Antigone is both admirable and troubling as a heroine, and despite characters’ statements to the contrary, she reveals the power and influence that women in the Greek culture held. Ismene attempts to caution her sister’s brash plan by advising, “Remember, we’re women. How can we fight men. They’re stronger. We must accept these things–and worse to come.” Despite this, however, Antigone defies Kreon, and through her actions she gains the sympathy of the populace, her sister, and many others. Yet, as a direct result of her actions, other characters also die. So, is her determination and independence admirable, or is her action ultimately one of self-destruction?
2) Look at Antigone’s speech starting, “My tomb, my bridal bedroom, my home” in the text. Do you think that Antigone has changed her motives for burying her brother? What does this speech say about her character and state of mind?
3) Red Group: What role does suffering play in the play? Is it good or bad? Compare and contrast two specific scenes or speeches to define your answer.
Blue Group: What is the role of fate/free will in the play? Discuss in connection to one of the following characters:
Part of reading Antigone for many of us is that we tend to identify with Antigone and agree with her decision to bury her brother. Sometimes reading literature, it’s easy to make assumptions about how me might act or not act in a similar situation. However, this piece tends to show how difficult going against the grain of society can be in our own time and lives.
Pick a short passage from the article that you find interesting in connection to Antigone and put it into conversation with a meaningful and relevant scene/extended speech from the play. What do you make of the connection between politics and public pressure in such moments?