Antigone Questions – Flashcards

Flashcard maker : Bettina Hugo
What is the setting?
Kingdom of Thebes, palace of Creon
To whom does Antigone refer as general and why does she use that term?
Creon to represent his power. Wanting to emphasize his superiority over Thebes.
What new suffering must Antigone and her sister, Ismene, endure?
They endure the sorrow of not being able to bury their brother
Contrast Ismene and Antigone
Antigone does whatever and does not care about what people think. Ismene cares about what people think about her actions.
What does Antigone plan to do? Why is this task so important to her? What consequences will she face?
She wants to bury her brother Polynices to keep his soul in peace. She could face death because she is disobedient.
What are Ismene’s feelings towards Antigone?
She shows affection when she claims to share in the blame of breaking Creon’s law
What is Ismene’s view of the relationship between men and women?
That men were born to lead and women should obey men
In lines 71-75, what literary term does Antigone use to describe herself? What conflict in values is represented in this phrase?
A holy outlaw. Oxymoron
What approximate age is Antigone?
What is the purpose of the parados?
To introduce the chorus
What general purpose did the chorus play in a Greek tragedy? What background information does the chorus provide in this instance?
To give an overview of the play. It gives a background on what is happening in Antigone. Singing and dancing were part of the play
In lines 109-115, Sophocles uses a simile to compare the army from Argos to what? Why do you think he chose this comparison?
A sharply crying eagle flying to our land
Which side in the war does the chorus favor?
They support Thebes, or Eteocles’ side
There are four gods that the chorus refers to in their first appearance. Name the gods and their duties.
Zeus-god of all gods, Ares-war god, Bacchus-wine god, Hephaestus-fire god
What is Creon’s attitude toward the chorus? Why has he called them together?
He is arrogant towards them. To issue an edict on the non burial of the disloyal dead Theban
Explain the motif of the ship. What could this image be foreshadowing? What literary term is employed.
Compares it to Thebes, foreshadowing Thebes’ downfall or uprising. Motif.
Why does Creon order that Eteocles be buried with great honors, but that Polynices’ body be left to rot on the battlefield where it lay?
Eteocles fought for Thebes, while Polyneices was a traitor
How does Creon justify his order not to bury Polynices?
By not being buried, Polyneices serves as an example to others, to not attack their homeland
On what specific points does Creon contradict Antigone?
Creon contradicted Antigone on the subject of burying her brother
What is the chorus’ attitude toward Creon’s decree?
They like him because they did not see the actual Creon when they arrived to listen to him. They want young people.
What news does the guard bring? How does Croen treat him?
That someone has tried to bury Polyneices properly. He refuses to believe someone did that
Why do you think that the guard lacks spirit?
Because he is afraid of what Creon might do to him
Besides reporting the burial, the guard also informs Creon of what? Who might have done this?
Fears a curse worse than Creon’s retalliation
What character traits does Creon show in this scene?
He is suspicious and willing to keep his rule
From line 335-338, does it appear that Creon is looking for truth or someone to blame? What does this foreshadow?
He is looking for truth because there is someone to blame and he wants to know who it is
Why does Creon become angry with the chorus?
The chorus leader suggests that the gods could have completed the burial
What does Creon believe is as the root of this atrocity against the king? How does he feel about money and corruption?
The ill-will of his cowardly enemies. Money is the root.
When the guard returns bearing Antigone, what makes the reader feel that the chorus cares for Antigone?
The chorus leader expresses amazement, and shows care by calling her a poor girl
Does the initial impression of a timid and weak-willed guard change when he returns with Antigone? Does the guard show any compassion for Antigone?
yes he says
What does Antigone make clear to Creon? Why does she disobey his orders?
That Polyneices will be buried no matter what. Polyneices is her brother
What is the chorus’ opinion of Antigone now?
They find her disrespectful in her mannerisms. Compares her to her father
What is the irony in the statement Creon makes beginning in line 487?
He thought that a man buried Polyneices when it was actually Antigone
Antigone is accused of two insolences. What are they?
Breaking the law and bragging about it
In lines 503-504, Creon says that Ismene will not “escape the worst fate”. What is Ismene’s crime?
Helping Antigone complete the burial
Does Creon really believe that only Antigone disagrees with his decree?
Yes because she was the only one who was brave enough to stand up to him.
Creon makes a statement “Aren’t you ashamed to think differently from them?” Do you think Antigone is ashamed? Should one who thinks differently be ashamed?
No because they are starting a new trend that they believe other people will follow
What is Creon’s opinion of women?
He believes that they are unintellectual beings
Why do you think that Sophocles brings Ismene back into the story?
To give another moral to the story
When Ismene tries to take part of the blame/credit, Antigone says, “I love no friends who are only friends in words.” In your opinion, is Antigone trying to protect Ismene from harm? Is she so stubborn and headstrong that she will not let Ismene take ant of the credit because Ismene refused to become involved when Antigone first asked her?
I believe that Antigone is trying to protect her. Up to now, she has proved herself to be a good and moral person by her actions. She has shown no characteristics of being selfish or stubborn so far.
What changes in the character of Ismene are evident in this dialogue? Is she a static or dynamic character?
The reader sees her becoming more brave and independent
Compare the tone and subject matter of the second stasimon to the first stasimon
The second stasimon is vengeful, encouraging tone. Celebrates ingenuity of man. Curses of life and death.
The author uses a simile in the chorus’ second stasimon to compare two concepts. What does it suggest?
Antigone’s family. It means that they can be controlled by anything out of the ship
When Haemon arrives, what is the first question that Creon asks him?
Do you come as a loving sin in support of your father or as a lovesick boy, angered at your father?
What is the reason Creon gives when he claims that it is necessary for him to condemn Antigone? What further points does Creon make to his son?
Creon says that if Antigone is not punished for defying his orders, others also would feel free to defy his orders, which would lead to a collapse of all authority and order. A father’s enemies should be a son’s enemies
What is the point that Haemon is attempting to make to Croen by the analogies of the tree and the ship?
Creon is the captain and might sink the ship. He is compared to a tree because he is stubborn and his limbs won’t bend wight he wind so they break
What opinion does the chorus express?
That both sides of the argument should be heard. Both have spoken well.
By refusing to listen to his son, what does Creon reveal about himself?
Creon has become a tyrant. He will not consider the will of his people. He is even willing to be a dictator to his son, rather than overcome excessive pride. He angers the gods
Do you agree with Haemon that an act of disobedience, if it is an honorable act, is to be admired?
Yes, because although it is disobidient to some, to others the act was right
What threats does Haemon make to his father?
Haemon threatens to kill himself. He says that if Creon kills Antigone he will also be killing his son
Does gender bias affect Creon’s decision to stand by his decree?
Yes, he doesn’t like that Antigone acting against him. He thinks that women have no right to do this and it makes him even more mad
What other bias affects Creon’s decision making?
Creon is biased against Haemon and Antigone’s age
Does Haemon share his father’s view of women? Support your answer with examples
No Haemon thinks that women are equal
What is the first sign that Creon might be relenting in his anger at the crime against his rule so he can keep his authority intact?
After he decides to spare Antigone because of the chorus
What does Creon decide to do instead of stoning Antigone?
Put her in a cave and starve her to death
What is the focus of the third stasimon?
power of love
The ancient Greeks had two words for love: philia and eros. Philia means a love that is similar to friendship while eros has more to do with passion. When the chorus talks about love in this ode, which of the two do they mean?
On the bottom of page 43, the stasimon becomes a kommos. What can the reader expect?
Antigone will mistakingly test the fate of the gods
What does Antigone say that she and Niobe, daughter of Tantalus, have in common?
they both will be dying in similar fashions
What is the intent of the chorus’ response to Antigone’s comparison to herself with Niobe?
It was to show that she cannot test the fate of the gods because Niobe could not and she was a mortal
What does the chorus suggest brought on Antigone’s trouble?
the chorus suggests how unjust her punishment is and how lineage might be to blame
What is Antigone’s attitude toward the decree of Creon? What is her only regret?
She is ready to face her death. She regrets not getting married or having kids but she is ready to die
Why does Antigone say “Oh, my brother, you struck/an unlucky marriage?”
Referencing Polyneices mariage to the princess of Argos
According to the chorus, what is Antigone’s downfall?
Excessive pride and self guiding anger
Why does Creon again refer to Antigone’s fate by saying “shit her in /her walled up tomb, as I have said…for we have no guilt in this maiden’s case..?”
He is distracting himself from the situation so that he will not make the gods mad
Consider Antigone’s speech. IS this consistent with what she has argued before?
No because she was damned well determined to follow the laws of the gods, and now she hesistates. Her bravery wavering a little bit.
Explain the chorus’ statement about Antigone: “The same violent winds/still rage in her soul”
Her same feelings are still alive in her heart. She is concerned about her punishment
What does Creon’s comment “…her guards will/suffer for their slowness” show about his character?
Creon is relentless. He is becoming a tyrant
What is the purpose of the three mythological examples in the fourth stasimon?
The purpose is to show that no one can escape fates decree, not even Antigone
What do the mythical examples have to say about Antigone’s future?
the first-positive last two-point to suffering
What do all of the examples have in common?
The defiant and strong willed people who endured harsh punishments
What dramatic significance does Tiresias’ add?
He is a bling seer. It is ironic. He is hoping that his words will open Creon
Why might Creon heed advice from Tiresias?
He si a prophet and is older and is not a woman
What omens cause Tiresias to approach Creon?
The birds screaming with evil and that fire was not present on the sacrifices at the sacrificing table and Hephaestus would not start it
What opinion does Tiresias express to Creon?
That he should learn from mistakes and abandon pride
What warnings does Tiresias give Creon?
Creon will soon have payback corpse for corpse. Many crying women. He will receive two deaths, one being his son
Identify and explain the archery simile that appears in this section
Tiresias is using him as a target with false wisdom
What is the effect of Tiresias’ warnings on Creon?
Creon is unsure, hesitant, and torn. Asks the chorus for advice
What is Creon’s response to the chorus’ answer?
He agrees with them because he wants a clear conscience
Why does the poet use a hyporchema instead of the fifth stasimon?
Because it is an expectation of a happy ending. The chorus thinks that Creon will remedy the situation
What message does the messenger bring?
That they are dead
What they does the messenger refer to?
Haemon and Antigone
Who is Eurydice and what is her reaction to the news?
Creon’s wife. Queen of Thebes, she leaves
When Creon is left to make right his wrong deeds, he was on his way to release Antigone. Is that what he did?
He went to collect the pieces of POlynieces
What did Creon and the messenger find when they arrived at the chamber of the bride of Death
Antigone hung herself, and Haemon was grieving and she made a cloth deuce, and harmon kills himself
What is Creon’s attitude toward the loss of his loved ones?
he blames himself and grieves. He sees this from the gods
What message does the second messenger bring?
Eurydice is dead
What are Eurydice’s final words?
she cursed Creon
What dramatic change in Creon’s character takes place as a result of these tragedies?
He blames himself and is sorry for all of his actions. He is put on an air of humility. He is called a tragic hero
Explain the final words, the judgment of the chorus?
Happiness must be maintained by wisdom. Proud men are taught wisdom one way or the other
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