Monday, August 19, 2013

Classics Review- Antigone

(Cover from GoodReads)
"Ismene, dear sister
You would think we had already suffered enough
For the curse on Oedipus:
I cannot imagine any grief
That you and I have not gone through. And now-
Have they told you of the new decree of our King Creon?"
-Opening Line

Book: Antigone
Author: Sophocles
Translator: Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald
Genre: Tragedy
Published: 1966
Medium Read In: Paperback
Pages: 53

Rating (Scaled 1-10): 8

Why I'm Reading It: I had to read "Oedipus Rex" and "Antigone" as two of my summer reads. Surprisingly, I didn't have to read "Oedipus at Colonus." However, I will eventually be reading that play to provide a full review of all three of Sophocles' plays in the Oedipus Cycle.

Summary: The sons of Oedipus have been warring over the city of Thebes, their father's kingdom. Upon their deaths, their uncle and new king Creon announces that one shall receive a full military burial with honors while the other brother shall lay in ruin and rot in the field of battle. Antigone, their sister, decides to bury her brother and give him honor and respect out of her love for him.

Review: Again, I will point out it is slightly hard to present a review of a classic Greek play such as "Antigone," specifically because most people read them for analysis and not so much for enjoyment. This play presented a decent storyline and some lovely monologues, much like its predecessor. It was a good read, and I would recommend reading it.

I really liked Antigone's character. While she is foolish, headstrong, and brash, she also is very honorable and loyal to those she loves. Antigone, throughout the entirety of the play, sticks to the things she believes in, and in my opinion that is one of the best character traits out there. She knows that helping her brother have a proper burial could lead to her own death, but she doesn't care. She loves her brothers equally and thinks both of them should get what they deserve.

Overall, "Antigone" was an enjoyable read. However, I will say that I preferred "Oedipus Rex" to "Antigone." "Oedipus Rex" played out almost like a mystery. Despite the fact that I knew what was going on in the play, I still felt as if I were learning something new. The plot there flowed in a really good way, like it actually would have happened there.

With "Antigone," I didn't feel as if the plot flowed quite as well. I mostly say this because her betrothal to Haemon isn't even mentioned until a few scenes into the play. With something so short, I would have preferred to know about the marriage-plans from the beginning. I did enjoy "Antigone" and it was a nice finish to the story begun in its predecessors in the Cycle.

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