Monday, January 3, 2011

Sophocle's ANTIGONE

The Classical Origins of Western Culture The Core Studies 1 Study Guide
by Roger Dunkle
Brooklyn College Core Curriculum Series
Copyright © 1986 by Brooklyn College, The City University of New York All rights reserved. Published 1986.

The setting of the Antigone, as in the case of most Greek tragedies, does not require a change of scene. Throughout the play the skene with at least one door represents the facade of the royal palace of Thebes. Even when the poet shifts the audience's attention to events in the plain and the cave in which Antigone was entombed, there is no shift of scene. These events are reported by minor characters (here, a guard and a character specifically called a messenger) rather than enacted before the audience. Interior action is also reported by a messenger to characters on-stage for the benefit of the audience. The suicide of Eurydice, which takes place inside the palace, is reported to Creon (and to the audience) by a second messenger. The messenger speech eliminates the need for scene changes, which, due to the limited resources of the ancient theater, would have been difficult and awkward. Sophocles, like Aeschylus and Euripides, made a virtue of the necessity of this convention of the ancient theater by writing elaborate messenger speeches which provide a vivid word picture of the offstage action.
During the report of this messenger the body of Eurydice probably was displayed on the ekkyklema .
Exercise for Reading Comprehension and Interpretation
Prologue: Antigone and Ismene
The play opens with the prologue consisting of dialogue between Antigone and her sister Ismene. Briefly analyze the characterization of these two women in the prologue. What dramatic purpose does the character of Ismene serve?

1.What is the dramatic purpose of the prologue?
2.What problem does Antigone report to her sister?
3.What does Antigone intend to do?
4.What is Ismene's reaction to this intention?
5.What is Ismene's view of the relationship between men and women?      
6.To whom does Antigone apply this term in the prologue?                                                              


  1. Balgley I dont get the last question, could you explain?

  2. I'm on it Mr. Balgley. I'm on it!

  3. Do I post my answers on the blog or hand them in, during class?

  4. Balgley, I'm sending you these answers to your e-mail.

  5. I agree with Medina. I will be handing these questions to you by e-mail.

  6. I'm a lttle confused about the last question as well. What "term" are you asking about exactly?