|YMMV • Radar • Quotes • (Funny • Heartwarming • Awesome) • Fridge • Characters • Fanfic Recs • Nightmare Fuel • Shout Out • Plot • Tear Jerker • Headscratchers • Trivia • WMG • Recap • Ho Yay • Image Links • Memes • Haiku • Laconic|
The play starts with Antigone bringing her sister, Ismene, terrible news. Between the end of Oedipus at Colonus and the start of Antigone, Polynices led an army against Eteocles for the right to inherit his father's throne. The brothers took each other's lives. This was chronicled in the play The Progeny; sadly, only a single exchange survives of that play. It can be read here. Creon, now undisputed master of Thebes once more, has ordered that Polynices be left unburied as a traitor. Antigone asks her sister to help her bury their brother properly, but Ismene refuses, and Antigone does it by herself.
Unfortunately, she is caught, and Creon orders her walled up in a cave to die. Despite warnings from both the Chorus and Tiresias that leaving the dead unburied will have terrible consequences, it is not until Tiresias predicts that Creon's family will suffer and armies will march against Thebes that he relents. Unfortunately, he's too late, as the time spent burying the body prevented Creon and his helpers to reach Antigone before she hanged herself. Seeing he was too late, Haemon, her fiance and Creon's son, stabbed himself, and when THAT news reached his mother, Eurydice, she stabbed herself. The play ends with Creon leaving the stage a broken man.
This play contains examples of:
- Anachronic Order: This was actually written before Oedipus the King.
- Anti-Villain: Creon is seen as this today.
- Acquitted Too Late: By the time Creon realizes he was being an asshole and Antigone should go free, she's already killed herself.
- Badass Pacifist: Antigone: she causes a lot of disruption with no physical force.
- Better to Die Than Be Killed: A possible reason for Antigone's hanging herself rather than waiting to die in her "tomb".
- Blind Seer: Tiresias.
- Break the Haughty: As was the Greek standard.
- Buried Alive: Antigone is walled up in a crypt.
- Cain and Abel: The backstory. The Progeny has more detail but well...
- Character Title
- Disaster Dominoes: The ending is basically Suicide Dominoes. Poor Creon.
- Downer Ending: Obviously.
- Driven to Suicide: Practically everyone.
- Due to the Dead: The importance of this is a major plot point.
- Evil Uncle: Creon.
- Greek Chorus: Literally of course. They represent the people and elders of Thebes.
- Honor Before Reason: Antigone
- Idiot Ball and Values Dissonance: All of the tragedy is a result of first Antigone and then Creon deciding that burying Polynices is more important than keeping Antigone alive.
- Also Creon for not knowing that; generally, flipping off the gods by not burying the dead is a bad idea.
- Kill'Em All
- My God, What Have I Done?: Creon at the end.
- Name's the Same: No, Creon's wife is not the same Eurydice whom Orpheus loved and tried to rescue from the Underworld.
- Not Blood Siblings: Antigone is not only Haemon's cousin, but also his foster sister, since Creon raised Antigone, Ismene, Polynices, and Eteocles as his children after Oedipus left Thebes.
- Prophecies Are Always Right: We don't know how the neighbouring cities feel about Thebes by the end of the play, but just about everything else happened as predicted.
- Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere
- Second Hand Storytelling: Per the standards of the day, all the suicides happen off-screen to be related by messengers for the audience.
- Star-Crossed Lovers
- Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: Creon is depicted as a sympathetic and sensible character in Oedipus, but is depicted as a villainous character here.
- Tag-Team Suicide
- Together in Death
- Tragic Hero: Both Creon and Ismene are bound by their devotion to the law; Antigone is compelled to give her brother a proper burial, while Creon's responsibility as king is to stop her.
- Trilogy Creep: Originally this was the fourth Theban play. The Progeny, alas, only survives in fragments.
- Villain Protagonist: Creon. Antigone may be the titular character, but Creon is arguably the real protagonist.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Creon.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Because Oedipus did... well... what Oedipus did, their entire family is cursed. Excluding Ismene, for some reason.
- Ismene has to live the rest of her life with the knowledge that she was too cowardly to join Antigone in burying Polynices, and that her entire family is dead. Notice how eager she was to share Antigone's fate, and how Antigone rebuffed her.
- ↑ story-wise; it was the first one written