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Major Works Data Sheet Setting Antigone takes place in an Ancient Greek city-state known as Thebes.

The play primarily takes place in front of the palace at Thebes, which bears significance throughout the three Theban plays. This is the area where Oedipus gouged out his eyes and Jocasta committed suicide. Furthermore, the palace is significant in that it represents the throne Antigones brothers vie for as well as the power abused by Creon. Antigone was released in 441 BC, but it takes place in the distant past relative to the time period in which it was written by Sophocles. During this distant era, playwrights often depicted a world of heroes and gods in which the gods would often meddle with the affairs of mortals.

Page 4 Significance of the opening scene The opening scene of Antigone almost immediately introduces the major conflict of the play. It is explained that Creon has refused to give Polynices a proper burial, which Antigone firmly disagrees with. Antigone explains to her sister Ismene that she plans on burying Polynices regardless of the consequences. By the end of the opening scene, we can see the true personalities of these three characters. Antigone is established as a steadfast individual with extremely strong moral convictions who believes in family loyalty over law. Her sister Ismene agrees with her sentiments, but is too scared of the consequences to follow through with the act of rebellion. Creon views the government and law as the supreme authority on matters. He also equates himself with the government and thus believes himself to be the sole authoritative voice of Thebes. The stark contrast between these characters plays a major role in the conflict of the play as a whole. Significance of the ending/closing scene It isnt until Tiresias tells Creon that punishing Antigone and not burying Polynices will result in the wrath of the gods that Creon admits his mistakes. Creon becomes intensely worried after the Chorus begs him to listen to Tiresias. He agrees to go free Antigone and leaves to do so. Creons decision to change his mind and listen to Tiresias and his people marks the final revelation the tragic hero has in a Greek tragedy. Creon realizes his mistakes although only because he learns that his own fate is at stake. The deaths of Antigone, Haemon, and Eurydice cause Creon to truly understand the error of his ways. Indeed, Antigone was able to die a martyr for the views she so ardently supported. Creon lives and continues to rule, but does so with a newfound wisdom as a result of his suffering. Old AP Questions

Symbols/Motifs Symbols: Polynices body and the tomb/wedding bed represent Creons blasphemy; the ship of state and the palace/throne represent the rule of Thebes; the Sentry and Ismene represent the fearful masses; Tiresias represents wisdom; Choragos represents the peoples views; Antigone embodies family loyalty and steadfastness; Creon represents stubbornness and tyranny. Motifs: Birds are used in descriptions and imagery multiple times; death and suicide play critical roles in plot development; filial piety and family loyalty are the forces driving Antigone and eventually Ismene; sight and blindness both in the physical and metaphorical sense come up numerous times; the will of the Gods is also important throughout the play.

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Possible Themes Themes of Antigone include the state vs. the gods, the state vs. family, abuse of power, tyranny, and the dangers of stubbornness, all indicated by Creons actions. The themes of civil disobedience, individual vs. state, individual vs. society, family loyalty, inherited sins, and traditional roles of women are embodied by Antigones actions. Some more general themes include the ideas of fate and free will, laws and rules, power, the will of the masses, mortality, and determination.