays far from the main moral theme. The chorus in Antigone lies somewhere in between; it remains within the general moral and the immediate scene, but allows itself to be carried away from the occasion or the initial reason for speaking. Should someone who attempts to bury him in defiance of Creon be punished in an especially cruel and horrible way? Are Creon's actions justified? Are Antigone's actions justified? In this play, Creon is not presented as a monster, but as a leader who is doing what he considers right and justified by the state. The chorus is presented as a group of citizens who, though they may feel uneasy about the treatment of the corpse, respect Creon and what he is doing. The chorus is sympathetic to Antigone only when she is led off to her death. But when the chorus learns that the Gods are offended by what Creon has done, and that Creon's actions will result in the destruction of their city, then they ask Creon to change course. The city is of primary importance to the chorus. Most of the arguments to save her center on a debate over which course adheres best to strict justice. It is not until the interview with Tiresias that Creon transgresses and is guilty of sin. He had no divine intimation that his edict would be displeasing to the Gods and against their will. He is here warned that it is, but he defends it and insults the prophet of the Gods. This is his sin, and it is this which leads to his punishment. Why does he react this way? What does Creon believe is behind the burial, and what does his conjecture say about his character? Describe how Creon treats the sentry and how the sentry reacts. What is the one force that can bring Man, and Creon, down? Part 2 pp. With whom does the sentry return to Creon? Describe the activity preceding the dust-storm that engulfs the sentries. How do her actions compare to those of the sentry who brings her to Creon? When Creon asks Antigone is she is guilty, she says in no uncertain terms that she is. How does she explain her actions in disobeying him? What is her attitude toward Creon? To what does Creon compare Antigone in her defiance? Why does he make the comparisons? How does the argument between Creon and Antigone resemble a trial? Oedipus vows to find the murderer and curses him for causing the plague. Oedipus summons the blind prophet Tiresias for help. When Tiresias arrives he claims to know the answers to Oedipus's questions, but refuses to speak, instead telling him to abandon his search. Oedipus is enraged by Tiresias' refusal, and verbally accuses him of complicity in Laius' murder. Outraged, Tiresias tells the king that Oedipus himself is the murderer "You yourself are the criminal you seek". Oedipus cannot see how this could be, and concludes that the prophet must have been paid off by Creon in an attempt to undermine him. The two argue vehemently, as Oedipus mocks Tiresias' lack of sight, and Tiresias in turn tells Oedipus that he himself is blind. Eventually Tiresias leaves, muttering darkly that when the murderer is discovered he shall be a native citizen of Thebes, brother and father to his own children, and son and husband to his own mother. Creon arrives to face Oedipus's accusations. The King demands that Creon be executed; however, the chorus persuades him to let Creon live. Jocasta , wife of first Laius and then Oedipus, enters and attempts to comfort Oedipus, telling him he should take no notice of prophets. As proof, she recounts an incident in which she and Laius received an oracle which never came true. The prophecy stated that Laius would be killed by his own son; however, Jocasta reassures Oedipus by her statement that Laius was killed by bandits at a crossroads on the way to Delphi. The mention of this crossroads causes Oedipus to pause and ask for more details. He asks Jocasta what Laius looked like, and Oedipus suddenly becomes worried that Tiresias's accusations were true. Oedipus then sends for the one surviving witness of the attack to be brought to the palace from the fields where he now works as a shepherd. Jocasta, confused, asks Oedipus what the matter is, and he tells her. Many years ago, at a banquet in Corinth, a man drunkenly accused Oedipus of not being his father's son. Oedipus went to Delphi and asked the oracle about his parentage. Instead of answers he was given a prophecy that he would one day murder his father and sleep with his mother. Upon hearing this he resolved to leave Corinth and never return. While traveling he came to the very crossroads where Laius was killed, and encountered a carriage which attempted to drive him off the road. An argument ensued and Oedipus killed the travelers, including a man who matches Jocasta's description of Laius. Oedipus has hope, however, because the story is that Laius was murdered by several robbers. If the shepherd confirms that Laius was attacked by many men, then Oedipus is in the clear. A man arrives from Corinth with the message that Oedipus's father has died. Oedipus, to the surprise of the messenger, is made ecstatic by this news, for it proves one half of the prophecy false, for now he can never kill his father. However, he still fears that he may somehow commit incest with his mother. The messenger, eager to ease Oedipus's mind, tells him not to worry, because Merope was not in fact his real mother. It emerges that this messenger was formerly a shepherd on Mount Cithaeron , and that he was given a baby, which the childless Polybus then adopted. The baby, he says, was given to him by another shepherd from the Laius household, who had been told to get rid of the child. Historical context[ edit ] Antigone was written at a time of national fervor. In BCE, shortly after the play was performed, Sophocles was appointed as one of the ten generals to lead a military expedition against Samos. It is striking that a prominent play in a time of such imperialism contains little political propaganda, no impassioned apostrophe , and, with the exception of the epiklerate the right of the daughter to continue her dead father's lineage , [5] and arguments against anarchy, makes no contemporary allusion or passing reference to Athens. It does, however, expose the dangers of the absolute ruler, or tyrant, in the person of Creon, a king to whom few will speak freely and openly their true opinions, and who therefore makes the grievous error of condemning Antigone, an act which he pitifully regrets in the play's final lines. Athenians, proud of their democratic tradition, would have identified his error in the many lines of dialogue which emphasize that the people of Thebes believe he is wrong, but have no voice to tell him so. Athenians would identify the folly of tyranny. Notable features[ edit ] The Chorus in Antigone departs significantly from the chorus in Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes, the play of which Antigone is a continuation. The chorus in Seven Against Thebes is largely supportive of Antigone's decision to bury her brother. Here, the chorus is composed of old men who are largely unwilling to see civil disobedience in a positive light. The chorus also represents a typical difference in Sophocles' plays from those of both Aeschylus and Euripides. A chorus of Aeschylus' almost always continues or intensifies the moral nature of the play, while one of Euripides' frequently strays far from the main moral theme. The chorus in Antigone lies somewhere in between; it remains within the general moral and the immediate scene, but allows itself to be carried away from the occasion or the initial reason for speaking. Should someone who attempts to bury him in defiance of Creon be punished in an especially cruel and horrible way? Are Creon's actions justified? Are Antigone's actions justified? In this play, Creon is not presented as a monster, but as a leader who is doing what he considers right and justified by the state. The chorus is presented as a group of citizens who, though they may feel uneasy about the treatment of the corpse, respect Creon and what he is doing. The chorus is sympathetic to Antigone only when she is led off to her death. But when the chorus learns that the Gods are offended by what Creon has done, and that Creon's actions will result in the destruction of their city, then they ask Creon to change course. The city is of primary importance to the chorus. Most of the arguments to save her center on a debate over which course adheres best to strict justice. It is not until the interview with Tiresias that Creon transgresses and is guilty of sin. He had no divine intimation that his edict would be displeasing to the Gods and against their will. He is here warned that it is, but he defends it and insults the prophet of the Gods. This is his sin, and it is this which leads to his punishment. The terrible calamities that overtake Creon are not the result of his exalting the law of the state over the unwritten and divine law which Antigone vindicates, but are his intemperance which led him to disregard the warnings of Tiresias until it was too late. This is emphasized by the Chorus in the lines that conclude the play. According to the legal practice of classical Athens, Creon is obliged to marry his closest relative Haemon to the late king's daughter in an inverted marriage rite, which would oblige Haemon to produce a son and heir for his dead father in law. Creon would be deprived of grandchildren and heirs to his lineage — a fact which provides a strong realistic motive for his hatred against Antigone. This modern perspective has remained submerged for a long time. His interpretation is in three phases: first to consider the essential meaning of the verse, and then to move through the sequence with that understanding, and finally to discern what was nature of humankind that Sophocles was expressing in this poem. In the first two lines of the first strophe, in the translation Heidegger used, the chorus says that there are many strange things on earth, but there is nothing stranger than man. Beginnings are important to Heidegger, and he considered those two lines to describe primary trait of the essence of humanity within which all other aspects must find their essence. Those two lines are so fundamental that the rest of the verse is spent catching up with them. The authentic Greek definition of humankind is the one who is strangest of all. Heidegger's interpretation of the text describes humankind in one word that captures the extremes — deinotaton. Man is deinon in the sense that he is the terrible, violent one, and also in the sense that he uses violence against the overpowering. Man is twice deinon. When Antigone opposes Creon, her suffering the uncanny, is her supreme action. When she poured dust over her brother's body, Antigone completed the burial rituals and thus fulfilled her duty to him. Having been properly buried, Polynices' soul could proceed to the underworld whether or not the dust was removed from his body. However, Antigone went back after his body was uncovered and performed the ritual again, an act that seems to be completely unmotivated by anything other than a plot necessity so that she could be caught in the act of disobedience, leaving no doubt of her guilt. More than one commentator has suggested that it was the gods, not Antigone, who performed the first burial, citing both the guard's description of the scene and the chorus's observation.

On an empty stage the chorus repeats the common Greek maximthat no man should be considered fortunate until he is dead. The events surrounding the Trojan War were chronicled in the Epic Cycleof which much remains, and those about Thebes in the Theban Cyclewhich have been lost. The Theban Cycle recounted the essay of arguments that befell the house of Laiusof which the language of Oedipus is a part.

Homer 's Odyssey XI.