A summary of Antigone, lines 1–416 in Sophocles's The Oedipus Plays
The Theban Plays of Sophocles; Oedipus/Antigone
The Sphinx, a terrible monster with the body of a lion, wings of an eagle and head of a woman had been sent by the gods to terrorise Thebes as punishment for Laius' misdeeds concerning the rape of a prince of a neighbouring kingdom. This fiend would ask any passing traveller her riddle, and if they were unable to answer correctly, she would devour them. Since no man had been able to guess the answer, Thebes was effectively cut off from the outside world. When Oedipus came to Thebes, the Sphinx asked him her riddle, which he was able to solve. The story goes that she went mad and threw herself off a cliff, thus freeing Thebes from her fearsome influence. The people of Thebes were so grateful to Oedipus that they proclaimed him their king, since Laius had been mysteriously killed on the road. They also suggested that he marry his widow, Jocasta, to solidify his position as ruler of the city. Thus the prophecy of the Delphic oracle came to pass.
Antigone Lines 001-241 Summary and Analysis | …
Sophocles' Antigone models the classical pattern of tragedy by incorporating key elements such as a tragic hero with a fatal flaw and the Man-God-Society triangle.
Essay on Tiresias from Antigone and Oedipus the King | …
Antigone shows the happenings in Thebes after Oedipus' exile. intimates that the kingship was left in the hands of both Polynices and Eteocles, each ruling alternate years. However, Creon had convinced Eteocles to hold on to power, causing Polynices to raise an army and march against Thebes. The two brothers met in combat and killed each other, leaving Creon as the ruler of Thebes (although it is unclear as to whether this was his original intention). Creon decreed that the traitor, Polynices, was to be dishonoured by being denied a proper burial and, thus, passage into the Underworld. Antigone takes it upon herself to inter her brother, but is caught and sentenced to death. Tiresias later informs Creon of the gods' disapproval of this and so the new king rushes to the cave where Antigone had been left to starve. It is, however, too late and it transpires that Antigone has once again taken matters into her own hands and has hung herself, causing Haemon (her betrothed and Creon's son) to kill himself also. The final blow to Creon, upon hearing of this news, his wife Eurydice takes her own life by hanging, leaving Creon desperate and alone, but still the sole ruler of Thebes.