Parados Antigone Analysis Essay

Antigone: Prologue and Parados

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ENG 9 HONORS MINICOZZI ANTIGONE SEPT ANTIGONE ENRICHMENT HW QUESTIONS [pic] PROLOGUE AND PARADOS VOCAB: |Decree | |Gouge | |Defy | |Absurdity | Compare Ismene and Antigone’s reaction to the edict. Describe the values and priorities of each sister. Describe Antigone’s state of mind in this scene?

How is her mindset revealed? What noble qualities does Antigone display? Does she reveal any faults? How does Ismene respond to Antigone’s request for help? What does her response say about her character? What does her line at the end reveal about her true feelings? What major theme does Sophocles introduce in this opening scene? Examine the references to destiny and describe the role fate plays for these characters. FIRST EPISODE AND STASIMON VOCAB |Furrow | | |Blithe | |Yoke | | |Deviate | | |Carrion | | |Meritorious | | |Hallowed | | According to Creon, what should the priorities of a good leader be? What is more important than anything else? Explain.

What is Creon’s most dominant trait as revealed in this opening statement? Is this positive or negative? Explain. Why is Eteocles given an honorable burial while Polynices is not? How is this decree related to Creon’s philosophy about leadership? Why is the Sentry afraid of bringing his news? What does this say about the citizens’ feelings in general toward Creon? What do Creon and the Sentry argue about at the end of the episode? How is this argument used for Creon’s character development? 14) After speaking of death, the chorus references which two characters (lines 419-421)? Why is this significant? 5) The chorus speaks of “inhumanity thanks to reckless daring. ” To which characters might this statement apply? SECOND EPISODE AND STASIMON VOCAB |Insolence | | |Prerequisite | | |Impiety | | |Consecrate | |Roil | | |Ensnare | | According to Antigone, why were Creon’s edicts not valid? To what does the choral Leader compare Antigone in the scene (line 525)? What is the significance of this comparison?

What do you think of Creon’s observation that “the stiffest stubborn wills fall the hardest”? How does Creon feel about Antigone? How could this attitude be ironic? Why was it so important for Antigone to burry Polynices? Do you think she would have done the same for her other brother? Why or why not? How does Antigone respond to Ismene’s “confession” that she helped her sister? Does Creon fear his son’s reaction? Does he feel guilty that he has condemned the woman that was to be his daughter-in-law? Describe this opinion of women.

THIRD EPISODE AND STASIMON VOCAB |Subordinate | | |Kindred | | |Staunch | | |Plunder | | According to Creon, what qualities should a son possess? What does Creon seem to need most? What does he fear most? How is all of this evident in this scene?

Cite lines for support. “What wound cuts deeper than a loved one turned against you? ” How is this line ironic, and what kind of irony is it? How may it foreshadow future events? In your own words, give Haemon’s argument in defense of Antigone, and Creon’s reaction to that argument. What opposing ideals are Creon and Haemon upholding in this quarrel? What forces in the play are opposing the powers of love? How does this love which each character feels motivate them and drive their actions? FOURTH EPISODE AND STASIMON VOCAB Dirge | | |Anguish | | |Reverence | | 1) According to the chorus, what has brought on Antigone’s fate? What do they suggest is her tragic flaw? Why does she not show the same devotion toward her other brother, who was killed as a hero defending the city? How, if at all, has Antigone changed? Does she fear death? Does she have any regrets? What is Creon’s attitude throughout the scene? Is there any indication that this attitude may be altered

FIFTH EPISODE AND STASIMON VOCAB |Waver | | |Augury | | |Amends | | |Affliction | |

What is ironic about Tiresias’s physical condition? What kind of irony is this? How has the prophet determined that the gods are unhappy with Creon? What advice does he give the ruler? How does Creon respond? According to Tiresias, what is the ultimate crime? Consider what Creon said about Antigone in the second episode and determine why this “crime” is ironic in retrospect. When angered, what further prophesy does Tiresias give to Creon? Does this seem just? Explain. On what basis does the chorus advise Creon to free Antigone and bury her brother? EXODUS VOCAB Bight | | |Hilt | | |Discreet | | |Herald | |

Creon had planned to go immediately to Antigone. Why then, does he first stop to perform the burial rites upon the body of Polynices? The messenger says, “Fortune lifts and Fortune fells the lucky and unlucky every day. ” What is the significance and wisdom of this statement? What does Creon realize now to be the worst crime (lines 1372-1373)? How does this compare to his ideas in episode one (question nine)? How does this demonstrate his character development?

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How does Haemon’s mother, Eurydice, react to the news? What is the messenger’s concern for her? Quote and describe the references to blindness. How is this theme very significant at this point? Does Creon finally accept the full responsibility for all the deaths he has caused? Why or why not Do others blame Creon for what has happned? How does the chorus see him? 8) What realization does he come to at the end? How does this affect our view of him?

Author: Brandon Johnson

in Antigone

Antigone: Prologue and Parados

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The Chorus

Character Analysis

The Function Of The Chorus

The Chorus is roughly like the peanut-gallery. In Antigone the Chorus is made up of a group of old Theban men. They're probably old men because most of the young ones have just died in battle. Also, they represent in some way the deeply embedded patriarchal (male-dominated) society that Antigone defies.

In Antigone the Chorus at times directly affects the action of the play. Though they at first seem to be totally on the side of their new king Creon, they begin to urge him to be more moderate. It's at their pleading that Creon decides not to sentence Ismene to death along with her sister. The old men of Thebes also practically insist that Creon take Teiresias's advice and free Antigone. Creon, of course, finally agrees to do this... but unfortunately it's far too late.

The main functions of the Chorus are to comment on the action of the play, give back story, and to connect the play to other myths. Sophocles also uses the Chorus to expound upon the play's central themes. In Antigone we get choral odes on everything from the triumph of man over nature, to the dangers of pride, to the hazards of love.


As in every ancient Greek tragedy, the first time we hear the Chorus is when they sing their parados or entry song. Parados looks a little bit like the modern word "parade," right? This is probably no accident. When the Chorus performed the parados they would "parade" in, singing and dancing with a bunch of fanfare. The actual word "parados" comes from the name of the corridor or archway through which the Chorus first entered.

In Antigone, Sophocles uses the parados to give back-story. The Chorus sings all about the terrible battle that has just been fought. We also get the sense that the people of Thebes are furious at Polyneices for betraying and attacking them. This helps to strengthen Creon's position about the traitor's burial.

Overall, the parados in Antigone is a joyful celebration of victory. This is, of course, super-ironic. The audience has just watched the prologue, in which Antigone declares her intentions to defy the state. Though Thebes has just defeated an external enemy, the new order represented by Creon will be challenged almost immediately by an enemy from within.

"Ode To Man"

The next time we hear the Chorus is the First Ode. This little ditty just happens to be the most famous choral ode in all of Greek tragedy, and is popularly referred to as the "Ode to Man." In this celebrated ode the Chorus sings about all the wonderful accomplishments of man. The word "wonderful" in Greek is deinon. It can also describe something that is terrible. In a way, the word means both wonderful and terrible at the same time. But how could all of man's accomplishments be both of those things at once?

Let's take a look at the achievements that the Chorus lists. Humanity has: built ships to conquer the seas, crafted plows to tame the earth, bent animals to his will, raised houses to defeat the rain and the snow. Do you notice a common thread here? Nearly everything is about humanity asserting its will over nature. This echoes the basic conflict of the play.

Creon represents the state or man-made civilization. Antigone represents the primal will of the gods, a.k.a. nature. The storm outside of Thebes and the auguries of Teiresias hint that nature is offended by Creon's actions and stands on the side of Antigone. When all of Creon's family members kill themselves by the end of the play, it's as if nature itself is taking payment for his sacrilege. In a way, all of man's accomplishments could be seen as being just as terrible as they are wonderful. Each time we take a step forward, we separate ourselves father from the place that we began.

The Chorus ends the "Ode to Man" by praising the laws of the city. They disdain anybody who would want to bring anarchy back to Thebes:

(Ant. 2)
Passing the wildest flight thought are the cunning and skill,
That guide man now to the light, but now to counsels of ill.
If he honors the laws of the land, and reveres the Gods of the State
Proudly his city shall stand; but a cityless outcast I rate
Whoso bold in his pride from the path of right doth depart;
Ne'er may I sit by his side, or share the thoughts of his heart.

After the ode concludes, it takes Sophocles about two seconds to lather on the irony. Who should show up in chains just as soon as Chorus gets done talking junk about anarchists? Why it's Antigone—everyone's favorite protagonist and anarchist extraordinaire. When Antigone appears just as the "Ode to Man" concludes it's almost as if she's the god's answer to the great hubris (pride) shown in the Chorus's song.

Other Odes

Sophocles uses the second choral ode to relate the tragic history of Oedipus's family. This ode complements the scene before in which Ismene attempts to go to her death along with her sister Antigone. In the third choral ode the Chorus sings of the hazards of love. This is a comment on the previous scene where Haimon begs for the life of his beloved Antigone.

The fourth ode gives the audience some trivia about other mythic figures who've been entombed. The tone of the terrible tales in this ode seem to show that Chorus is beginning to really pity Antigone. By the end of the play the Chorus has totally changed their tune. These same old men who were previously celebrating man's mastery over nature are humbled in the face of the gods.

Strophe, Antistrophe

Like most all ancient Greek tragedians, Sophocles divides his choral odes into strophe and antistrophe. Both sections had the same number of lines and metrical pattern. In Greek, strophe means "turn," and antistrophe means "turn back." This makes sense when you consider the fact that, during the strophe choruses danced from right to left and during the antistrophe they did the opposite.

Sophocles may have split them into two groups, so that it was as if one part of the Chorus was conversing with the other. Maybe the dualities created by strophe and antistrophe represent the endless irresolvable debates for which Greek tragedy is famous?

The Chorus Timeline

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