ANTIGONE: Synopsis                           159

 

Prologue (126-9): Antigone and Ismene argue bitterly about burying Polynices.

Parodos (129-130): Chorus celebrate Thebes's victory, report details of battle and attribute result to the gods.

Episode 1 (130-5):

a)      Creon's speech - policy of wise ruler, edict on Polynices;

b)      Sentry's tale: Polynices's body has been buried anonymously;

c)       Argument - Creon blames sentry, and tells him to find the burier.

Stasimon 1 (135-5): Chorus's 'Ode to Man" - he's a clever creature, 'but must use his cleverness correctly.

Episode 2 (136-142):

a)      Enter Antigone and sentry, who tells of second burial;

b)      Antigone's speech: she justifies her action;

c)      Creon's speech: he scorns Antigone's toughness, and summons Ismene;

d)      Argument: Creon and Antigone swap insults and arguments;

e)      Argument: Antigone and Ismene argue about whether Ismene is involved;

Creon joins in, and confirms Antigone's death penalty. (Haemon is mentioned for the first time.)

Stasimon 2 (142-3): Chorus laments the curse on Oedipus's family, and moans about suffering in general.

Episode 3 (143-7):

a)      Haemon enters in conciliatory mood;

b)      Creon's speech: sons should obey fathers, and subjects obey rulers;

c)      Haemon's speech: Creon's action is unpopular and he should change it;

d)      Argument: Creon scorns popular views, and Haemon threatens suicide;

e)      Exit Haemon, and Creon sentences Antigone to being buried alive.

Stasimon 3 (147-8): Chorus sings of love, and its terrible power.


Episode 4 (148-151):

a)      Kommos, with Antigone and Chorus: Antigone pities herself, while Chorus is half critical, half sympathetic;

b)      Creon's speech: time to send Antigone away;

c)      Antigone's final speech: she's off to join her relatives.

Stasimon 4 (151-2): Chorus compares Antigone with 3 mythological persons.

Episode 5 (152-6):

a)      Teiresias and Creon meet;

b)      Teiresias's speech 1: Polynices must be buried, to avoid pollution;

c)      Creon's speech: pours scorn on Teiresias and distrusts his motives;

d)      Argument: exchange of insults;

e)      Teiresias's speech 2: Haemon will die, as punishment to Creon; exit;

f)       Creon and Chorus: Creon breaks down, and Chorus persuades him to release Antigone and bury Polynices.

Stasimon 5 (156-7): Chorus asks Bacchus to help Thebes in distress.

Exodos (157-162):

a)      First messenger: Creon is in big trouble;

b)      Conversation: messenger tells Chorus of Haemon's death;

c)      Eurydice enters, and asks for more details;

d)      First messenger's speech: burial of Polynices, suicides of Antigone and Haemon.

e)      Exit Eurydice; messenger and Chorus get worried; exit messenger;

f)       Creon's speech (after entry): laments his stupidity and misfortune;

g)      Second messenger, Chorus, Creon: Eurydice is dead, and Creon moans;

h)      Creon and Chorus: general moaning.

C.Scupham