Open Access Articles- Top Results for Antigone


This article is about the daughter of Oedipus. For the daughter of Eurytion, see Antigone (daughter of Eurytion). For the play by Sophocles, see Antigone (Sophocles). For other uses, see Antigone (disambiguation).

In Greek mythology, Antigone (/ænˈtɪɡən/ an-TI-gə-nee; Greek: Ἀντιγόνη) is the daughter of Oedipus and his mother, Jocasta. The meaning of the name is, as in the case of the masculine equivalent Antigonus, "worthy of one's parents" or "in place of one's parents".

Classical depictions

See also: Oedipus

Antigone is the subject of a popular story in which she attempts to secure a respectable burial for her brother Polynices, who was killed in battle between him and his brother Eteocles even though he is seen as a traitor to Thebes and the law forbids even mourning for him, punishable by death.

In the oldest version of the story, the burial of Polynices takes place during Oedipus' reign in Thebes, before Oedipus marries Jocasta. However, in the best-known versions, Sophocles' tragedies Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone, it occurs in the years after Oedipus' banishment and death, and Antigone has to struggle against Creon. Creon was next in line to throne, as he was Jocasta's brother by Menoeceus. In Sophocles' version, after Oedipus' death, it was decided that the two brothers, Eteocles and Polynices were to reign over Thebes taking turns. In the fight against Thebes, the two brothers kill each other. Antigone is brought before Creon, and states that she knew Creon's law but chose to break it, expounding upon the superiority of 'divine law' to that made by man. She puts the will of the gods ahead of manmade laws, responding to the decision of not granting Polynices a burial with courage, passion, and determination.

Sophocles' Antigone ends in disaster, with Antigone being locked in a tomb on Creon's orders, and Creon's son Hæmon (or Haimon.) Although Creon had a change of heart and was headed to the tomb to release Antigone, Haimon who loved and was engaged to Antigone, stabbed himself after seeing that Antigone had hanged herself in the tomb. (Also see Oedipus for a variant of this story.) Queen Eurydice, wife of King Creon, also kills herself eventually due to such actions allowed by her husband. She had been forced to weave throughout the entire story and her death alludes to The Fates.

The dramatist Euripides also wrote a play called Antigone, which is lost, but some of the text was preserved by later writers and in passages in his Phoenissae. In Euripides, the calamity is averted by the intercession of Dionysus and is followed by the marriage of Antigone and Hæmon. Antigone also plays a role in Euripides extant play The Phoenician Women.

Different elements of the legend appear in other places. A description of an ancient painting by Philostratus (Imagines ii. 29) refers to Antigone placing the body of Polynices on the funeral pyre, and this is also depicted on a sarcophagus in the Villa Doria Pamphili in Rome. And in Hyginus' version of the legend, founded apparently on a tragedy by some follower of Euripides, Antigone, on being handed over by Creon to her lover Hæmon to be slain, is secretly carried off by him and concealed in a shepherd's hut, where she bears him a son, Maeon. When the boy grows up, he attends some funeral games at Thebes, and is recognized by the mark of a dragon on his body. This leads to the discovery that Antigone is still alive. The demi-god Heracles then intercedes and pleads with Creon to forgive Hæmon, but in vain. Hæmon then kills Antigone and himself.[1] The intercession by Heracles is also represented on a painted vase (circa 380–300 BC).[2][3]


The stories of Antigone has been a popular subject for books, plays, and other works, including:


  1. ^ Scott Smith, R.; Trzaskoma, Stephen; Pseudo-Apollodorus; Hyginus (2007). Apollodorus' Library and Hyginus' Fabulae: two handbooks of Greek mythology. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-87220-820-9. 
  2. ^ Heydermann, Heinrich (1868). Über eine nacheuripideische Antigone [On a post-Euripideian Antigone] (in German). Berlin: Adolph Enslin. ISBN 978-1-160-28969-6. OCLC 601932362. 
  3. ^ Sophocles; Jebb, R. C. (1890). Sophocles: The Plays and Fragments. Cambridge: CUP Archive. 
  4. ^ Brecht, Bertolt (1948). Antigonemodell 1948 (in German). Berlin: Gebrüder Weiss Verlag. LCCN 50056426. OCLC 1456885. 
  5. ^ Charles Spencer (31 May 2012). "Antigone, National Theatre, review". 
  6. ^ Sophocles (adapted by Eamon Flack). "Antigone". Currency Press. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  7. ^ Sophocles (adapted by Eamon Flack). "Antigone". Currency Press. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "Antigone". Canada: Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Homepage". 

Further reading

External links

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