Fighting for the Good Life By: Karalyne Stacey, Marisa Coloney, Michelle Castro, Annamarie Huy

Sophocles Antigone

  • Written by Sophocles for the Festival of Dionysus
  • Plays were critical reflections of the political and societal ideology of that time.
  • Oedipus was the father of Antigone, Ismene, Polynices, and Eteocles.
  • War between Eteocles and Polynices over power of the throne of Thebes. They were both killed and their uncle, Creon, became King.

Fate Vs. Free Will

  • Oedipus tried to escape his fate that was set by the gods, but the choices he made of his own free will led him to fulfill his destiny.
  • Creon also tries to evade the prophecy given to him by Teiresias by banishing Antigone instead of killing her.
  • Discussion Questions:
  • If the characters didn't know about their fate would it still be fulfilled?
  • Do the characters have a limited amount of free will because their fate is "predetermined"?

Individual vs. Society

  • Antigone represents the individual.
  • Creon enforcing the Law of Thebes and represents society.
  • Creon is obligated to the society as the King and desires the respect of the people.
  • Ismene is torn between being there for her family or giving into societal rules.
  • Discussion Questions
  • Is adhering to societal standards worth compromising your individuality?


  • catharsis: the process of releasing and thereby providing relief from strong or repressed emotions.
  • Antigone is able to bring up emotions in the audience of fear and pity associated with the tragedy that wouldn't otherwise be felt.
  • The play is able to introduce societal issues and the audience can release frustration with society by living vicariously through the characters.
  • Connecting to a character that you can relate with validates the emotions of the audience.
  • Discussion Questions:
  • What are some ways in which you have experienced catharsis?

Real Life Application

  • Captain America: Civil War
  • A fight between the elements of the state that seeks to control and the individual's right to choose their own path.
  • At what point is the greater good more important than our individual beliefs? What cost can come from following our individual beliefs?

Questions for Discussion:

  • How would you deal with a conflict in which man's law contradicted God's law?
  • Do you think Antigone made the right decision in burying Polynices given the chain reaction of events that ensued?

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