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  • by Sophocles

    Item No. 202118

    Cover Design by Chris Koniencki

    Printed in the U.S.A.

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    u n a b r i d g e d w i t h g l o s s a r y a n d n o t e s

    Antigone by Sophocles

    Antigone THE CURSE PLACED on Oedipus lingers and haunts a younger generation in this new and brilliant translation of Sophocles’ classic drama. The daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, Antigone is an unconventional hero who pits her beliefs against the king of Thebes in a bloody test of wills that leaves few unharmed. Emotions fly as she challenges the king for the right to bury her own brother. Determined but doomed, Antigone shows her inner strength throughout the play.

    Antigone raises issues of law and morality that are just as relevant today as they were more than two thousand years ago. Whether this is your first reading or your twentieth, Antigone will move you as few pieces of literature can. This Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Classic™ includes a glossary, a list of vocabulary words, and convenient sidebar notes to help the modern reader enjoy the beauty, wisdom, and intent of the play.

    We hope that Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Classics™ will make your reading more enjoyable and perhaps more meaningful. More information on this and other classics in this series may be seen at www.prestwickhouse.com.

    To purchase Downloadable Prestwick House Teaching Units,™ Activity Packs,™ or other resources for this book, visit:

    www.prestwickhouse.com/materials

    Call 1(800) 932-4593 for a complete catalogue.

    L i t e r a r y to u c h s to n e c L a s s i c s ™ P.O. Box 658 Clayton, Delaware 19938 • www.prestwickhouse.com

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  • S o p h o c l e s

    Antigone

    L i t e r a r y to u c h s to n e c L a s s i c s P.O. Box 658 Clayton, Delaware 19938 • www.prestwickhouse.com

  • ©2005. Copyrighted by Prestwick House, Inc. All rights reserved. No portion may be reproduced without permission in writing from the publisher. Printed in the United States of America. Revised, 2014

    ISBN 978-1-58049-388-8

    Performance Note

    Professionals and amateurs, please note that Antigone, translated by J. E. Thomas, is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States and all countries within the copy- right union. Performance rights are hereby granted for non-profit educational purpose. Performance rights for any for-profit purposes are reserved by the publisher. All inquiries related to obtaining performance rights and royalty rates should be directed to Keith Bergstrom Prestwick House, Inc., P.O. Box 658, Clayton, DE 19938.

    Senior editor: Paul Moliken

    editor: Elizabeth Osborne

    tranSlator: J.E. Thomas

    Cover deSign: Chris Koniencki and Jen Mendoza

    P. O . B O x 6 5 8 • C l ay t O n , D e l awa r e 1 9 9 3 8

    t e l : 1 . 8 0 0 . 9 3 2 . 4 5 9 3

    F a x : 1 . 8 8 8 . 7 1 8 . 9 3 3 3

    w e B : w w w. p r e s t w i c k h o u s e . c o m

    Prestwick House Teaching UnitsTM, Activity PacksTM, and Response JournalsTM are the perfect complement for these editions. To purchase teaching resources for this book, visit www.prestwickhouse.com/material

    L i t e r a r y to u c h s to n e c L a s s i c s ™

  • Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

    ReadiNg PoiNteRs foR shaRPeR iNsights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

    settiNg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

    dRamatis PeRsoNae . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

    aNtigoNe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

    mythological BackgRouNd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

    the imPoRtaNce of BuRial iN gReek ReligioN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

    gReek tRagedy: aN oveRview

    tRagedy aNd the city . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

    the geNRe of gReek tRagedy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

    the choRus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

    glossaRy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

    vocaBulaRy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

    ContentsC o n t e n t s

  • 6

    What is a literary classic and why are these classic works important to the world?

    A literary classic is a work of the highest excellence that has some- thing important to say about life and/or the human condition and says it with great artistry. A classic, through its enduring presence, has withstood the test of time and is not bound by time, place, or customs. It speaks to us today as forcefully as it spoke to people one hundred or more years ago, and as forcefully as it will speak to people of future generations. For this reason, a classic is said to have universality.

    Antigone has been read and performed for so many years because it raises questions that are pertinent in every age: How much power should the government have? What responsi- bility does a person have to act in accordance with his or her conscience? And, can the answers to both of these questions coexist with one another?

    Antigone also asks what we owe to our fami- lies. Complex relationships exist between Antigone and Ismene and between Creon and Haemon. Then, too, Antigone has a relationship with the dead brother she insists on bury- ing; she feels that Ismene betrays this dead man.

    Finally, it could be said that Antigone represents feeling, even intu- ition, while Ismene represents reason and caution. Seen in one light, Ismene is rational and Antigone is insane; on the other hand, Ismene is weak and Antigone is strong. Whether you support one sister or the other, you will find that this is a problem with no easy solution.

    Notesn O t e s

  • 7

    Reading Pointers for Sharper Insights

    As you read Antigone, be aware of the following:

    1. The conflict between civic responsibility and personal duty:

    • Creon focuses exclusively on civic responsibility. He believes that a citizen’s commitment to his city comes before all else; as ruler, his duty to the city is especially sacred. He says,

    “...my country is safety itself, and only when she is upright can our sailing find friends. With laws like these I will make our city grow.” In the interest of Thebes, therefore, he declares that Eteocles will

    be buried, while Polynices will be left unburied.

    • Antigone ignores civic responsibility and thinks only of the obligations to family sanctioned by traditional religion. She

    sees her duty to Polynices as a requirement of the gods. She breaks Creon’s rule in the name of divine law, and even

    anticipates gaining the reputation of a “holy outlaw”:

    “…could my fame be more gloriously est