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Antigone (The Theban Plays, #3)
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(The Theban Plays #3)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  103,411 ratings  ·  2,767 reviews
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 heroine 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 ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published December 1st 2005 by Ingram (first published -441)
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Huda Aweys Despite his stupidity, but he certainly Creon, he is the one who faced much .. questions, .. consequences .. and knew the tragedy from the beginning, …moreDespite his stupidity, but he certainly Creon, he is the one who faced much .. questions, .. consequences .. and knew the tragedy from the beginning, and suffered (less)
Ben Rauscher
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Feb 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, tragedy
Suck on that, Creon. They named the play after her.
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This drama highlights the differences between state and divine law. Especially interesting is the language. Sophocles has done very well to portray this conflict. Even after 2500 years still a worth reading, profound text.
Sean Barrs
Antigone is a real heroine; she stands up for what she believes in. She was faced with a strong dilemma. The law of man, the word of her uncle the king, demands that her brother's body remains unburied in the open with no funeral rights, to be savaged by animals. For King Creon, this is a symbolic justice for a traitor and a rebel, but the laws of the God’s, and the ruling of Antigone’s own mind, demands that she gives him libations (death rights) that all men deserve. She buries the body and fa ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Ἀντιγόνη = Antigone, Sophocles
Antigone is a tragedy by Sophocles written in or before 441 BC. It is the third of the three Theban plays chronologically, but was the first written. The play expands on the Theban legend that predated it and picks up where Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes ends. In the beginning of the play, two brothers leading opposite sides in Thebes' civil war died fighting each other for the throne. Creon, the new ruler of Thebes, has decided that Eteocles will be honored and Po
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a reread for me.

The first time I read this play was in my sophomore year or high school and I remember liking it but I LOVED it this time around.

It's fabulous and now I want to read the rest of the Theban plays.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Your soul is blowing apart."
The chorus in Anne Carson's translation of
Sophocles ANTIGONE


I love Antigone. I think it is one of the very best of the Greek tragedies ~~ no one of the very best of all tragedies ever written.

Random thought ~~ I suspect there is a play that is part of this cycle that is missing ~~ a play that focuses on the brothers.

This review will not focus on the play itself, but on the wonderful translation by Anne Carson.


Anne Carson is a poet. She is a wordsmith in the highest
Book Review
4 out of 5 stars to Antigone, the third in a trilogy of Theban plays written around 441 BC (yes, almost 2500 years ago) by Sophocles. In my junior year of high school, our Advanced Placement English teacher assigned all three Theban plays. This is a mini-review on the final one, Antigone, which was my second favorite -- Oedipus Rex was of course, my favorite. In this Greek tragedy, Antigone, Oedipus Rex's daughter, fights to have a proper burial for her brother. She is str
David Schaafsma
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
Seeing a Middle School Production of Antigone in Munich: The Sophie Scholl Story and Reflecting on How to Foster Youth Resistance in Meaningful Ways: A Meditation

“I am not afraid of the danger. If it means death, it will not be the worst of deaths--death without honor”--Antigone

Antigone: We begin in the dark and birth is the death of us.
Ismene: Who said that?
Antigone: Hegel.
Ismene: Sounds more like Beckett.
Antigone: He was paraphrasing Hegel--The chorus in Anne Carson's translation of
Jan 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic
Antigone is a strong contender in the Plays That Keep You Awake at Night competition. The background of the story reads, no surprise, like a Greek tragedy: Antigone is the orphaned daughter of Jocasta and Oedipus (the mother and father/brother team from Oedipus Rex) who has now lost both her brothers as well — they killed each other fighting over who got to rule Thebes. Uncle Creon, the new king, decreed that the “traitor” brother is to go unburied. The conflict is that Antigone plans to ignore ...more
David Sarkies
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Greek Tragedy
Recommended to David by: David Hester
Shelves: tragedy
The family or the state
6 May 2012

This is probably the closest of all of the Greek tragedies to a Shakespearian tragedy. This is due to the end of the play having a huge bodycount and the action of the play is driven by one person's fatal flaw (not that I actually believe in the fatal flaw argument, but that is beside the point). However it is not Antigone who has the fatal flaw in this play but rather Creon, the king of Thebes. Unfortunately we cannot really look to Oedipus at Colonus to see th
Jennifer (Insert Lit Pun)
Wait, no, THIS is my favorite of the Oedipus cycle. My love is fickle. How did I not remember how good this was? The extended speeches are just as incredible as those in the other two plays, but what Antigone has over them is lightning-quick back-and-forth arguments that made my heart pound just from how good they were. I’d also forgotten how interesting the character of Antigone is (she milks that walk to her death for everything it’s worth), and how much Sophocles plays with gender stereotypes ...more
I really enjoyed this. It’s easy to read (minus a few of the long chorus paragraphs), and Antigone is the heroine of Greek tragedies I never knew I needed. She’s got a backbone, a level of principles high above those around her, and she’s not afraid of anyone. Least of all King Creon. Honestly, she’s so ahead of her time, I did not expect the high levels of sass I got while reading this, and it’s surprisingly funny in places too. The overall short length stopped this getting too ‘bogged down’ to ...more
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Owen Bennett Jones recently wrote on the Islamic State in the LRB. "Every time a Jihadi movement has won power it has lost popularity by failing to give the people what they want: peace, security and jobs." When I read that I thought about poor King Creon. I have always felt disturbed by the vice of fate in this play which steadily traps and crushes. It was Creon's hubris which caught my attention this time. Doesn't he have a mandate? I imagine him simply incredulous. Why this dissent? Subsequen ...more
I am not well-schooled in tragedies--the Greek tragedies, that is--but when I learned that one of the books I intended to read for the Man Booker award this year was based on the story of Antigone, I thought now was a good time to have a look.

This is the first I have encountered of the play, I loved it. It is filled with terrific emotion and common responses to tragedy, as well as wisdom unbound. The personalities are strong and salty...and act on their promises.

Those of you who know the story w
Liz Janet
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.”

I have always found this play, and any of Sophocles’ tragedies, as comedies. Apparently I have a very bad sense of humour. But there is nothing more hilarious in literature than poetic justice. It is not as funny as Oedipus Rex, but it is quite funny still, since Antigone sticks it up to Creon. Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, and she has also now lost h
Paul Fulcher
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
I read this in preparation for reading Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie from this year's Man Booker longlist.

And I read in a different translation to the edition shown here, one sticking more literally to the original Greek, including not translating terms where it felt there was no satisfactory equivalent. This was important in clarifying some of the key themes, but rather puts the onus of interpretation back on the reader (and this reader is no expert in ancient Greek philosophy).

A number of things
Cassandra Kay Silva
May 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This was of course some of the most fluid and beautiful writing I have come across in a long time. I have wanted to read this play for years and finally ran across a copy of it. The words were an absolute song and the bits by the choir thrown in were terribly fun to act out in your mind. I would love to see this on stage. I am not sure if the plot was exactly my favorite but the words alone were enough to rock me into a happy lull of entertainment and contentment.
Joey Woolfardis
There's barely anything in the world as hilarious and amusing as a Greek tragedy. Oedipus is, in many ways, the daddy, but daughter Antigone holds her own as well. So much to think on, so much to learn, so much to laugh at. Those silly incestuous Greeks.

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Viji (Bookish endeavors)
What a work it was.!! The copy I have is by Penguin Little Black Classics series,and I was delaying reading it since the print was tiny and set in a style I didn't like. But now I realize what a stupid I was to have delayed reading such a piece of beauty...

Moralizing isn't everyone's forte. Too many have written such a lot of works on the topic that the moment one starts reading something on it,the natural reaction is 'not again.!' This book is a bit different in that genre. It moralizes,it tal
Mel Bossa
Well, this resonated deeply with me. Especially the relationship between Antigone and her flighty and untrustworthy sister Ismene. Man, that part when Ismene now suddenly wants to stand at her sister's side after the King Creon has sentenced Antigone to be immured, really pissed me off and brought up all kinds of feelings of injustice and indignation. As with Electra, Antigone is a woman alone facing the self-righteousness of an elder king unwilling to lose face or learn anything new he hasn't s ...more
Feb 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm sticking with my original rating on this one. I enjoyed reading it again. Unfortunately, my students didn't seem to connect to it. The translation I remember reading as a student was much better--the one in our anthology is very complex and takes away from the simplicity of the Greek language. The ideas become lost in "thees" and "thous." I don't know why the translator felt the need to mimic Shakespeare. However, my students wrote very interesting and (some) nuanced responses to my question ...more
Sue K H
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Please, be different this once.
Believe in what someone else says for once.
Whenever a man supposes that he alone
has intelligence or expression or feelings,
he exposes himself and shows his emptiness.
But it's no shame even for a wise man
to learn and to relent."

Hear hear! These are the words of Haimon after his father sentenced his fiance to death for defying an order on moral/religious grounds. I absolutely loved this play.   It's still a common problem in our society, where people (not only those
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I read this in preparation for reading Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie which is one of the books on this year's Man Booker longlist.

I've come out of it with a mental picture of Creon with blonde, wispy hair and an overactive Twitter account. And then I came across this:

In this article, we read the following quote:

But how can a person be called illegal? Is not the purpose of the law to protect persons and establish conditions in which they may flourish? Readin
Amal Bedhyefi
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Antigone is definitely one of my favorite heroines !
Strong , brave , daring , courageous but most importanty honest , sincere , loyal and she stands up for what she believes in.
Her situation was hopeless and tough . She had to choose between being obedient to her uncle the king's rules who demands that her brother's body remains unburied with no funeral saying that's the right thing to do for a traitor and a rebel , and choosing to honor her brother .
Eventually , she buries the body and faces t
How did I not know this existed until now? Also, I love how they had strong female leads back then.
Huda Aweys
My review in English first then in Arabic-ريفيو بالانجليزي في البداية يليها ريفيو بالعربي
Antigone, Oedipus's girl of his mother! Thebes's girl .. legend's girl .. complexities's girl ..
who inherited the legacy of all those, cumbersome legacy .. make she reject .. make she impetus to die, in order to complete the legend, and for.. the rift in Thebes extends and expands and grows ..
Antigone Oedipus's girl, who inherited his pride and stubbornness and as, his walked to Destiny (as he and she were
Sep 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
The immortality of Antigone is ensured because of the agelessness of it's themes. Antigone struggles to bring to light that the law is not necessarily right. Creon struggles to enforce his rule and make sure that all live lawfully.
These characters are mirrors of ourselves in a long-lost time when ancient people had the same problems as modern men and women. Are you a good and just person if you are a law-abiding one? Can there be a moral landscape outside of the law? Could the law be wrong? Ant
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Who needs Romeo and Juliet? Give me Haemon and Antigone any day for the dramatic and unnecessary deaths of romantic youths!

In all seriousness, I thoroughly enjoyed this play and was reminded of what skill the Greek playwrights had that however many years later, I was still left chuckling and slightly heartbroken by the end.
I remember hating Antigone when I had to read it in High School, so I was surprised that it wasn't too bad actually.
Paula W
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short play was highly recommended to me by a friend when she found out that I was reading classics. I nominated this for a group read several times, but it never won in the voting. I am so glad that I decided to go ahead and read it.

In direct opposition to religious doctrine, King Creon declares that no one can bury the body of the slain traitor Polyneices. It just has to lie out there and be eaten by dogs and birds in front of the entire city. But Antigone, Polyneices's sister, is having
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Sophocles (born c. 496 bc, Colonus, near Athens [Greece]—died 406, Athens), (Greek: Σοφοκλής; German editions: Sophokles, Russian: Софокл, French editions: Sophocle) was an ancient Greek tragedy playwright. Not many things are known about his life other than that he was wealthy, well educated and wrote about one hundred and twenty three plays (of which few are extant). One of his best known plays ...more

Other books in the series

The Theban Plays (3 books)
  • Oedipus Rex  (The Theban Plays, #1)
  • Oedipus at Colonus (The Theban Plays, #2)

Articles featuring this book

While some tales are old as time, every so often a writer comes along with a fresh take that can make us see a familiar story in a completely diff...
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“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.” 946 likes
“Go then if you must, but remember, no matter how foolish your deeds, those who love you will love you still.” 351 likes
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