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ANTIGONE by Sophocles The best lecture ever! 85 s of non-stop fun! Vocabulary Words Write the following words on separate paper. Make sure you spell them correctly. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • by
  • Sophocles
  • The best lecture ever!
  • 85 slides of non-stop fun!

Vocabulary Words
  • Write the following words on separate paper.
    Make sure you spell them correctly.
  • Define and learn the meanings of the words.
  • Some of the words will be defined during the
    lecture and during discussion, so pay attention.

  • What is the difference between religion and
  • Why study the mythology of Ancient Greece?
    Consider the cultural and historical values of
    the mythology.
  • deity
  • polytheism
  • monotheism

  • Zeus
  • Ares
  • Athena
  • Dionysus
  • circa
  • oracle
  • prophet / prophecy
  • plague
  • famine
  • Hubris / pride
  • heir

  • regent (163)
  • Ignominious (163)
  • edict (163)
  • Argive (165) (someone from Argos in the play,
    specifically a soldier from Argos who attacked
    the city of Thebes)
  • interdict (166)
  • desecrate (166)
  • sepulcher (166)
  • degeneracy (166)
  • sovereign (167) (reign)
  • martyr (168)

  • revel (170)
  • sabotage (171)
  • exile (171)
  • mourn (171)
  • sentry (172)
  • pious (173)
  • obsequies (173)
  • misgivings (174)
  • libations (179)
  • flagrant (179)

  • nullify (179) (null)
  • submission (180) (submit)
  • complicity
  • deity (184)
  • deference (186)
  • sanctity (186)
  • anarchy (187)
  • judicious (188)
  • insolent (189)
  • homage (191)

  • dirge (194)
  • sacrilege (195)
  • retribution (195)
  • portent (198)
  • repent (199)
  • desecrate (199)
  • vanity (204)

The Tragedy of the Royal House of ThebesOutline
  • Sophocles Greek Playwright
  • Circa 495 406 BCE

The Three Plays of the Oedipus Cycle
  • Oedipus the King
  • Oedipus at Colonus
  • Antigone
  • Written circa 411 BC
  • Antigone is the third play in the trilogy, but
    Sophocles wrote it
  • before he wrote the other two plays.

Important Cities
  • Pay attention to the next two maps.
  • Look for the following cities
  • Thebes
  • Delphi
  • Corinth
  • Argos
  • Region of Boeotia

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The Origin of The Royal House of Thebes
  • The Oracle of Apollo at Delphi
  • Apollo was the god of Truth, Prophecy and Light
  • The Oracle was the Priestess Pythia.
  • She could communicate with Apollo and provide
    humans with a prediction of their fates.
  • Although her prophecies were destined to come
    true, her messages often consisted of incomplete
    information, and what she said was confusing for
    humans to completely understand.

Apollo and The Temple at Delphi
Temple of Apollo at Didyma
Treasury of the Athenians at Delphi
  • An Example of Greek Architecture

CadmusThe First King of Thebes
  • Cadmus and his sister Europa were the children of
    Agenor I, the king of Phoenicia.
  • Cadmus and Europa were descendants of the god
    Zeus (his great-great grandchildren).

Zeus and Zeus Fighting a Titan
Background The Founding of Thebes
  • Princess Europa disappeared from the coasts of
    Phoenicia on the back of a bull (Zeus in disguise
    had kidnapped her).
  • Agenor I, sent Cadmus in search of Europa,
    telling him not to return until he had found his
  • However, nothing was ever found of her, except
    for the name of the land called Europa. (She had
    been left by Zeus (the bull) upon the shore by
    Mount Dicte in Crete.)

The Abduction of Europa
What Cadmus Did
  • Cadmus searched for Europa but could not find
  • Cadmus in his wanderings came to Delphi. There
    the oracle told him to buy an ox which had a
    moon-shaped mark on its side, and to drive it
    before him. Where it lay down, it was fated that
    Cadmus would found a city and rule as its king.
  • He settled in Boeotia (named for the ox), and
    founded in this new land the city of Cadmea,
    later called Thebes.
  • These events took place approximately 200 years
    before the Trojan War.

Ares Serpent
  • When the place for the new city was determined,
    Cadmus decided to sacrifice the ox to the goddess
  • He sent some of his men to draw water from a
    spring (later called Dirce) belonging to Ares
    (the god of war).
  • The spring was guarded by a serpent or dragon
    which was the sacred offspring of Ares.
  • Ares dragon had a golden crest, flashed fire
    from its eyes, had a triple tongue, teeth ranged
    in triple rows, and its body was swollen with
  • It devoured Cadmus' men.
  • Cadmus confronted the dragon and killed it.
  • Athena told him to plant the dragons teeth in
    the earth.

Cadmus and the Serpent
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AthenaGoddess of wisdom, war strategies, the
defense of cities, heroic endeavor, weaving,
pottery and other crafts, domestic arts,
agriculture, the olive tree, and Athens. She was
depicted as crowned with a crested helm, armed
with shield and spear, and wearing the
snake-trimmed Aegis cloak wrapped around her
breast and arm, adorned with the head of the
Gorgon. She was born fully grown from the head
of Zeus.
The Sparti
  • From the sown teeth sprang forth armed men
    (Sparti) who began fighting and killing each
  • Five of them survived the massacre.
  • The five Sparti had supernatural powers with
    which they helped Cadmus build the new city.
  • The Sparti were the progenitors of the following
    generations of citizens of Thebes.
  • Cadmus married Harmonia. Together they ruled
    Thebes as its first King and Queen
  • The Fate of Cadmus and Harmonia
  • Cadmus and Harmonia were turned into serpents
    because he had killed the dragon of Ares.

Cadmus and Harmonia are turned into Snakes
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Time to skip a few generations to focus on the
important part of the story.
  • Cadmus founded the city of Thebes
  • The throne of a city was passed on the eldest
    male heir.
  • Women could not be rulers in Greek society.
  • Cadmus son was Polydorus.
  • Polydorus son was Labdacus.
  • Labdacus son was Laius.

House of Thebes Family Tree (edited) Yes,
write this in your notes.
  • Zeus Io
  • Epaphus
  • Poseidon Lybia
  • Agenor
  • Cadmus Harmonia
    Europa ( Zeus)
  • Polydorus (son of Cadmus)
  • Labdacus (son of Polydorus)
  • Laius (son of Labdacus)

House of Thebes Family Tree(continued)
  • Labdacus Menoeceus I (Great-Grandchild
  • of Cadmus)
  • Laius Jocasta Creon Eurydice
  • Oedipus Haemon Menoeceus II

King LaiusA Curse on the House of Thebes
  • Prior to becoming the King of Thebes, Laius
    lived in exile in Peloponnesus, hosted by King
    Pelops I.
  • Laius fell in love with Pelops' illegitimate son
    Chryssipus II.
  • Laius abducted Chryssipus and was eventually
    arrested by Chryssipus half brothers.
  • However, Pelops did not wish to punish a man on
    account of his love.
  • The gods took exception to the abduction (not to
    Laius love for Chryssipus) and set a curse on
    Laius that would last for three generations.
  • Chryssipus was eventually murdered by the queen,
    who wanted her own sons to inherit the throne.

Laius Abduction of Chryssipus
Laius Return to Thebes
  • Laius returned to Thebes as its rightful king
    with Jocasta (a distant cousin), daughter of
    Menoeceus I as his queen.
  • Laius wanted to know if he would have an heir to
    the throne.
  • The Oracle of Apollo at Delphi warned him not to
    have a son because that son was fated to kill his
    own father.
  • But Laius disregarded the oracle (further grounds
    for him to be punished by the gods) and
    eventually he and Jocasta conceived a son.

Laius Attempts to Change his Fate
  • In his fear that the Oracles prophecy would come
    true, Laius plotted to kill his son.
  • Laius ordered a shepherd to take the baby and
    bind (or bolt) the babys feet so he could not
    walk, and then take the child to the mountains
    and abandon it.
  • In this plot, Laius thought that he could not be
    accused of killing the child because he did not
    directly do it himself.
  • The shepherd did as he was told,
  • except . . .

Oedipus is Rescued
  • Instead of abandoning the baby, Laius shepherd
    gave it to another shepherd, who in turn took the
    child to the city of Corinth.
  • There, King Polybus adopted the child as his own
  • The child was named Oedipus.
  • Oedipus means swollen foot. His feet had
    swollen because they had been so tightly bound
    together. (Another version of the story
    indicates that his ankles had been riveted
    together with a bolt.)

Oedipus Becomes an Adult
  • He encountered a drunkard on the street who told
    him that Oedipus was not the true son of the
    king, and that he could not inherit the throne of
  • Oedipus went to the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi
    and learned bad news and worse news
  • 1. You are going to kill your father.
  • 2. You are going to marry your mother.

Banished from Corinth
  • Continuing to believe that Polybus was his real
    father, Oedipus attempted to change his fate by
    vowing to banish himself from Corinth, never to
    return, so that he could not harm his father or
  • He was man without a homeland. He wandered
    Greece as he tried to determine what he should
  • But as fate would have it . . .

Battle at the Crossroad
  • He came to a crossroad where he encountered an
    old man in a chariot and his five guards.
  • A conflict ensued between Oedipus and the old man
    regarding who had the right to pass.
  • Neither would relinquish, swords were drawn, and
    a battle ensued.
  • Oedipus killed the old man and four of his
  • The fifth guard escaped and fled.

Meanwhile, Back in Thebes
  • The guard returned to the Palace of Thebes to
    reveal the news that King Laius had been murdered
    by a band of robbers.
  • As Laius had no heir to the throne because he had
    disposed of his only son, Creon, the brother of
    Jocasta, the Queen, became the acting regent.
    (Women were not allowed to be in positions of
  • The first part of Oedipus fate had been
    fulfilled. He has unknowingly killed his father.

The Sphinx Asks a Riddle
  • As if the death of the king were not bad enough,
    Thebes had another problem to deal with. A
    Sphinx had begun to terrorize the city.
  • The Sphinx is creature that has the body of a
    lion, the upper torso of a woman, and it has
  • The Sphinx asked all passersby a riddle. If the
    person could not answer the riddle, the Sphinx
    strangled the victim, and then ate the body.
  • Sphinx means the strangler.

Oedipus and the Sphinx
Creons Proclamation
  • Creon had to save the city, so he proclaimed that
    anyone who could save Thebes from the Sphinx
    would be rewarded
  • 1. The hero would become the king of
  • 2. He would marry Queen Jocasta.
  • Along came Oedipus, who had heard of the offer.
    Being a man without a country, he had nothing to
    lose, so he accepted the challenge and approached
    the Sphinx.

The Riddle and the Prize
  • What goes on four feet in the morning, on two at
    noon, and on three in the evening?
  • Oedipus answered the question
  • The answer is man At birth, he crawls, as an
    adult he walks upright on two feet, and as an old
    man he walks with a cane.
  • The Sphinx threw itself from a cliff and died.
  • Oedipus became the King of Thebes.
  • Oedipus married his mother, Jocasta, and
    unknowingly fulfilled the second part of his fate.

Happy Family
  • Oedipus and Jocasta successfully ruled Thebes for
    many years.
  • They had four children
  • Twin sons,
  • Eteocles and Polyneices
  • and
  • Two daughters,
  • Antigone and Ismene

House of Thebes Family Tree(completed)
  • Laius Jocasta Creon Eurydice
  • Oedipus Jocasta Haemon Menoeceus
  • Eteocles Polyneices Ismene Antigone

  • Haemon and Antigone

  • are engaged to be

More Bad News
  • Thebes began to suffer from a Plague and a Famine
  • Oedipus had to save the city, so he sent Creon to
    the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi to find out what
    had to be done.
  • The Oracle told Creon that Thebes could only be
    saved by revealing the killer of King Laius.
  • Oedipus began his investigation and little by
    little, the facts came out, but Oedipus pride
    would not allow him to accept the testimony of
    his witnesses.

The Truth and its Consequences
  • Ultimately, the two shepherds who had been
    involved in Laius plot to kill his son came
    forth and revealed their roles, and the truth
    that Oedipus was, in fact, the son of Laius, and
    that Jocasta was his mother.
  • Jocasta, in her shame, hanged herself.
  • Oedipus, in his shame, took the two brooches from
    Jocastas gown and plunged the pins into his
    eyes, thus blinding himself from the vision of
    what he had done.

The Final Curse
  • Oedipus promised to banish himself from Thebes,
    never to return.
  • Antigone accompanied him on his journey Ismene
    stayed in Thebes to look after his affairs.
  • Polyneices and Eteocles despised their father for
    what he had done, even though it was not his
    fault. They cursed their father and kicked him
    out of the city.
  • As Oedipus left Thebes, he cursed his sons and
    told them that their inheritance would be divided
    by the sword.

A Kingdom Divided
  • Creon once again served as Regent of Thebes until
    Oedipus died and Eteocles and Polyneices were old
    enough to rule.
  • Because they were twins, Eteocles and Polyneices
    agreed to share the throne by ruling in alternate
  • Eteocles would rule for the first year, then
    Polyneices would take over for the second year.
  • At the end of the first year, Eteocles refused to
    give up the throne to his brother, and banished
    Polyneices from Thebes.

Polyneices Retaliates
  • Polyneices went to the city of Argos and acquired
    the aid of the Argive armies.
  • Seven armies with seven chieftains returned to
    Thebes and attacked its gates.
  • Because the ancestors of Thebes were related to
    Zeus, he assisted in the defense of Thebes by
    hurling thunderbolts at the Argives.
  • The Argive armies were defeated and Thebes was

During the Battle
  • Creons son, Menoeceus II sacrificed his life so
    that Thebes could win the war.
  • Eteocles and Polyneices met face-to-face on the
    battlefield and mortally wounded each other.
  • Because there were no more male heirs to the
    throne, Creon was once again in charge of Thebes
    as regent.
  • His wife, Eurydice, became the queen.

Creons Edicts
  • Because Eteocles was a hero who defended Thebes
    from its attackers, he would be buried with full
    funeral rites and honors.
  • Because Polyneices was a traitor to Thebes, his
    body would be left on the battlefield to be eaten
    by dogs and vultures. Also, all of the bodies of
    the dead Argives would be left on the battlefield
    to rot.
  • Anyone who tried to bury the body of Polyneices
    against Creons order would be put to death by

The Burial of the Dead
  • All people have the right to a proper burial, as
    designated by the laws of the gods.
  • The souls of the unburied are not allowed to
    enter Hades, and are destined to walk the earth
    in torment.
  • Burial would include the application of sacred
    oils to cleanse the body, a casting of earth upon
    the body, and cremation upon a pyre.
  • One of the worst disgraces a person could suffer
    would be to remain unburied.

And so the play Antigone begins
  • The Characters
  • Creon acting King of Thebes
  • Eurydice his wife
  • Haemon their son, and fiancé of Antigone
  • Antigone and Ismene the daughters of Oedipus
  • The Chorus and Leader represent the voices of
    the citizens of Thebes and serve as advisors to
  • A Sentry charged with guarding the body of
  • A Messenger
  • Tiresias the blind prophet of Thebes who can
    predict the future and interpret signs sent by
    the gods

Architecture of the Greek Ampitheater
  • Spectators sat in semicircular rows of seats
    built into a hillside which formed a natural
    outdoor amphitheater.

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  • At the bottom of the theater was a round space
    called the orchestra in which the chorus danced
    and sang.
  • Dances were done in a circular motion. Strophes
    move from right to left antistrophes move from
    left to right.

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  • As the structure of drama evolved and actors were
    introduced, sets were created with the
    construction of a raised platform and a backdrop
    of simple scenery behind the orchestra.

Examples of Tragic Masks
Greek Masks
  • The actors in these later plays wore large masks
    with fixed and exaggerated expressions that could
    be easily identified by people in the upper rows
    of the audience.
  • Masks would identify characters tragic, comedic,
    male or female.
  • All actors were male.

  • A Greek mask is a kind of mask used to conceal an
    actor's face during a Greek theater performance.
    This practice is extremely useful for the
    following reasons
  • There were times when a single actor had to play
    more than one character in the script. This was
    easily achieved through the use of masks.
  • During those times, women were forbidden from
    participating in theater roles. Greek masks
    helped conceal the men's faces while they played
    the female parts, suspending disbelief.
  • There was a theory that masks helped accentuate
    the actor's voice during a stage performance.

The Origins of Greek Drama
  • Stories were based on myth or history, but varied
    interpretations of events
  • Dionysus (Roman name is Bacchus) the god of wine
    and revelry, rebirth, the tragic arts, protector
    of the theater.
  • Drama in the Western world was invented by the
    ancient Greeks.
  • Greek dramas were first performed in connection
    with the worship of Dionysus.
  • Early performances featured a chorus which would
    sing and dance in a ritual that honored Dionysus.

The Festival of Dionysia
  • Held in Athens, the Festival of Dionysia was an
    annual event of considerable religious and civic
    significance. Nearly all of the citizens of
    Athens would attend the festival.
  • The celebration was held in the spring, and
    consisted of a three-day competition among
    playwrights to present new tragedies to the
  • Sophocles was renowned for having won these
    competitions many times.

  • Sophocles is also credited with introducing the
    concept of having three characters in a play.
  • The actors performed the actions that were
    narrated in the choral songs.
  • Eventually, spoken dialogue was introduced,
    beginning the concept of staged drama as we know
    it today.

The Chorus
  • The Chorus consisted of men (varied in size from
    3 - 50, but 12 15 seems a more common number)
    who would sing and dance in unison during the
    performance of their lines.
  • The Chorus leader was assigned individual lines,
    and represented an influential advisor to the
  • The Chorus as a whole represented the elder
    citizens of the city in which the story was
    taking place.
  • The Chorus provided the perspective of the common
    man, and could provide interpretations of the
    meaning of the action, as well as recall past
    events and foreshadow events to come.
  • The Chorus could give advice and comment on the
    actions of the main characters, especially in
    relation to the ethics of their decisions in the

The Three Unities
  • The structure of Greek Tragedy relies upon the
    following elements
  • Time
  • Place
  • Action

  • The events occur in a continuous forward movement
    through time.
  • (The events move forward from the beginning to
    the end.)
  • Information about the past may be revealed
    through character dialogue or through the chorus.
  • The events in Antigone take place during the
    course of a single day, beginning in the morning
    and ending later in the same day.

  • The setting remains constant.
  • For example, in Antigone, the setting is in the
    Palace of Thebes. No action is shown outside of
    the palace.
  • Events involving violence and death occur
  • Messengers or other characters serve as witnesses
    to relate information of events that occur
    outside of the palace.

  • The conflict remains constant.
  • Focus is on the resolution of the conflict.
  • Action is simple with focus on characterization
    through dialogue.
  • Focus is on emotional, psychological and
    ethical/moral attributes of characters
  • Very little physical action takes place on the

What is a Greek Tragedy?
  • The concept of a tragedy is to reaffirm the fact
    that life is worth living, regardless of the
    suffering or pain that is part of human
  • Tragedies are about people in conflict with the
  • Tragedies are always about spiritual or
    philosophical conflicts, never about everyday
  • Tragic actions arise from a character's inner
  • Do not confuse the concept of Greek Tragedy with
    the modern use of the word tragic, which is
    often used to describe events that we think of as
    being sad or unfortunate. Although characters
    may die in Greek Tragedies, the tragedy arises
    from the protagonists poor choices which result
    from his tragic flaw.

Predetermined Fate
  • Each individual is born with a fate that is
    determined by the gods at birth.
  • Ones fate cannot be changed or avoided.
  • Each person is given a personal allotment of
    unavoidable suffering.
  • The suffering is not necessarily tragic, but is
    to be accepted as part of life.

Freedom of Will and Action
  • Each person is expected to accept his fate and
    fulfill it with dignity.
  • Those who accept their fates should suffer no
    more than their allotted amount of suffering.
  • The misuse of freedom to try to change ones
    fate may result in additional suffering.

Five Traits of the Greek Tragic Hero
  • 1. He is an uncommon man who possesses the
    greatness to battle his own destiny. A tragic
    protagonist must have magnitude his struggles
    are great because he is important to society.
  • 2. He is a basically good and noble person who
    causes his own downfall, and possibly that of
    others around him, because of Hamartia (tragic
  • (i.e. His intentions may be good, but his
    decisions are misguided.)

  • He usually suffers from Hubris (Pride) as
    shown through Hamartia (a tragic flaw, character
    flaw, or error in judgment).
  • He suffers from a reversal of fortune or fall
    from high to low. He suffers a loss of dignity,
    as well as suffering caused by the loss of loved
  • 5. He can never escape his fate, but he will
    insist upon accepting fate on his own terms. He
    must become aware of the consequences of his
    actions, and then face the world alone.

  • A characters tragic flaw
  • A personality trait which causes a character to
    make poor decisions, sometimes in an effort to
    control his fate, or to save his dignity.
  • Hamartia ultimately results in a loss of dignity,
    and additional pain and suffering.

  • The predominant type of tragic flaw.
  • An exaggerated sense of pride or self-confidence,
    often accompanied by stubbornness and the refusal
    to listen to the reason of others.
  • Placing oneself in a position of superiority over
  • Hubris results in a tragic end or punishment.

  • The protagonist's actions should arouse feelings
    of both pity and fear in the audience.
  • Pity because the protagonist is better than we
    are, so we place ourselves into his position
  • Fear because we too do not know our future or
  • By the end of the play, the audience should be
    purged of pity and fear, so they go through a
  • Catharsis the elimination of feelings of pity
    and fear

  • of the best lecture ever.