Antigone Study Guide

Prologue: What information does Antigone give to Ismene at the beginning of this scene? The information that Antigone gives to Ismene is that Creon made a decree that one of their two dead brothers, Polyneices, will not be buried. (This is a horrible dishonor to whoever has died).
Prologue: What has just happened in the sisters’ family? Antigone and Ismene had two brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices, who were both kings of Thebes. Eventually, Eteocles exiled Polyneices and as revenge Polyneices arranged an army and attacked his brother. Due to this battle both brothers were killed. Their father gouged out his eyes and committed suicide when he found out he accidentally married his mother. Their mother/grandmother hung herself.
Prologue: What does Antigone plan to do? Why? Antigone plans to take Polyneices’ body and bury him because he is her brother she believes he should be honored by being buried.
Prologue: Does Ismene plan to join her? Why or why not? No, Ismene does not join Antigone in this plan. Ismene does not join in the plan because she thinks that what Antigone is not from wisdom but from madness and that their family was disgraced enough from their parents killing themselves and their brothers battling in the manner they did. Ismene also thinks that she herself is too weak to challenge the State by going against the decree.
Scene 1: Who has Creon assembled at the beginning of the scene? Why does he say he has passed the new law? Creon assembles a group of Senators to discuss the law/decree he has established saying that Polyneices cannot be buried/mourned and if he is, the person who buried/mourned him will be put to death. Creon said he passed the law because Polyneices was banished and returned with an army and fought against his native land, which is treason.
Scene 1: How does the sentry act when he comes before Creon? What does this suggest about Creon’s personality or reputation? The Sentinel seems to be scared of Creon by the way that he arrived to tell Creon the news he has. He was breathless but yet reluctant to tell Creon what happened. This suggests that Creon’s reputation/personality is harsh and strict making the Sentinel run as fast as he could to deliver the news.
Scene 1: What news does the sentry bring? Who does Creon think is responsible? The news that the Sentinel brings is that Polyneices has been buried. But the buried body was barely covered in dirt. Creon was extremely mad about this because it undermines his power as king. Creon thinks the Sentinel is responsible because Creon thinks someone bribed him to bury Polyneices because he believes no one would willingly bury him knowing they would be stoned.
Scene 1: What is the dramatic irony in this scene? The dramatic irony of the scene is that the audience knows it was Antigone who buried Polyneices not the Sentinel.
Scene 2: Who does the sentry bring before Creon? How has the culprit been caught? The person that the Sentinel brings before Creon is Antigone. Antigone is caught in the act of burying Polyneices’ body. The Sentinel is happy because he gets to live. However, Creon is in a predicament because his niece is the culprit.
Scene 2: What is Antigone’s attitude toward death? Antigone’s attitude towards death is that she does not care that she dies because she feels she did what is right in honor of the gods and that she has nothing to live for anyway.
Scene 2: Whom else does Creon want to question? The other person Creon wants to question is Ismene, Antigone’s sister.
Scene 2: What has Creon decided to do with the sisters? Creon has decided to kill both Antigone and Ismene.
Scene 3: Who has come to speak with Creon? Creon’s son Haemon.
Scene 3: What does Creon say is the greatest evil that society faces? Creon says the greatest evil society faces is dishonesty and rebelliousness (anarchy).
Scene 3: What does Haemon ask Creon to do? Haemon asks Creon to listen to his opinion about freeing Antigone.
Scene 3: What is Creon’s response? (To Haemon asking to free Antigone). Creon says that Haemon’s mind has been weakened by Antigone and that Haemon is a “woman’s follower”.
Scene 3: Haemon says “Then she must die. But her death will cause another.” What does Haemon mean? What does Creon think he means? Haemon means that he is going to kill himself to be with Antigone, however Creon thinks that Haemon is threatening to kill him (Haemon kill Creon).
Scene 3: How will Antigone be killed? Antigone will be killed by being locked away in a cave with very minimal food until she starves to death.
Scene 4: What is the chorus’ attitude toward Antigone? How is this different from earlier in the play? At first the Chorus believed that Antigone should be punished for the crime she committed but now the Chorus feels sorry for her and that the gods will favor her after she dies.
Scene 5: According to Tiresias, what is the “new calamity” that Creon has brought to Thebes? The new calamity that Creon has brought to Thebes is not burying Polyneices. Due to this Thebes is in a dark place and the gods are not responding to the people’s’ sacrifices and peace-offerings because the gods believe that Polyneices should be buried and left alone and that Antigone should be set free.
Scene 5: What does Creon accuse Tiresias of wanting from him? Creon accuses Tiresias of wanting money.
Scene 5: What does Tiresias predict for Creon? What crime has Creon committed to deserve this? Tiresias predicts that Creon is going to die. Creon’s crime is that he kept Polyneices from the gods and sending Antigone to an early death.
Scene 5: What does the Senator tell Creon that he must do to prevent Tiresias’ prophecy from coming true? Creon must set Antigone free from her cave and build a tomb for Polyneices.
Exodus: What two people does the messenger say have died? How have they died? The two people that messenger said have died are Haemon and Antigone. Antigone hung herself and Haemon stabbed himself with his own sword.
Exodus: By the time Creon returns, who else has died? Creon’s wife Eurydice has died. She plunged a dagger into her heart and killed herself because she was so heartbroken over Haemon’s death.
Exodus: What is Creon’s attitude at the end of the play? At the end of the play Creon’s attitude is very depressed for he has lost most of his family and he himself wants to die. He is full of guilt, regret, and misery for what has happened.
Exodus: Judging by the final speeches of the play, what do you think is Creon’s fatal flaw? I believe that Creon’s fatal flaw is arrogance. For when Haemon and Tiresias tried to tell him that the decisions he was making were wrong, he did not listen to them therefore causing all the tragic events that followed. It was not until after Antigone’s, Haemon’s, and Eurydice’s deaths did Creon know his decisions were wrong and feel guilty.

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