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Analysis of Sophocles‟ Greek tragedy
The protagonist
 Antigone?
    Title character
    Begins the action
    Anarchist
    Other arguments?

 Creon?
    Experiences each
     stage of the tragic hero
    Attention at the end of
     the play is on Creon
    Other arguments?
Elements of a tragedy
     Aristotle‟s criticism and philosophy
       The Poetics—reference on tragedy and
       History of tragedy began when
         characters emerged
            Thespis—separated the first actor from
             the chorus
            Aeschylus—added a second actor
            Sophocles—added a third actor
               “The number of players was limited (in the
                plays of Sophocles) to a chorus and three
                actors” (1065).
Aristotle’s description of tragedy
“Tragedy is „an imitation of an action that is
  serious, complete, and of a certain
  magnitude; in language embellished with
  each kind of artistic ornament;…in the form of
  a drama, not of narrative; through pity and
  fear effecting the proper purgation of these
Aristotle’s description of tragedy
 “action that is serious, complete, and of a
  certain magnitude”
   1. Characters must be royal or aristocratic.
   2. The subject matter must be elevated.
 “in a language embellished with each kind of
  artistic ornament”
   3. Lofty vocabulary and poetic devices are
     necessary for tragedies (1068).
Aristotle’s description of tragedy
 “in the form of drama, not of narrative”
   4. A tragedy must be acted out rather than told.
 Aristotle‟s final phrase asserts the idea that
  tragic drama “arouses fear and pity in the
  spectators and leads to a catharsis of these
  emotions” (1066).
   5. Tragedy leads to catharsis.
 “Tragedy is a terrible beauty.”
Terms for Greek drama
 Polis vs. Oikos
    Public vs. Private
    How does Creon allow these two spheres to overlap?

 Dramatic irony (136)
 Tragic irony (137)
 Tragic dilemma (1067)
 Peripeteia & Anagnorisis
    “The reversal occurs simultaneously with
     understanding” (1067) or recognition.
 Machiavelli
The idea of love in the play
 Does Haimon love Creon and vice versa?
 Does Antigone love Haimon and vice versa?
 Does Ismene love Polyneices?
 Why does love lead to a denial of love?
 The chorus sings of “Merciless Aphrodite.”
What’s in a name?
 Antigone
     “anti” means not or against
     “gon” (the same stem as “gen”) means gender
      or generation
 Creon
     Means rule
 Polyneices
     “poly” means many
     A fighter in many battles
Discussion Questions
 Why does Antigone return to her brother‟s body a
    second time?
   How would Antigone be different if Antigone were a
   What was the importance of a funeral to the Greeks?
    To us?
   Which characters in the play commit suicide? Why?
    How do these reasons relate with the same tragic
    choice in today‟s society?
   Ismene asks Antigone, “But why attempt a hopeless
    act at all?” Why would someone attempt a hopeless

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