with help from Kerry Fiallo, Ashley Reichelmann,
Jennifer Seals, and Robin Shoblock
Sophocles (496-406 B.C.E.)
Contributions to the development of theater:
• Introduction of third actor
• Reduction of chorus size which led to greater
emphasis on the character
• Introduced painted scenery
• Introduced a new style of music to plays
• Created characters that are more realistic,
not ―god-like,‖ thus reinforcing the lessons of
o The chorus is introduced by a
trumpet signaling the start of
the play. They enter in a
triangular pattern and exit at
the end in the same manner.
o Some believe the chorus may
have actually sung and
danced to emphasize the
important issues of the play
o The chorus used conventional
hand gestures so even the
peasants could understand
o Antigone was performed as
part of a competition,
Agones, in a festival called
City of Dionysus. (Sophocles
came in second).
The chorus serves as an
intermediary between the
actors and the audience.
They produce imagery
through their words to
create scenery that in
those days did not exist.
Myth of Antigone
Poetics and Tragic Error
The tragic hero ―is the sort of
person who is not
outstanding in moral
excellence or justice.‖
• Creon can be commended
for his loyalty to the state,
but he can be reviled for his
stubbornness and pride.
The bad fortune should befall
the tragic hero not from a
personal flaw but from a
hamartia, or an undeserved
• Antigone, or at least her
actions against the ruling of
Antigone is the catalyst for
Antigone and Poetics
o Entire plot of o Reversal and recognition
occur at the same time
Antigone is an immediately after Tiresias
imitation since it is reveals his prophecy about
based on previous what is to come of Creon’s
actions in Oedipus life.
o Complex plot in o Reversal occurs with the
change in Creon’s attitude:
which the change is he now asks the leader for
accompanied by the advice and his opinion
recognition and the o ―I and my better judgment /
reversal have come round to this—I
shackled her, / I’ll set her free
o Action dependent on myself. I am afraid… / it’s best
preceding action, ie.
to keep the established laws /
Haemon’s suicide due
to the very day you die‖ (1234
to Antigone’s suicide
show me a greater crime in all the earth! …If this is the pleasure of the
She, she destroys cities, rips up houses,
gods, / once I suffer I will know
breaks the ranks of spearmen into
headlong rout. that I was wrong. / But if there
But the ones who last it out, the great mass men are wrong, let them suffer /
of them nothing worse than they mete
owe their lives to discipline. Therefore out to me— / these masters of
we must defend the men who live by law,
injustice! (pg.106, 1017 – 1021).
never let some woman triumph over us.
Better to fall from power, if fall we must,
at the hands of a man—never be rated Creon:
inferior to a woman, never.
…Believe me, the stiffest stubborn
wills fall the hardest…And I’ve
Chorus: known spirited horses you can
break / with a light bit – proud,
Love!- / you wrench the minds of the rebellious horses. / There’s no room
righteous into outrage, / swerve them into for pride, not in a slave, / not with
their ruin – you have ignited this, / this
the lord and master standing by.
kindred strife, father and son at war / and
Love alone the victor… (pg.101, 887-890)
Images of Antigone
The chorus does not seem to shows pity for Antigone
and indicates that she is to blame for all that has
happened. Do you agree with the chorus? Why?
Question of ethics- the law of politics and/vs. the law of
humanity. What do you think?
Why does Antigone reject Ismene’s attempt to die with
her—love or pride?
Does the identity of the tragic hero change from
classical times to modern times in ―Antigone‖?