• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Plot Summary - Anitgone

Extracts from this document...


Etocles and Polyneices, brothers, have killed each other over their lust to be king of Thebes. Their uncle Creon is the new king. It is his opinion that Polyneices is a traitor and should be shamed by leaving him unburied. Etocles however, is seen as a valiant nephew and will be given a burial ceremony. The play opens with a distressed Antigone appealing to her sister, Ismene, to help her bury Polyneices. Ismene however does not wish to disobey her uncle as this was treachery of the highest order in ancient Greece. However, it was also a family's obligation to bury relatives who had passed away. The burial of the dead was a requisite to enable a peaceful afterlife of the recently deceased. Any unburied dead would be shamed and their souls would not rest. Evidently, this puts Ismene in a difficult situation of choosing what to do. Ismene would like to bury her brother but is too afraid of disobeying her uncle, the King. Ismene is worried about what might happen to Antigone. She advises her not to bury their brother as Creon has said that Polyneices be shamed. The rebellious Antigone is undeterred by her sister's advice and leaves upset that her sister will not join her. ...read more.


Ismene enters crying. Creon asks if she is guilty of burying Polyneices. Ismene shockingly says she is guilty. Antigone tries to rationalise Ismene, saying her sister must not be held accountable for her actions. The audience receive another shock when Ismene asks Creon why he would kill the future wife of his son, Haemon. Calmly, Creon says that there are more women that his son can marry. Ismene continues with her inquisitiveness which angers Creon, so he sends the sisters away. The Chorus enter to perform their second stasimon. They sing that great people are affected by madness and how there is very little hope in this story. The Chorus paints a very bleak picture, not only for Antigone who in the eyes of an Athenian audience was great / mad but also for the rest of the story. At the end they introduce the arrival of Haemon, Creon's son. Haemon has come to speak to his father and seems cool and calm. He flatters his father by telling him how wise he is. This pleases Creon who goes on to reiterate that Antigone is no good for his son. Creon is portrayed as a man more concerned about his public perception than family matters of love. The Chorus agree with Creon's views. ...read more.


The tomb was opened; Haemon and Antigone could be seen. Antigone was hanging by a noose, Haemon was hugging her and crying. Haemon, upon seeing his father, tried to stab him with a sward. Creon dodged the swipe of the blade. Angered he turned the sword on himself and stabbed himself in the lungs and died falling into Antigone. Eurydice leaves and the Chorus speculate why she has gone. It is assumed by the messenger that she wants to mourn personally. However the chorus think she might kill herself. The messenger leaves. Creon enters in a distressed state. He is consoled by the chorus. Creon admits that he is made some mistakes and learnt from them. The messenger, harbinger of bad news, returns just as normality returns. He informs Creon that his wife, Eurydice's, has killed her self. The messenger goes on to describe that Eurydices blamed Creon for everything saying "these are your crimes, Childkiller!" Creon asks to be taken away and feels worth "less than a nobody". The play closes with Creon praying to his Gods. He is miserable and says he is useless. The chorus close the play by reassuring Creon that the Gods will always help him. Hubris is referred to one last time as the cause of the incidents and that Creon will learn not to be so arrogant. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Classics essays

  1. 'Both Antigone and Creon deserve our sympathy'. Discuss.

    Her bold actions may have seemed like the right thing to do, but perhaps she was overstepping the mark. She did, after all, disobey Creon's orders and consequently break the laws of state. For this reason, many would condemn Antigone's rash impudence.

  2. A Raisin in the Sun: Summary and Analysis

    It is something genuine that Mama loves and that she can grow and tend to on her own. Its main purpose is to show that you should never give up and always have hope. Walter's liquor store is another symbol in that is shows that you shouldn't waste money on "shady" things and not all people can be trusted.

  1. Odyssey-Book 5-Calypso - A Summary of the story.

    When he entered the cave he was surrounded by all different types of birds, on the mouth of the cavern was garden vines which sprouted grapes. The book then says that it was a view that even immortals would have to stop and stare in awe at the sight.

  2. Medea - Euripides lived during the Golden Age of Athens, the city where he ...

    The last obstacle to her plans for revenge has been cleared. Because of Aegeus' promise, Athens now stands as an unconditional sanctuary for her, even in her eventual condition as a polluted murderess. While the nurse listens in secret, Medea discloses the details of her plans.

  1. Throughout the play 'Antigone' there is a constant emphasis on the use and abuse ...

    Towards the end of the play a blind prophet named Teiresias comes to Creon to make clear to him his wrong doings. Teiresias told Creon that his actions would result in a terrible outcome for him. He says that Creon will end up paying for his actions.

  2. Form and Structure - Antigone

    He believed that the audience should be emotionally involved with the play and he called this "catharsis". He thought that if an audience was emotionally involved in a play with a great character it would benefit the audience. "Antigone" ends in an unsentimental way showing harsh disregard for Creon's loss.

  1. “Analyse Anouilh’s use of variety dramatic devices in his presentation of Antigone in the ...

    that took place earlier that morning, answers simply a yes or no, infuriating her nurse even more

  2. Who made the greatest contribution to the Athenian Constitution?

    Finally, I created the system of "public lawsuits". In the past, only the injured party or his family could prosecute he who harmed them, but under the new regime, any citizen could prosecute against an offence. In order to give my reforms time to work, I made the Athenians swear

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work