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Antigone (Sophocles


Antigone (/ænˈtɪɡəni/ ann-TIG-ə-nee;

Ancient Greek: Ἀντιγόνη) is a tragedy by
Sophocles written in or before 441 BC.

Antigone in front of the dead Polyneices by

Nikiforos Lytras 1865
Written by Sophocles

Chorus Theban Elders

Characters Antigone
Leader of the Chorus

First Messenger
First Messenger
Second Messenger
Mute Two guards
A boy
Date premiered c. 441 BC
Place premiered Athens
Original language Ancient Greek
Genre Tragedy

Advertising artwork for a contemporary production

featuring Antigone sprinkling dirt (part of the burial
ritual), while also "drawing a line in the sand" and
defying the king's orders.

Of the three Theban plays Antigone is the

third in order of the events depicted in the
plays, but it is the first that was written.[1]
The play expands on the Theban legend
that predates it, and it picks up where
Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes ends.

Prior to the beginning of the play, brothers
Eteocles and Polyneices, leading opposite
sides in Thebes' civil war, died fighting
each other for the throne. Creon, the new
ruler of Thebes and brother of the former
Queen Jocasta, has decided that Eteocles
will be honored and Polyneices will be in
public shame. The rebel brother's body will
not be sanctified by holy rites and will lie
unburied on the battlefield, prey for carrion
animals like worms and vultures, the
harshest punishment at the time. Antigone
and Ismene are the sisters of the dead
Polyneices and Eteocles. In the opening of
the play, Antigone brings Ismene outside
the palace gates late at night for a secret
meeting: Antigone wants to bury
Polyneices' body, in defiance of Creon's
edict. Ismene refuses to help her, not
believing that it will actually be possible to
bury their brother, who is under guard, but
she is unable to stop Antigone from going
to bury her brother herself.

Antigone's family tree

Creon enters, along with the chorus of

Theban elders. He seeks their support in
the days to come and in particular, wants
them to back his edict regarding the
disposal of Polyneices' body. The leader of
the chorus pledges his support out of
deference to Creon. A sentry enters,
fearfully reporting that the body has been
given funeral rites and a symbolic burial
with a thin covering of earth, though no
one sees who actually committed the
crime. Creon, furious, orders the sentry to
find the culprit or face death himself. The
sentry leaves, and the chorus sings about
honouring the gods, but after a short
absence, he returns, bringing Antigone
with him. The sentry explains that the
watchmen uncovered Polyneices' body
and then caught Antigone as she did the
funeral rituals. Creon questions her after
sending the sentry away, and she does not
deny what she has done. She argues
unflinchingly with Creon about the
immorality of the edict and the morality of
her actions. Creon becomes furious, and
seeing Ismene upset, thinks she must
have known of Antigone's plan. He
summons her. Ismene tries to confess
falsely to the crime, wishing to die
alongside her sister, but Antigone will not
have it. Creon orders that the two women
be temporarily imprisoned.

Haemon, Creon's son, enters to pledge

allegiance to his father, even though he is
engaged to Antigone. He initially seems
willing to forsake Antigone, but when
Haemon gently tries to persuade his father
to spare Antigone, claiming that "under
cover of darkness the city mourns for the
girl", the discussion deteriorates, and the
two men are soon bitterly insulting each
other. When Creon threatens to execute
Antigone in front of his son, Haemon
leaves, vowing never to see Creon again.

Creon decides to spare Ismene and to bury

Antigone alive in a cave. By not killing her
directly, he hopes to pay the minimal
respects to the gods. She is brought out of
the house, and this time, she is sorrowful
instead of defiant. She expresses her
regrets at not having married and dying for
following the laws of the gods. She is
taken away to her living tomb, with the
Leader of the Chorus expressing great
sorrow for what is going to happen to her.

Tiresias, the blind prophet, enters. Tiresias

warns Creon that Polyneices should now
be urgently buried because the gods are
displeased, refusing to accept any
sacrifices or prayers from Thebes. Creon
accuses Tiresias of being corrupt. Tiresias
responds that because of Creon's
mistakes, he will lose "a son of [his] own
loins"[2] for the crimes of leaving
Polyneices unburied and putting Antigone
into the earth (he does not say that
Antigone should not be condemned to
death, only that it is improper to keep a
living body underneath the earth). All of
Greece will despise Creon, and the
sacrificial offerings of Thebes will not be
accepted by the gods. The leader of the
chorus, terrified, asks Creon to take
Tiresias' advice to free Antigone and bury
Polyneices. Creon assents, leaving with a
retinue of men. The chorus delivers a
choral ode to the god Dionysus (god of
wine and of the theater; this part is the
offering to their patron god). A messenger
enters to tell the leader of the chorus that
Antigone has killed herself. Eurydice,
Creon's wife and Haemon's mother, enters
and asks the messenger to tell her
everything. The messenger reports that
Creon saw to the burial of Polyneices.
When Creon arrived at Antigone's cave, he
found Haemon lamenting over Antigone,
who had hanged herself. After
unsuccessfully attempting to stab Creon,
Haemon stabbed himself. 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

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.[3] In her, the
ideal of the female character is boldly
outlined.[4] She defies Creon’s decree
despite the consequences she may face,
in order to honor her deceased brother.
Ismene serves as a foil for Antigone,
presenting the contrast in their
respective responses to the royal
decree.[3] Considered the beautiful one,
she is more lawful and obedient to
authority. She hesitates to bury
Polyneices 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 Polyneices before releasing
Eurydice of Thebes is the Queen of
Thebes and Creon’s wife. 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 Polyneices. 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
The Chorus, a group of elderly Theban
men, is at first deferential to the king.[4]
Their purpose is to comment on the
action in the play and add to the
suspense and emotions, as well as
connecting the story to myths. 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

Historical context
Antigone was written at a time of national
fervor. In 441 BC, 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.[6]
Rather than become sidetracked with the
issues of the time, Antigone remains
focused on the characters and themes
within the play. 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
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.[7]

Significance and
In this play Sophocles raises a number of
questions: Should Polyneices, who
committed a serious crime that threatened
the city, be given burial rituals, or should
his body be left unburied as prey for
scavenging animals? 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.[8][9]
Once the initial premises behind the
characters in Antigone have been
established, the action of the play moves
steadily and inevitably towards the
outcome.[10] Once Creon has discovered
that Antigone buried her brother against
his orders, the ensuing discussion of her
fate is devoid of arguments for mercy
because of youth or sisterly love from the
Chorus, Haemon or Antigone herself. Most
of the arguments to save her center on a
debate over which course adheres best to
strict justice.[11]

Both Antigone and Creon claim divine

sanction for their actions; but Tiresias the
prophet supports Antigone's claim that the
gods demand Polyneices' burial. 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.[9]

The German poet Friedrich Hölderlin,

whose translation had a strong impact on
the philosopher Martin Heidegger, brings
out a more subtle reading of the play: he
focuses on Antigone's legal and political
status within the palace, her privilege to be
the hearth (according to the legal
instrument of the epiklerate) and thus
protected by Zeus. 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.[12]
Martin Heidegger, in his essay, The Ode on
Man in Sophocles’ Antigone, focusses on
the chorus’ sequence of stophe and
antistrophe that begins on line 278. 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. In a
series of lectures in 1942, Hölderlin’s
Hymn, The Ister, Heidegger goes further in
interpreting this play, and considers that
Antigone takes on the destiny she has
been given, but does not follow a path that
is opposed to that of the humankind
described in the choral ode. When
Antigone opposes Creon, her suffering the
uncanny, is her supreme action.[13][14]

The problem of the second


An important issue still debated regarding

Sophocles' Antigone is the problem of the
second burial. 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,
Polyneices' 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.[15]
Richard Jebb suggests that the only
reason for Antigone's return to the burial
site is that the first time she forgot the
Choaí (libations), and "perhaps the rite was
considered completed only if the Choaí
were poured while the dust still covered
the corpse."[16]

Gilbert Norwood explains Antigone's

performance of the second burial in terms
of her stubbornness. 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

Tycho von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff

justifies the need for the second burial by
comparing Sophocles' Antigone to a
theoretical version where Antigone is
apprehended during the first burial. 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.

J. L. 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

Bonnie Honig uses the problem of the

second burial as the basis for her claim
that Ismene performs the first burial, and
that her pseudo-confession before Creon
is actually an honest admission of guilt.[18]

Civil disobedience

A well established theme in Antigone is

the right of the individual to reject society's
infringement on her freedom to perform a
personal obligation.[19] Antigone
comments to Ismene, regarding Creon's
edict, that "He has no right to keep me
from my own."[20] Related to this theme is
the question of whether Antigone's will to
bury her brother is based on rational
thought or instinct, a debate whose
contributors include Goethe.[19]

The contrasting views of Creon and

Antigone with regard to laws higher than
those of state inform their different
conclusions about civil disobedience.
Creon demands obedience to the law
above all else, right or wrong. He says that
"there is nothing worse than disobedience
to authority" (An. 671). 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

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 revealed.

Creon's decree to leave Polyneices

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.[21] In Antigone, it is therefore natural
that the people of Thebes did not bury the
Argives, but very striking that Creon
prohibited the burial of Polyneices. Since
he is a citizen of Thebes, it would have
been natural for the Thebans to bury him.
Creon is telling his people that Polyneices
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 Polyneices, Creon is essentially
placing him on the level of the other
attackers—the foreign Argives. For Creon,
the fact that Polyneices 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 Polyneices 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 Polyneices 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.'[21]


Antigone's determination to bury

Polyneices arises from a desire to bring
honor to her family, and to honor the
higher law of the gods. She repeatedly
declares that she must act to please
"those that are dead" (An. 77), because
they hold more weight than any ruler, that
is the weight of divine law. 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." 640–641). 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

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. This
lack of mention portrays the tragic events
that occur as the result of human error,
and not divine intervention. The gods are
portrayed as chthonic, as near the
beginning there is a reference to "Justice
who dwells with the gods beneath the
earth." Sophocles references Olympus
twice in Antigone. This contrasts with the
other Athenian tragedians, who reference
Olympus often.

Love for family

Antigone's love for family is shown when

she buries her brother, Polyneices.
Haemon was deeply in love with his cousin
and fiancée Antigone, and he killed himself
in grief when he found out that his beloved
Antigone had hanged herself.

Modern adaptations
Felix Mendelssohn composed a suite of
incidental music for Ludwig Tieck's
staging of the play in 1841. It includes
an overture and seven choruses.
Walter Hasenclever wrote an adaptation
in 1917, inspired by the events of World
War I.
French playwright Jean Anouilh's
tragedy Antigone was inspired by both
Sophocles' play and the myth itself.
Anouilh's play premièred in Paris at the
Théâtre de l'Atelier in February 1944,
during the Nazi occupation of France.
Right after World War II, Bertolt Brecht
composed an adaptation, Antigone,
which was based on a translation by
Friedrich Hölderlin and was published
under the title Antigonemodell 1948.
The Haitian writer and playwright Félix
Morisseau-Leroy translated and adapted
Antigone into Haitian Creole under the
title, Antigòn (1953). Antigòn is
noteworthy in its attempts to insert the
lived religious experience of many
Haitians into the content of the play
through the introduction of several Loa
from the pantheon of Haitian Vodou as
voiced entities throughout the
Antigone inspired the 1967 Spanish-
language novel La tumba de Antígona
(English title: Antigone's Tomb) by María
Puerto Rican playwright Luis Rafael
Sánchez's 1968 play La Pasión según
Antígona Pérez sets Sophocles' play in a
contemporary world where Creon is the
dictator of a fictional Latin American
nation, and Antígona and her 'brothers'
are dissident freedom fighters.
In 1977, Antigone was translated into
Papiamento for an Aruban production by
director Burny Every together with Pedro
Velásquez and Ramon Todd Dandaré.
This translation retains the original
iambic verse by Sophocles.
In 2004, theatre companies Crossing
Jamaica Avenue and The Women's
Project in New York City co-produced
the Antigone Project written by Tanya
Barfield, Karen Hartman, Chiori
Miyagawa, Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn
Nottage and Caridad Svich, a five-part
response to Sophocles' text and to the
US Patriot Act. The text was published
by NoPassport Press as a single edition
in 2009 with introductions by classics
scholar Marianne McDonald and
playwright Lisa Schlesinger.
There are four operas: Antigone (1977)
by Dinos Constantinides, on an English
libretto by Fitts and Fitzgerald, Antigone
(1986) by Marjorie S. Merryman,
Antigone (1988) with music by Vassily
Lobanov and libretto (in Russian) by
Alexey Parin and the fourth – The Burial
at Thebes (2007–2008) by Dominique
Le Gendre and libretto by Seamus
Heaney, based on his translation for the
normal spoken theatre. The production
features conductor William Lumpkin,
stage director Jim Petosa, and six
singers and ten instrumentalists.[22]
Bangladeshi director Tanvir Mokammel
in his 2008 film Rabeya (The Sister) also
draws inspiration from Antigone to
parallel the story to the martyrs of the
1971 Bangladeshi Liberation War who
were denied a proper burial.[23]
In 2000, Peruvian theatre group
Yuyachkani and poet José Watanabe
adapted the play into a one-actor piece
which remains as part of the group's
An Iranian absurdist adaptation of
Antigone was written and directed by
Homayoun Ghanizadeh and staged at
the City Theatre in Tehran in 2011.[25]
Roy Williams’s 2014 adaptation of
Antigone for the Pilot Theatre relocates
the setting to contemporary street
Syrian playwright Mohammad Al-Attar
adapted Antigone for a 2014 production
at Beirut, performed by Syrian refugee
"Antigona," a 90-minute flamenco
version, performed by Soledad Barrio
and Noche Flamenca, with Barrio as
Antigona. Martín Santangelo, Artistic
Director and Producer, with
Choreography by Soledad Barrio and
additional choreography by Isabel
Bayon; Consulting Director, Lee Breuer;
Mask Design based on the work of Mary
Frank; Music by Eugenio Iglesias, Salva
de Maria and Martín Santangelo.
Presented at the West Park Presbyterian
Church, 165 West 86th Street, New York,
NY 10024, July 13 to August 15, 2015.
In 2012, the Royal National Theatre
adapted Antigone to modern times.
Directed by Polly Findlay,[28] the
production transformed the dead
Polyneices into a terrorist threat and
Antigone into a "dangerous

Japanese drama, Sora kara furu ichi oku

no hoshi has the similar theme.

In 2017 Kamila Shamsie published Home

Fire, which transposés some of the moral
and political questions in Antigone into the
context of Islam, ISIS and modern-day


Yorgos Tzavellas adapted the play into a

1961 film which he also directed. It
featured Irene Papas as Antigone.

Liliana Cavani's 1970 I Cannibali is a

contemporary political fantasy based upon
the Sophocles play, with Britt Ekland as
Antigone and Pierre Clémenti as Tiresias.

The 1978 omnibus film Germany in

Autumn features a segment by Heinrich
Böll entitled “The Deferred Antigone”[30]
where a fictional production of Antigone is
presented to television executives who
reject it as ”too topical”[31].

A 2011 Hungarian film version starred

Kamilla Fátyol as Antigone, Zoltán Mucsi
as Creon and Emil Keres as Tiresias.

In 1986, Juliet Stevenson starred as
Antigone, with John Shrapnel as Creon
and Sir John Gielgud as Tiresias in the
BBC's The Theban Plays.

Antigone at the Barbican was a 2015

filmed-for-TV version of a production at
the Barbican directed by Ivo van Hove; the
translation was by Anne Carson and the
film starred Juliette Binoche as Antigone
and Patrick O'Kane as Kreon.

Other TV adaptations of Antigone have

starred Irene Worth (1949) and Dorothy
Tutin (1959), both broadcast by the BBC.
Translations and adaptations
1839 – Johann Jakob Christian Donner,
German verse
1865 – Edward H. Plumptre, verse
(Harvard Classics Vol. VIII, Part 6. New
York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1909–14); full
1888 – Sir George Young, verse (Dover,
2006; ISBN 978-0-486-45049-0)
1899 – G. H. Palmer, verse (Boston:
Houghton and Mifflin, 1899)
1904 – Richard C. Jebb, prose: full text
1911 – Joseph Edward Harry, verse
(Cincinnati: Robert Clarke, 1911)
1912 – F. Storr, verse: full text
1931 – Shaemas O'Sheel, prose
1938 – Dudley Fitts and Robert
Fitzgerald, verse: full text
1946 – Jean Anouilh, (modern French
1947 – E. F. Watling, verse (Penguin
1949 – Robert Whitelaw, verse (Rinehart
1950 – Theodore Howard Banks, verse
1950 – W. J. Gruffydd (translation into
1953 – Félix Morisseau-Leroy
(translated and adapted into Haitian
1954 – Elizabeth Wyckoff, verse
1954 – F. L. Lucas, verse translation
1956 – Shahrokh Meskoob (into
1958 – Paul Roche, verse
1962 – H. D. F. Kitto, verse
1962 – Michael Townsend, (Longman,
1997; ISBN 978-0-8102-0214-6)
1973 – Richard Emil Braun, verse
1982 – Robert Fagles, verse with
introduction and notes by Bernard Knox
1986 – Don Taylor, prose (The Theban
Plays, Methuen Drama; ISBN 978-0-413-
1991 – David Grene, verse
1994 – Hugh Lloyd-Jones, verse
(Sophocles, Volume II: Antigone, The
Women of Trachis, Philoctetes, Oedipus
at Colonus, Loeb Classical Library No.
21, 1994; ISBN 978-0-674-99558-1)
1997 – George Judy, adaptation for
children (Pioneer Drama, 1997)
1998 – Ruby Blondell, prose with
introduction and interpretive essay
(Focus Classical Library, Focus
Publishing/R Pullins Company; ISBN 0-
2000 – Marianne MacDonald, (Nick
Hern Books, 2000; ISBN 978-1-85459-
2001 – Paul Woodruff, verse (Hackett,
2001; ISBN 978-0-87220-571-0)
2003 – Reginald Gibbons and Charles
Segal, verse (Oxford UP, 2007; ISBN 978-
2004 – Seamus Heaney, The Burial at
Thebes – verse adaptation (Farrar,
Straus and Giroux, 2005; ISBN 978-0-
374-53007-5), also adapted as an opera
in 2008
2005 – Ian Johnston, verse (modern
English): full text
2006 – George Theodoridis, prose: full
2006 – A. F. Th. van der Heijden,
'Drijfzand koloniseren' ("Colonizing
quicksand"), prose, adapting Antigone's
story using characters from the author's
'Homo Duplex' saga.
2009 – Tanya Barfield, Karen Hartman,
Lynn Nottage, Chiori Miyagawa, Caridad
Svich, play adaptation (NoPassport
Press, 2009; ISBN 978-0-578-03150-7)
2011 - Diane Rayor, Sophocles’ Antigone:
A New Translation. Cambridge University
2012 – Anne Carson, play adaptation
(Antigonick, New Directions Press;
ISBN 978-0-811-21957-0)
2013 – George Porter, verse ("Black
Antigone: Sophocles' tragedy meets the
heartbeat of Africa", ISBN 978-1-909-
2014 – Marie Slaight and Terrence
Tasker, verse and art ('"The Antigone
Poems, Altaire Productions; ISBN 978-0-
2016 – Translation by Slavoj Zizek, with
introduction by Hanif Kureishi,
Bloomsbury, New York
2017 – Kamila Shamsie, Home Fire,
novel. An adaptation in a contemporary
context, London: Bloomsbury Circus.
ISBN 978-1-4088-8677-9
2017 – Brad Poer, Antigone: Closure,
play adaptation (contemporary
American prose adaptation set post-fall
of United States government)
2017 – Griff Bludworth, ANTIGONE (born
against). A contemporary play
adaptation that addresses the theme of
racial discrimination.

1. Sophocles (1986). The Three Theban
Plays: Antigone, Oedipus the King, Oedipus
at Colonus. Translated by Robert Fagles.
New York: Penguin. p. 35.
2. Sophocles (1947). Sophocles: The
Theban Plays (Penguin Classics).
Translated by E.F. Watling. The Penguin
3. McDonald, Marianne (2002), Sophocles'
Antigone (PDF), Nick Hern Books
4. Bates, Alfred, ed. (1906). The Drama: Its
History, Literature and Influence on
Civilization, Vol. 1 . London: Historical
Publishing Company. pp. 112–123.
5. Rosenfield, Kathrin H. (2010). Antigone:
Sophocles' Art, Hölderlin's Insight.
Translated by Charles B. Duff. Aurora,
Colorado: The Davies Group, Publishers.
pp. 1–22. ISBN 978-1934542224.
6. Letters, F. J. H. (1953). The Life and Work
of Sophocles. London: Sheed and Ward.
pp. 147–148.
7. Letters, p. 156.
8. Sophocles. Fagles, Robert, trans.
Sophocles: The Three Theban Plays. Knox,
Bernard. “Introduction”. Penguin Classics.
ISBN 978-0140444254
9. Collins, J. Churtin (1906). "The Ethics of
Antigone" . Sophocles' Antigone.
Translated by Robert Whitelaw. Oxford:
Clarendon Press.
10. Else, Gerald F. (1976). The Madness of
Antigone. Heidelberg: Carl Winter
Universitätsverlag. p. 43.
11. Letters, p. 147.
12. Rosenfield, p. 99–121.
13. Ward, James F. Heidegger’s Political
Thinking. Univ of Massachusetts Press,
1995. p. 190. ISBN 9780870239700
14. Keenan, Dennis King. The Question of
Sacrifice. Indiana University Press, 2005. p.
118. ISBN 9780253110565
15. Ferguson, John (2013). A Companion to
Greek Tragedy . University of Texas Press.
p. 173. ISBN 9780292759701.
16. Jebb, Sir Richard C. (1900). "Verse
429" . Sophocles: The Plays and
Fragments, with critical notes, commentary,
and translation in English prose. Part III:
The Antigone. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
17. Rose, J. L. (March 1952). "The Problem
of the Second Burial in Sophocles'
Antigone". The Classical Journal. 47 (6):
220–221. JSTOR 3293220 .
18. Honig, Bonnie (2011). "ISMENE'S
(PDF). Arethusa. The Johns Hopkins
University Press. 44: 29–68.
19. Levy, Charles S. (1963). "Antigone's
Motives: A Suggested Interpretation".
Transactions of the American Philological
Association. 94: 137–44.
doi:10.2307/283641 . JSTOR 283641 .
20. Sophocles (1991). Sophocles: Oedipus
the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone.
Translated by David Grene. University of
Chicago Publishers. p. Line 48. ISBN 978-0-
21. MacKay, L. (1962). "Antigone,
Coriolanus, and Hegel". Transactions and
Proceedings of the American Philological
Association. 93: 178–179. JSTOR 283759 .
22. Medrek, T.J. (November 6, 1999). "BU
Opera fest's 'Antigone' is a lesson in
excellence" . Boston Herald. p. 22.
Retrieved March 8, 2010.
23. Press Trust of India (March 11, 2010).
"Bangla director dedicates new film to 1971
war martyrs" . NDTV Movies. New Delhi:
NDTV Convergence Limited.
24. Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani: Antígona
[Yuyachkani Cultural Group: Antigone].
Scalar (in Spanish). 11 March 2011.
Retrieved 24 March 2018.
25. "‫ﻧﮕﺎﻫﯽ ﺑﻪ ﻧﻤﺎﯾﺶ "آﻧﺘﯿﮕﻮﻧﻪ" ﻧﻮﺷﺘﻪ و ﮐﺎر‬
‫[ " ""ﻫﻤﺎﯾﻮن ﻏﻨﯽزاده‬Take a look at the
"Antigone" display of Homayoun
Ghanizadeh]. Irani Art (in Persian). February
1389. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
26. Hickling, Alfred (September 23, 2014).
"Antigone Review – engaging Gangland
Sophocles" . The Guardian.
27. Fordham, Alice (December 13, 2014).
"Syrian Women Displaced By War Make
Tragedy Of 'Antigone' Their Own" . National
Public Radio.
28. "Antigone: Cast & creative" . National
Theatre. The Royal National Theatre.
Archived from the original on 31 August
2012. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
29. Billington, Michael (31 May 2012).
"Antigone – review" . The Guardian.
Retrieved 5 December 2015.
30. "The Deferred Antigone (Germany in
Autumn, 1978)" . YouTube. Retrieved
30 June 2018.
31. Gillespie, Jill. "Deutschland Im Herbst -
Film (Movie) Plot and Review" .
FilmReference. Retrieved 30 June 2018.

Further reading
Butler, Judith (2000). Antigone's Claim:
Kinship Between Life and Death. New
York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-
Heaney, Seamus (December 2004). "The
Jayne Lecture: Title Deeds: Translating a
Classic" (PDF). Proceedings of the
American Philosophical Society. 148 (4):
411–426. Archived from the original
(PDF) on 2011-10-18.

Heidegger, Martin; Gregory Fried;

Richard Polt (2000). An Introduction to
Metaphysics. New Haven: Yale
University Press. pp. 156–176.
ISBN 978-0-300-08328-6.
Heidegger, Martin; McNeill, William;
Davis, Julia (1996). Hölderlin's Hymn
"The Ister". Bloomington: Indiana
University Press.
Lacan, Jacques (1992). The Seminar of
Jacques Lacan, Book VII: The Ethics of
Psychoanalysis. Dennis Porter,
translator. New York: W.W. Norton.
pp. 240–286. ISBN 0-393-31613-0.
Miller, Peter (2014). "Helios , vol. 41 no.
2, 2014 © Texas Tech University Press
163 Destabilizing Haemon: Radically
Reading Gender and Authority in
Sophocles' Antigone" . Helios. 41 (2):
163–185. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
Segal, Charles (1999). Tragedy and
Civilization: An Interpretation of
Sophocles. Norman, OK: University of
Oklahoma Press. p. 266. ISBN 978-0-
Steiner, George (1996). Antigones: How
the Antigone Legend Has Endured in
Western Literature, Art, and Thought.
New Haven: Yale University Press.
ISBN 0-300-06915-4.

External links
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