Basically you have to read a text and then answer questions, it would take like 2 hours max to do. Im in highschool first year. This is the text u have to read, every few, there will be a question

Basically you have to read a text and then answer questions, it would take like 2 hours max to do. Im in highschool first year. This is the text u have to read, every few, there will be a question



An English Version by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald (adapted)



  • Daughter of Oedipus and Iocasta
  • Sister of Ismene, Eteocles and Polyneices
  • Sister of Oedipus
  • Granddaughter of Iocasta
  • Niece of Creon
  • Princess of Thebes


  • Daughter of Oedipus and Iocasta
  • Sister of Antigone, Eteocles and Polyneices
  • Sister of Oedipus
  • Granddaughter of Iocasta
  • Niece of Creon
  • Princess of Thebes


  • King of Thebes
  • Son of Menoikeus
  • Husband of Eurydice
  • Father of Haimon
  • Brother of Iocasta
  • Uncle of Antigone, Ismene, Eteocles, and Polyneices


  • Queen of Thebes
  • Wife of Creon
  • Mother of Haimon


  • Son of Creon and Eurydice
  • Fiancé of Antigone


  • Blind prophet of Apollo (one of the most complex and important Greek gods, and is the god of many things, including: music, poetry, art, oracles, archery, plague, medicine, sun, light and knowledge)


  • Soldier and messenger



  • Group of old Theban men
  • Comment on the action of the play, explain the play’s central themes, and connect the play to other myths


  • Leader of the Chorus



Before the Palace of Creon, King of Thebes. A central double door, and two lateral (side) doors. A platform extends the length of the façade (front), and from this platform three steps lead down into the “orchestra” (chorus-ground). 

TIME: Dawn (early morning of the day after the repulse (drive back of an attacking army) of the Argive army from the assault (attack) on Thebes.



[ANTIGONE and ISMENE enter from the central door of the Palace.]


Ismene, dear sister,                                                                                                 1 You would think that we had already suffered enough

For the curse (call on supernatural to harm/punish someone) on Oedipus:

I cannot imagine any grief (deep sorrow or sadness)

That you and I have not gone through. And now ––                                              5

Have they told you of the new decree (official order) of our King Creon?


I have heard nothing: I know

That two sisters lost two brothers, a double death

In a single hour; and I know that the Argive army (army led by Polyneices)

Fled (ran away) in the night; but beyond this, nothing.                                        10


I thought so. And that is why I wanted you

To come out here with me. There is something we must do.


Why do you speak so strangely?


Listen, Ismenê:

Creon buried our brother Eteoclês                                                                         15

With military honors (great respect), gave him a soldier’s funeral,

And it was right that he should; but Polyneicês,

They fought as bravely and died as miserably (terribly), —

They say that Creon has sworn (promised under oath)

No one shall bury (put underground) him, no one mourn 

(show deep sadness or sorrow) for him,                                                                 20

But this body must lie (remain) in the fields, a sweet treasure

For carrion birds (eat dead animals) to find as they search for food.

That is what they say, and our good Creon is coming here

To announce it publicly; and the penalty (punishment) ––

Stoning (throwing large stones to kill) to death in the public square                     25

There it is,

And now you can prove what you are:

A true sister, or a traitor (person who betrays) to your family.


Antigone, you are mad! What could I possibly do?


You must decide whether you will help me or not.                                                30


I do not understand you. Help you in what?


Ismene, I am going to bury him. Will you come?


Bury him! You have just said the new law forbids (refuses to allow) it.


He is my brother. And he is your brother, too.


But think of the danger! Think what Creon will do!                                             35


Creon is not enough to stand in my way.


Ah sister!

Oedipus died, everyone hating him

For what his own search brought to light, his eyes

Ripped (removed by force) out by his own hand; and Iocaste died,

His mother and wife at once: she twisted (bent) the cords (rope, fabric) 40

That strangled her life;

and our two brothers died,

Each killed by the other’s sword. And we are left:

But oh, Antigone,

Think how much more terrible than these                                                             45

Our own death would be if we should go against (disobeyCreon

And do what he has forbidden (not allowed, banned)! We are only women,

We cannot fight with men, Antigone!

The law is strong, we must give in (obey) to the law

In this thing, and in worse. I beg the Dead                                                            50

To forgive me, but I am helpless (unable to defend):

I must yield (give way to demands)

To those in authority (power). And I think it is dangerous business

To be always meddling (interfering).


If that is what you think,

I should not want you, even if you asked to come.                                                55

You have made your choice, you can be what you want to be.

But I will bury him; and if I must (have to) die,

I say that this crime is holy (sacred, dedicated to god): I shall (will) lie down

With him in death, and I shall be as dear (close in affection and love)

To him as he to me.                                                                                                60

It is the dead

Not the living, who make the longest demands (calls for something):

We die forever…

You may do as you like

Since apparently (obviously) the laws of the gods mean nothing to you.             65


They mean a great deal to me, but I have no strength

To break (to disobey, to not follow) laws that were made for the public good.


That must be your excuse, I suppose. But as for me,

I will bury the brother I love.


Antigone,                                                                                                               70

I am so afraid for you!


You need not be:

You have yourself to consider (think about), after all.


But no one must hear of this, you must tell no one!

I will keep it a secret, I promise!                                                                             75


Oh tell it! Tell everyone

Think how they’ll hate you when it all comes out

If they learn that you knew about it all the time!


So fiery (passionate, quick-tempered)! You should be cold with fear.


Perhaps (maybe). But I am doing only what I must.                                            80


But can you do it? I say that you cannot.


Very well: when my strength gives out, I shall (will) do no more.


Impossible things should not be tried at all.


Go away, Ismene:

I shall (will) be hating you soon, and the dead will too,                                       85

For your words are hateful (very unpleasant). Leave me my foolish (lacking good judgment) plan:

I am not afraid of the danger; if it means death,

It will not be the worst of deaths ––death without honor (high respect).


Go then, if you feel that you must.

You are unwise (foolish, lacking good judgment),                                               90

But a loyal friend indeed (in fact, in truth) to those who love you.

CONTEXT NOTE:  Oedipus, once King of Thebes, was the father of Antigone and Ismene, and of their brothers Polyneices and Eteocles. Oedipus unwittingly (without knowing) killed his father, Laios, and married his own mother, Iocaste. When he learned what he had done, he blinded himself and left Thebes.  Iocaste, when she learned that she had married her own son and had children with him, also killed herself.



Finish the sentences below based on your understanding of the play so far.  Use proper punctuation.

1. Antigone asks her sister, Ismene, to help her bury the body of Polyneices because ______________________________


2. Ismene argues that they should not bury the body of their brother, Polyneices, because ________________________


3. Antigone argues that she will bury the body of their brother, Polyneices, because _________________________


4. Antigone and Ismene  respond differently to Creon’s Edict not to bury Polyneices, so ____________________________


5.  I agree with ________________________ (Antigone / Ismene) because ______________________________________


Reading Summary:

Who: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

What: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Where: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

When: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

How: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Why: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Summary Sentence: __________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


[Exit into the Palace. ANTIGONE goes offLeftEnter the CHORUS.]

CHORUS (Summary):

The Chorus welcomes the morning sun and sings of the terrible battle the preceding (before) night. Polyneices, one of the two sons of Oedipus, commanded a battle against his fellow Thebans.  Polyneices  and his men attacked the seven gates of Thebes at night and defeated the seven captains guarding them.  Polyneices and his men bring war, spears, fire, flames, screams, and death into the city.  Eteocles, the brother of Polyneices, fights to defend Thebes against his brother.  The two brothers fight a long face to face battle against each other until both are dead.  It is the morning following the battle; the Chorus celebrates the beautiful morning of victory and sings for joy because Thebes is now free of war.  The citizens of Thebes will sing hymns (religious songs) of praise in the temples (religious buildings).


For God hates utterly (completely) 100

The bray (loud, harsh sound like a donkey) of bragging (proud talk of one’s accomplishments) tongues;

And when he beheld (saw) their smiling, 102

Their swagger (confident and arrogant walk) of golden helms (position of leadership or control), 103

The frown (expression of disapproval) of his thunder blasted (exploded) 104

Their first man from our walls (structure to protect the city) 105


Seven captains at seven gates 106

Yielded (gave way to demands) their clanging (making a loud metallic sound) arms to the god 107

That bends the battle-line and breaks it. 108

These two only, brothers in blood, 109

Face to face in matchless (cannot be equaled) rage (extreme anger), 110

Mirroring (matching) each the other’s death, 111

Clashed (came together in violent conflict) in long combat (fight between armed forces). 112



But now at last our new King is coming: 113

Creon of ThebesMenoikeus’ son. 114

In this auspicious (characterized by success) dawn (early morning) of his reign (royal office) 115

What are the new complexities (challenges, difficulties) 116

That shifting (changing) Fate has woven (put together) for him? 117

What is his counsel (advice)? Why has he summoned (called) 118

The old men to hear him? 119

[Enter CREON from the Palace, CenterHe addresses the CHORUS from the top step.]


Gentlemen: I have the honor to inform you that our Ship of 120

State (government), which recent storms have threatened to destroy, has come 121

safely to harbor (home) at last, guided by the merciful wisdom of Heaven. I22

have summoned (called) you here this morning because I know that I can 123

depend upon you: your devotion (loyalty) to King Laios was absolute (complete); you 124

never hesitated (paused) in your duty (responsibility) to our late ruler (king) Oedipus; and when 125

Oedipus died, your loyalty (devotion) was transferred (given) to his children. 126

Unfortunately, as you know, his two sons, the princes Eteocles and 127

Polyneices, have killed each other in battle, and I, as the next in 128

blood, have succeeded to the full (total) power of the throne (position of king). 129

I am aware, of course, that no Ruler can expect complete 130

loyalty from his subjects until he has been tested in office. 131

Nevertheless, I say to you at the very outset (start) that I have nothing but 132

contempt (strong dislike) for the kind of Governor who is afraid, for whatever reason, 133

to follow the course that he knows is best for the State; and as for the 134

man who sets private friendship above the public welfare (well-being), ––I have 135

no use for him, either. I call God to witness that if I saw my country 136

headed for ruin (destruction), I should not be afraid to speak out plainly (honestly); and I need 137

hardly remind you that I would never have any dealings with an 138

enemy of the people. No one values friendship more highly than I; 139

but we must remember that friends made at the risk (danger) of wrecking (destroying) our 140

Ship (government) are not real friends at all. 141

These are my principles (values), at any rate, and that is why I have 142

made the following decision concerning the sons of Oedipus: 143

Eteocles, who died as a man should die, fighting for his country, is to 144

be buried with full military honors, with all the ceremony that is usual 145

when the greatest heroes die; but his brother Polyneices, who broke 146

his exile (forbidden to return) to come back with fire and sword against his native (birth) city and 147

the shrines (holy buildings) of his fathers’ gods, whose one idea was to spill the blood 148

of his blood and sell his own people into slavery–– Polyneices, I say, 149

is to have no burial: no man is to touch him or say the least prayer for 150

him; he shall lie on the plain (flat land with few trees), unburied (not buried); and the birds and the 151

scavenging dogs can do with him whatever they like. 152

This is my command (order), and you can see the wisdom (intelligence) behind it. As 153

long as I am King, no traitor (person who betrays their country) is going to be honored with the loyal 154

man. But whoever shows by word and deed that he is on the side of 155

the State,––he shall have my respect while he is living and my 156

reverence (deep respect) when he is dead. 157



(1) King Creon says, “recent storms have threatened to destroy” the government because ___________________________


(2) King Creon expects complete loyalty from his subjects, but ________________________________________________



(3) King Creon views Eteocles as a hero, so _____________


(4) King Creon views Polyneices as a traitor, so _________




If that is your will, Creon son of Menoikeus, 158

You have the right to enforce it: we are yours. 159


That is my will. Take care that you do your part. 160


We are old men: let the younger ones carry it out. 161


I do not mean that: the sentries have been appointed. 162


Then what is it that you would have us do? 163


You will give no support to whoever breaks this law. 164


Only a crazy man is in love with death! 165


And death it is; yet money talks, and the wisest 166

Have sometimes been known to count a few coins too many. 167

[Enter SENTRY from Left]


I’ll not say that I’m out of breath from running, King, because every 168

time I stopped to think about what I have to tell you, I felt like going 169

back. And all the time a voice kept saying, “You fool, don’t you 170

know you’re walking straight into trouble?”; and then another voice: 171

“Yes, but if you let somebody else get the news to Creon first, it will 172

be even worse than that for you!” But good sense won out, at least I 173

hope it was good sense, and here I am with a story that makes no 174

sense at all; but I’ll tell it anyhow, because, as they say, what’s going 175

to happen’s going to happen, and–– 176


Come to the point. What have you to say? 177


I did not it. I did not see who did it. You must not punish me for what someone 178

else has done. 179


comprehensive defense! More effective, perhaps, 180

If I knew its purpose. Come: what is it? 181


dreadful thing… I don’t know how to put it–– 182


Out with it! 183


Well, then; 184

The dead man––– 185

Polyneices–– 186

[Pause. The SENTRY is overcome, fumbles for words. CREON waits impassively.]

out there–– 187

someone, –– 188

new dust on the slimy flesh! 189

[Pause. No sign from CREON.]

Someone has given it burial that way, and 190

Gone … 191

[Long pause. CREON finally speaks with deadly control.]


And the man who dared do this? 192


I swear I 193

Do not know! You must believe me! 194

Listen: 195

The ground was dry, not a sign of digging, no, 196

Not a wheel track in the dust, no trace of anyone. 197

It was when they relieved us this morning: and one of them, 198

The corporal, pointed to it. 199

There it was, 200

The strangest–– 201

Look: 202

The body, just mounded over with light dust: you see? 203

Not buried really, but as if they’d covered it 204

Just enough for the ghost’s peace. And no sign 205

Of dogs or any wild animal that had been there. 206

And then what a scene there was! Every man of us 207

Accusing the other: we all proved the other man did it, 208

We all had proof that we could not have done it. 209

We were ready to take hot iron in our hands, 210

Walk through fire, swear by all the gods, 211

It was not I! 212

I do not know who it was, but it was not I! 213

[CREON’s rage has been mounting steadily, but the SENTRY is too intent upon his story to notice it.]

And then, when this came to nothing, someone said 214

A thing that silenced us and made us stare 215

Down at the ground: you had to be told the news, 216

And one of us had to do it! We threw the dice, 217

And the bad luck fell to me. So here I am, 218

No happier to be here than you are to have me: 219

Nobody likes the man who brings bad news. 220



(1) Although no one wanted to bring the news of Polyneices’ burial to King Creon, _________________________________





I have been wondering, King: can it be that the gods have done this? 221




Stop! 222

Must you doddering wrecks 223

Go out of your heads entirely? “The gods!” 224

Intolerable! 225

The gods favor this corpse? Why? How had he served them? 226

Tried to loot their temples, burn their images, 227

Yes, and the whole State, and its laws with it! 228

Is it your senile opinion that the gods love to honor bad men? 229

pious thought! –– 230

No, from the every beginning 231

There have been those who have whispered together, 232

Stiff-necked anarchists, putting their heads together, 233

Scheming against me in alleys. These are the men, 234

And they have bribed my own guard to do this thing. 235

Money! 236


There’s nothing in the world so demoralizing as money. 237

Find that man, bring him here to me, or your death 238

Will be the least of your problems: I’ll string you up 239

Alive, and there will be certain ways to make you 240

Discover your employer before you die; 241

And the process may teach you a lesson you seem to have missed 242

The dearest profit is sometimes all too dear: 243

That depends on the source. Do you understand me? 244

A fortune won is often misfortune. 245


King, may I speak? 246


Your very voice distresses me. 247


Are you sure that it is my voice, and not your conscience? 248


By God, he wants to analyze me now! 249


It is not what I say, but what has been done, that hurts you. 250


You talk too much. 251


Maybe; but I’ve done nothing. 252


Sold your soul for some silver: that’s all you’ve done. 253


How dreadful it is when the right judge judges wrong! 254


Your figures of speech 255

May entertain you now; but unless you bring me the man, 256

You will get little profit from them in the end. 257

[Enter CREON into the Palace.]


“Bring me the man” ––! 258

I’d like nothing better than bringing him the man! 259

But bring him or not, you have seen the last of me here. 260

At any rate, I am safe! 261

[Exit SENTRY.]



(1) King Creon demands the Sentry to bring him the man who dared to bury Polyneices against his orders , so ____________




CHORUS: [Strophe 1] 262

Numberless are the world’s wonders, but none 263

More wonderful than man; 264

O clear intelligence, force beyond all measure! 265

O fate of man, working both good and evil! 266

When the laws are kept, how proudly his city stands! 267

When the laws are broken, what of his city then? 268

Never may the anarchic man find rest at my hearth, 269

Never be it said that my thoughts are his thoughts. 270



(1) The Chorus sings that man is the world’s most wonderful wonder because ____________________________________


(2) Create a sentence using the subordinating conjunction when and the following phrases: “laws are kept” and “the city stands proudly.”  ____________________________________________________________________________________


(3) Combine the following two sentences:  The anarchic man never may find rest at my hearth.  The anarchic man never has the same thoughts as my thoughts. ____________________________________________________________





[Re-enter SENTRY leading ANTIGONE.]


What does this mean? Surely this captive woman 271

Is the Princess, Antigone. Why should she be taken? 272


Here is the one who did it! We caught her 273

In the very act of burying him. ––Where is Creon? 274


Just coming from the house. 275

[Enter CREON, Center]


What has happened? 276

Why have you come back so soon? 277


O King, 278

A man should never be too sure of anything: 279

I would have sworn 280

That you’d not see me here again: your anger 281

Frightened (scared) me so, and the things you threatened me with; 282

But how could I tell then 283

That I’d be able to solve the case so soon? 284

No dice-throwing this time: I was only too glad to come! 285

Here is this woman. She is the guilty one: 286

We found her trying to bury him. 287

Take her, then; question her; judge her as you will. 288

I am through with the whole thing now, and glad of it. 289


But this is Antigone! Why have you brought her here? 290


She was burying him, I tell you! 291



Is this the truth? 292


I saw her with my own eyes. Can I say more? 293


The details: come, tell me quickly! 294


It was like this: 295

After those terrible threats of yours King. 296

We went back and brushed the dust away from the body. 297

The flesh was soft by now, and stinking (smelling bad), 298

So we sat on a hill to windward and kept guard (watch). 299

No napping (sleeping) happened until the white round sun 300

Whirled in the center of the round sky over us: 301

Then, suddenly, 302

A storm of dust roared up from the earth, and the sky 303

Went out, the plain vanished (disappeared) with all its trees 304

In the stinging dark. We closed our eyes and endured it. 305

The whirlwind lasted a long time, but it passed; 306

And then we looked, and there was Antigone! 307

I have seen 308

A mother bird come back to a stripped nest, heard 309

Her crying bitterly a broken note or two 310

For the young ones stolen. Just so, when this girl 311

Found the bare corpse, and all her love’s work wasted, 312

She wept, and cried on heaven to damn the hands 313

That had done this thing 314

And then she brought more dust 315

And sprinkled wine three times for her brother’s ghost. 316

We ran and took her at once. She was not afraid, 317

Not even when we charged her with what she had done. 318

She denied nothing. 319

And this was a comfort to me, 320

And some uneasiness: for it is a good thing 321

To escape from death, but it is no great pleasure 322

To bring death to a friend. 323

Yes I always say 324

There is nothing so comfortable as your own safe skin! 325



(1) The Sentry knows it was Antigone who buried Polyneices because ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________.

(2) Combine the following two sentences:  The Sentry brings King Creon news that he saw Antigone burying the body of Polyneices.  King Creon will be surprised and upset.  ___________________________________________________



(3) The Sentry feels “some uneasiness” about bringing this news of Antigone burying Polyneices to King Creon because ___





[Slowly, dangerously.]

And you, Antigone, 326

You with your head hanging––do you confess this thing? 327


I do. I deny nothing. 328



You may go. 329


Tell me, tell me briefly: 330

Had you heard my proclamation touching this matter? 331


It was public. Could I help hearing it? 332


And yet you dared defy the law. 333



It was not God’s proclamation. That final Justice 334

That rules the world below makes no such laws. 335

Your edict, King, was strong, 336

But all your strength is weakness itself against 337

The immortal unrecorded laws of God. 338

They are not merely now: they were, and shall be, 339

Operative for ever, beyond man utterly. 340

I knew I must die, even without your decree: 341

I am only mortal. And if I must die 342

Now, before it is my time to die, 343

Surely this is no hardship: can anyone 344

Living, as I live, with evil all about me, 345

Think Death less than a friend? This death of mine 346

Is of no importance; but if I had left my brother 347

Lying in death unburied, I should have suffered. 348

Now I do not. 349

You smile at me. Ah Creon, 350

Think me a fool, if you like; but it may well be 351

That a fool convicts me of folly. 352



(1) Although it goes against the edict of her uncle, King Creon, _______________________________________________





Like father, like daughter: both headstrong, deaf (cannot hear) to reason! 353

She has never learned to yield. 354

She has much to learn. 355

The inflexible heart breaks first, the toughest iron 356

Cracks first, and the wildest horses bend their necks 357

At the pull of the smallest curb. 358

Pride? In a slave? 359

This girl is guilty of a double insolence, 360

Breaking the given laws and boasting (excessively proud talk) of it. 361

Who is the man here, 362

She or I, if this crime goes unpunished (not punished)? 363

Sister’s child, or more than sister’s child, 364

Or closer yet in blood––she and her sister 365

Win bitter death for this! 366



(1) The lines:  “Sister’s child, or more than sister’s child, / Or closer yet in blood––she and her sister” are significant because ___________________________________________________________________________________________



[To servants:]

Go, some of you, 367

Arrest Ismene. I accuse her equally. 368

Bring her: you will find her sniffling in the house there. 369

Her mind’s a traitor: crimes kept in the dark 370

Cry for light, and the guardian brain shudders: 371

But now much worse than this 372

Is brazen boasting of barefaced anarchy! 373


Creon, what more do you want than my death? 374


Nothing. 375

That gives me everything. 376


Then I beg you: kill me. 377

This talking is a great weariness: your words 378

Are distasteful to me, and I am sure that mine 379

Seem so to you. And yet they should not seem so: 380

I should have praise and honor for what I have done. 381

All these men here would praise me 382

Were their lips not frozen shut with fear of you. 383


Ah the good fortune of kings, 384

Licensed to say and do whatever they please! 385


You are alone here in that opinion. 386


No, they are with me. But they keep their tongues in leash. 387


Maybe. But you are guilty, and they are not. 388


There is no guilt in reverence for the dead. 389


But Eteocles––was he not your brother too? 390


My brother too. 391


And you insult his memory? 392

ANTIGONE: [Softly.]

The dead man would not say that I insult it. 393


He would: for you honor a traitor as much as him. 394


His own brother, traitor or not, and equal in blood. 395


He made war on his country. Eteocles defended it. 396


Nevertheless, there are honors due all the dead. 397


But not the same for the wicked as for the just. 398


Ah Creon, Creon, 399

Which of us can say what the gods hold wicked? 400


An enemy is an enemy, even dead. 401


It is my nature to join in love, not hate. 402


[Finally losing patience.]

Go join them, then; if you must have your love, 403

Find it in hell! 404


But see, Ismene comes: 405

[Enter ISMENE, guarded.]

Those tears are sisterly, the cloud 406

That shadows her eyes rains down gentle sorrow. 407


You too, Ismene, 408

Snake in my ordered house, sucking my blood 409

Stealthily––and all the time I never knew 410

That these two sisters were aiming at my throne! 411

Ismene, 412

Do you confess your share in this crime, or deny it? 413

Answer me. 414


Yes, if she will let me say so. I am guilty. 415



No, Ismene. You have no right to say so. 416

You would not help me, and I will not have you help me. 417


But now I know what you meant; and I am here 418

To join you, to take my share of punishment. 419


The dead man and the gods who rule the dead 420

Know whose act this was. Words are not friends. 421


Do you refuse me, Antigone? I want to die with you: 421

I too have a duty that I must discharge to the dead. 422


You shall not lessen my death by sharing it. 423


What do I care for life when you are dead? 424


Ask Creon. You’re always hanging on his opinions. 425


You are laughing at me. Why, Antigone? 426


It’s a joyless laughter, Ismene. 427


But can I do nothing? 428


Yes. Save yourself. I shall not envy you. 429

There are those who will praise you; I shall have honor, too. 430


But we are equally guilty! 431


No more, Ismene. 432

You are alive, but I belong to Death. 433


[To the CHORUS:]

Gentlemen, I beg you to observe these girls: 434

One has just now lost her mind; the other, 435

It seem, has never had a mind at all. 436


Grief teaches the steadiest minds to waver, King. 437


Yours certainly did, when you assumed guild with the guilty! 438


But how could I go on living without her? 439


You are.

She is already dead. 440


But your own son’s bride! 441


There are places enough for him to push his plow. 442

I want no wicked women for my sons! 443


O dearest Haimon, how your father wrong you! 444


I’ve had enough of your childish talk of marriage! 445


Do you really intend to steal this girl from your son? 446


No; Death will do that for me. 447


Then she must die? 448



You dazzle me. 449

––But enough of this talk! 450


You, there, take them away and guard them well: 451

For they are but women, and even brave men run 452

When they see Death coming. 453

[Exeunt (Exit) ISMENE, ANTIGONE, and GUARDS.]


CHORUS: [Strophe 1] 454

Fortunate is the man who has never tasted God’s vengeance! 455

Where once the anger of heaven has struck, that house is shaken 456

For ever: damnation rises behind each child 457

I have seen this gathering sorrow from time long past 458

Loom upon Oedipus’ children: generation from generation 459

So lately this last flower of Oedipus’ line 460

Drank the sunlight! but now a passionate word 461

And a handful of dust have closed up all its beauty 462

What mortal arrogance [Strophe 2] 463

Transcends the wrath of Zeus? 464

No pride on earth is free of the curse of heaven. 465

But the ancient wisdom speaks for our own time: 466



But here is Haimon, King, the last of all your sons. 467

Is it grief for Antigone, that brings him here, 468

And bitterness at being robbed of his bride? 469

[Enter HAIMON.]


We shall soon see, and no need of diviners. 470

––Son, 471

You have heard my final judgment on that girl: 472

Have you come here hating me, or have you come 473

With deference (respect) and with love, whatever I do? 474


I am your son, father. You are my guide. 475

You make things clear for me, and I obey you. 476

No marriage means more to me than your continuing wisdom. 477


Good. That is the way to behave: subordinate (lower in power or position) 478

Everything else, my son, to your father’s will 479

This is what a man prays for, that he may get 480

Sons attentive and dutiful (responsible) in his house, 481

Each one hating his father’s enemies, 482

Honoring his father’s friends. But if his sons 483

Fail him, if they turn out unprofitably, 484

What has he fathered but trouble for himself 485

And amusement for the malicious? 486

So you are right 487

Not to lose your head over this woman. 488

Your pleasure with her would soon grow cold, Haimon, 489

And then you’d have a hellcat in bed and elsewhere. 490

Let her find her husband in Hell! 491

Of all the people in this city, only she 492

Has had contempt for my law and broken it. 493

Do you want me to show myself weak before the people? 494

Or to break my sworn word? No, and I will not. 495

The woman dies. 496

I suppose she’ll plead “family ties.” Well, let her. 497

If I permit my own family to rebel, 498

How shall I earn the world’s obedience? 499

Show me the man who keeps his house in hand, 500

He’s fit for public authority. 501

I’ll have no dealings 502

With law-breakers, critics of the government: 503

Whoever is chosen to govern should be obeyed–– 504

Must be obeyed, in all things, great and small, 505

Just (fair) and unjust unfair)! O Haimon, 506

The man who knows how to obey, and that man only, 507

Knows how to give commands when the time comes. 508

You can depend on him, no matter how fast 509

The spears come: he’s a good soldier, he’ll stick it out. 510

Anarchy, anarchy! Show me a greater evil! 511

This is why cities tumble (fall) and the great houses rain down, 512

This is what scatters armies! 513

No, no: good lives are made so by discipline. 514

We keep the laws then, and the lawmakers, 515

And no woman shall seduce us. If we must lose, 516

Let’s lose to a man, at least! Is a woman stronger than we? 517



(1) Haimon respects his father, so _________________________________________________________________________


(2) Haimon loves and respects Antigone, but ________________________________________________________________


(3) King Creon believes that cities tumble because ___________________________________________________________




Unless time has rusted my wits, 518

What you say, King, is said with point and dignity. 519


[Boyishly earnest (honest).]

Father: 520

Reason is God’s crowing gift to man, and you are right 521

To warn me against losing mine. I cannot say–– 522

I hope that I shall never want to say! ––that you 523

Have reasoned badly. Yet there are other men 524

Who can reason, too; and their opinions might be helpful. 525

You are not in a position to know everything 526

That people say or do, or what they feel: 527

Your temper terrifies them––everyone 528

Will tell you only what you like to hear. 529

But I, at any rate, can listen; and I have heard them 530

Muttering and whispering in the dark about this girl. 531

They say no woman has ever, so unreasonably, 532

Died so shameful a death for a generous act: 533

“She covered her brother’s body. Is this indecent (not acceptable)? 534

She kept him from dogs and vultures (large birds who eat dead animals). Is this a crime? 535

Death? ––She should have all the honor that we can give her!” 536

This is the way they talk out there in the city. 537

You must believe me: 538

Nothing is closer to me than your happiness. 539

What could be closer? Must not any son 540

Value his father’s fortune as his father does his? 541

I beg you, do not be unchangeable (not willing to change): 542

Do not believe that you alone can be right. 543

The man who thinks that, 544

The man who maintains (believes) that only he has the power 545

To reason correctly, the gift to speak, to soul–– 546

A man like that, when you know him, turns out empty. 547

It is not reason never to yield (listen) to reason! 548

In flood time you can see how some trees bend, 549

And because they bend, even their twigs (small tree branches) are safe, 550

While stubborn (determined not to move) trees are torn up, roots and all. 551

And the same thing happens in sailing: 552

Make your sheet (large cloth for sailing) fast (tight), never slacken (loosen),––and over you go, 553

Head over heels and under: and there’s your voyage (long trip). 554

Forget you are angry! Let yourself be moved! 555

I know I am young; but please let me say this: 556

The ideal (perfect) condition (situation) 557

Would be, I admit, that men should be right by instinct; 558

But since we are all too likely to go astray (into error or morally questionable behavior), 559

The reasonable thing is to learn from those who can teach. 560



(1) What news does Haimon present to King Creon about the people of Thebes?

(2) What advice does Haimon offer to his father?



You will do well to listen to him, King, 561

If what he says is sensible. And you, Haimon, 562

Must listen to your father. ––Both speak well. 563


You consider it right for a man of my years and experience 564

To go to school to a boy? 565


It is not right 566

If I am wrong. But if I am young, and right, 567

What does my age matter? 568


You think it right to stand up for an anarchist (rebels against authority)? 569


Not at all. I pay no respect to criminals. 570


Then she is not a criminal? 571


The City proposes (offers) to teach me how to rule? 572


And the City proposes to teach me how to rule? 573


Ah. Who is it that’s talking like a boy now? 574


My voice is the one voice giving orders in this City! 575


It is no City if it takes orders from one voice. 576


The State is the King! 578


Yes, if the State is a desert 579.



This boy, it seems, has sold out to a woman. 580


If you are a woman: my concern is only for you. 581


So? Your “concern”! In a public brawl (fight) with your father! 582


How about you, in a public brawl (fight) with justice? 583


With justice, when all that I do is within my rights? 584


You have no right to trample (step heavily on causing damage) on God’s right. 585

CREON: [Completely out of control.] 586

Fool, adolescent fool! Taken in by a woman! 587


You’ll never see me taken in by anything vile. 588


Every word you say is for her! 589

HAIMON: [Quietly, darkly.] 590

And for you. 591

And for me. And for the gods under the earth. 592


You’ll never marry her while she lives. 593


Then she must die. ––But her death will cause another. 594


Another? 595

Have you lost your senses? Is this an open threat? 596


There is no threat in speaking to emptiness. 597


I swear you’ll regret this superior tone of yours! 598

You are the empty one! 599


If you were not my father, 600

I’d say you were perverse (corrupt). 601


You girlstruck fool (idiot), don’t play at words with me! 602


I am sorry. You prefer silence. 603


Now, by God––! 604

I swear, by all the gods in heaven above us, 605

You’ll watch it, I swear you shall (will) 606

[To the SERVANTS:]

Bring her out! 607

Bring the woman out! Let her die before his eyes! 608

Here, this instant (moment), with her bridegroom (fiance, future husband) beside her! 609


Not here, no; she will not die here, King. 610

And you will never see my face again. 611

Go on raving (wildly talking) as long as you’ve a friend to endure (listen to) you. 612

[Exit HAIMON.]


Gone, gone. 613

Creon, a young man in a rage (extreme anger) is dangerous! 614


Let him do, or dream to do, more than a man can. 615

He shall (will) not save these girls from death. 616


These girls? 617

You have sentenced them both? 618


No, you are right 619

I will not kill the one whose hands are clean. 620


But Antigone? 621



I will carry her far away 622

Out there in the wilderness, and lock her 623

Living in a vault of stone. She shall have food, 624

As the custom is, to absolve the State of her death. 625

And there let her pray to the gods of hell: 626

They are her only gods: 627

Perhaps they will show her an escape from death, 628

Or she may learn, 629

though late, 630

That piety shown the dead is pity in vain. 631

[Exit CREON.]



Love, unconquerable [Strophe] 632

Surely you swerve upon ruin [Antistrope] 633

The just man’s consenting heart, 634

As here you have made bright anger 635

Strike between father and son–– 636

And none has conquered but Love! 637

A girl’s glance working the will of heaven: 638

Pleasure to her alone who mock us, 639

Merciless Aphrodite. 640



[As ANTIGONE enters guarded.]

But I can no longer stand in awe of this, 641

Nor, seeing what I see, keep back my tears. 642

Here is Antigone, passing to that chamber 643

Where all find sleep at last 644


Look upon me, friends, and pity me [Strophe 1] 645

Turning back at the night’s edge to say 646

Good-by to the sun that shines for me no longer; 647

Now sleepy Death 648

Summons (calls) me down to Acheron,5 that cold shore: 649

There is no bridesong there, nor any music. 650

4 Goddess of Love. 651

5 A river of the underworld, which was ruled by Hades.


Yet not unpraised, not without a kind of honor, 653

You walk at last into the underworld; 654

Untouched by sickness, broken by no sword. 655

What woman has ever found your way to death? 656


[Antistrophe 1]

How often I have heard the store of Niobe, 657

Tantalos’ wretched daughter, how the stone 658

Clung fast about her, ivy-close: and they say 659

The rain falls endlessly 660

And rifting soft snow; her tears are never done. 661

I feel the loneliness of her death in mine. 662


But she was born of heaven, and you 663

Are woman, woman-born. If her death is yours, 664

A mortal woman’s, is this not for you 665

Glory in our world and in the world beyond? 667


You laugh at me. Ah, friends, friends, [Strophe2] 668

Can you not wait until I am dead? O Thebes, 669

O men many-charioted, in love with Fortune, 670

Dear spring of Dirce, sacred Theban grove, 671

Be witnesses for me, denied all pity, 672

Unjustly judge! and think a word of love 673

For her whose path turns 674

Under dark earth, where there are no more tears. 675


You have passed beyond human daring and come at last 676

Into a place of stone where Justice sits 677

I cannot tell 678

What shape of your father’s guilt appears in this. 679


[Antistrophe 2]

You have touched it at last: that bridal bed 680

Unspeakable, horror of son and mother mingling: 681

Their crime, infection of all our family! 682

Oedipus, father and brother! 683

Your marriage strikes from the grave to murder mine. 684

I have been a stranger here in my own land: 685

Niobe boasted of her numerous children, provoking Leto, the mother of Apollo, to destroy them. 686 Niobe wept profusely, and 687

finally was turned into a stone on Mount Sipylus, whose streams are her tears. [Editors’ note] 688

All my life 689

The blasphemy of my birth has followed me. 690


Reverence is a virtue, but strength 691

Lives in established law: that must prevail. 692

You have made your choice, 693

Your death is the doing of your conscious hand. 694



Then let me go, since all your words are bitter, 695

And the very light of the sun is cold to me. 696

Lead me to my vigil, where I must have 697

Neither love nor lamentation; no song, but silence. 698

[CREON interrupts impatiently.]


If dirges and planned lamentations could put off death, 699

Men would be singing for ever. 670

[To the SERVANTS:]

Take her, go! 671

You know your orders: take her to the vault 672

And leave her alone there. And if she lives or dies, 673

That’s her affair (business), not ours: our hands are clean. 674


O tomb, vaulted bride-bed in eternal (forever) rock, 675

Soon I shall be with my own again 677

Where Persephone 7 welcome the thin ghost underground: 678

And I shall see my father again, and you, mother, 679

And dearest Polyneices–– 670

dearest indeed 671

To me, since it was my hand 672

That washed him clean and poured the ritual (ceremony) wine: 673

And my reward is death before my time! 674

And yet, as men’s hearts know, I have done no wrong, 675

I have not sinned before God. Or if I have, 677

I shall know the truth in death. But if the guilt 678

Lies upon Creon who judged me, then, I pray, 679

May his punishment equal my own. 680


passionate heart, 681

Unyieldingtormented (severe mental or physical suffering) still by the same winds! 682

7 Queen of the underworld. [Editors’ note] 683


Her guards shall have good cause to regret their delaying. 684


Ah! That voice you no reason to think voice of death! 685


I can give you no reason to think you are mistaken. 686


Thebes, and you my fathers’ gods, 687

And rulers of Thebes, you see me now, the last 688

Unhappy daughter of a line of kings, 689

Your kings, led away to death. You will remember 690

What things I suffer, and at what men’s hands, 691

Because I would not transgress (violate) the laws of heaven. 692

[To the GUARDS, simply:]

Come: let us wait no longer. 693

[Exit ANTIGONE, L., guarded.]


[Enter blind TEIRESIAS, led by a boy. The opening speeches of TEIRESIAS should be in singsong contrast to the realistic lines of CREON.]


This is the way the blind man comes, Princes, Princes, 694

Lock-step, two heads lit by the eyes of one. 695


What new thing have you tell us, old Teiresias? 696


I have much to tell you: listen to the prophet, Creon. 697


I admit my debt to you. But what have you to say? 698


Listen, Creon: 699

I was sitting in my chair of augury (omen, sign of what will happen in the future), at the place 700

Where the birds gather about me. They were all a-chatter, 701

As is their habit, when suddenly I heard 702

A strange note in their jangling (ringing metallic sound), a scream, a 703

Whirring (humming or buzzing sound) fury (wild or violent energy or anger); I knew that they were fighting, 704

Tearing each other, dying 705

In a whirlwind of wings clashing. And I was afraid. 706

I began the rites (religious ceremonies) of burnt-offering at the altar (flat upraised structure for religious ceremonies), 707

But Hephaistos 12 failed me: instead of bright flame, 708

There was only the sputtering slime of the fat thigh-flesh 709

Melting: the entrails (internal organs) dissolved in gray smoke, 710

The bare bone burst from the welter (turmoil, state of wild disorder). And no blaze! 711

This was a sign from heaven. My boy described it, 712

Seeing for me as I see for others. 713

I tell you, Creon, you yourself have brought 714

This new calamity (event causing damage) upon us. Our hearths (front of a fireplace) and altars (raised structure for religious rituals) 715

Are stained with the corruption of dogs and carrion birds 716

That glut themselves on the corpse of Oedipus’ son. 717

The gods are deaf when we pray to them, their fire 718

Recoils (pulls back) from our offering, their birds of omen (a sign) 719

Have no cry of comfort, for they are gorged (full to capacity) 720

With the thick blood of the dead. 721

O my son, 722

These are no trifles (things of little value or importance)! Think: all men make mistakes, 723

But a good man yields (stops resisting) when he knows his course (path) is wrong, 724

And repairs (fixes) the evil. The only crime is pride. 725

Give in to the dead man, then: do not fight with a corpse (dead body) –– 726

What glory is it to kill a man who is dead? 727

Think, I beg you: 728

It is for your own good that I speak as I do. 729

You should be able to yield (stop resisting, give way to arguments) for your own good. 730


It seems that prophets have made me their special province. 731

All my life long 732

I have been a kind of butt for dull (not sharp) arrows 733

Of doddering (physically or mentally impaired because of old age) fortune-tellers! 734

No, Teiresias: 735

If your birds––if the great eagles of God himself 736

Should carry him stinking bit by bit to heaven, 737

I would not yield. I am not afraid of pollution: 738

No man can defile (violate) the gods.739

Do what you will, 740

Go into business, make money, speculate (to invest with hope of gain but the chance of loss) 741

In India gold or that synthetic (man-made) gold from Sardis, 742

Get rich otherwise than by my consent (approval) to bury him. 743

Teiresias, it is a sorry thing when a wise man 744

Sells his wisdom, lets out his words for hire! 745


Ah Creon! Is there no man left in the world–– 746


To do what? ––Come, let’s have the aphorism (observation that contains general truth)! 747


No man who knows that wisdom outweighs (has more value than) any wealth? 748


As surely as bribes are baser (lower) than any baseness (lack of moral character). 749


You are sick, Creon! You are deathly sick! 750


As you say: it is not my place to challenge a prophet. 751


Yet you have said my prophecy (prediction) is for sale. 752


The generation of prophets has always loved gold. 753


The generation of kings has always loved brass (yellow metal made of copper and zinc). 754


You forget yourself! You are speaking to your King. 755


I know it. You are a king because of me. 756


You have a certain skill; but you have sold out. 757


King, you will drive me to words that–– 758


Say them, say them! 759

Only remember: I will not pay you for them. 760


No, you will find them too costly. 761

No doubt. Speak: 762

Whatever you say, you will not change my will. 763


Then take this, and take it to heart! 764

The time is not far off when you shall pay back 765

Corpse (dead body) for corpse, flesh (soft muscle and fat) of your own flesh. 766

You have thrust the child of this world into living night, 767

You have kept from the gods below the child that is theirs: 768

The one on a grave before her death, the other, 769

Dead, denied the grave. This is your crime: 780

And the Furies and the dark gods of Hell 781

Are swift (quick) with terrible punishment for you. 782

Do you want to buy me now, Creon? 783

Not many days, 784

And your house will be full of men and women weeping (crying), 785

And curses will be hurled (thrown) at you from far 786

Cities grieving (expressing sadness) for sons unburied (not put in the ground), left to rot (decay) 787

Before the walls of Thebes. 788

These are my arrows, Creon: they are all for you. 789

[To BOY:]

But come, child: lead me home. 790

Let him waste his fine anger upon younger men. 791

Maybe he will learn at last 792

To control a wiser tongue in a better head. 793



The old man has gone, King, but his words 794

Remain to plague (make sick) us. I am old, too, 795

But I cannot remember that he was ever false (wrong). 796


That is true… . It troubles me. 797

Oh it is hard to give in! but it is worse 798

To risk everything for stubborn (determined not to change one’s mind) pride. 799


Creon: take my advice. 800


What shall I do? 801


Go quickly: free Antigone from her vault 802

And build a tomb (burial place) for the body of Polyneices.803


You would have me do this? 804


Creon, yes! 805

And it must be done at once: God moves 806

Swiftly (quickly) to cancel the folly (mistakes) of stubborn (determined not to change mind) men. 807


It is hard to deny the heart! But I 808

Will do it: I will not fight with destiny. 809


You must go yourself, you cannot leave it to others. 810


I will go. 811

––Bring axes, servants: 812

Come with me to the tomb. I buried her, I 813

Will set her free. 814

Oh quickly! 815

My mind misgives (is filled with doubt) –– 816

The laws of the gods are mighty (powerful), and a man must serve them 817

To the last day of his life! 818

[Exit CREON.]



God of many names 819

God of many names 820

God of many names 821


The shadow of plague (contagious disease) is upon us: 823


[Antistrophe 2]

Io Fire! Chorister of the throbbing (shining strongly with regular rhythm) stars! 824

O purest among the voices of the night! 825

Thou son of God, blaze (burn fiercely or brightly) for us! 826


Come 827

God of many names! 828

[Exit CHORUS.  Enter MESSENGER, Left]


Men of the line of Kadmos you who live 829

Near Amphion’s citadel (fortress to protect the city): 830

I cannot say 831

Of any condition of human life “This is fixed, 832

This is clearly good, or bad.” Fate (destiny) raises up, 833

And Fate casts (throws with force) down the happy and unhappy alike: 834

No man can foretell his Fate. 835

Take the case of Creon: 836

Creon was happy once, as I count happiness: 837

Victorious (winning) in battle, sole (only) governor of the land, 838

Fortunate father of children nobly (from a family of high social rank) born. 839

And now it has all gone from him! Who can say 840

That a man is still alive when his life’s joy fails? 841

He is a walking dead man. Grant him rich, 842

Let him live like a king in his great house: 843

If his pleasure is gone, is would not give 844

So much as the shadow of smoke for all he owns. 845


Your words hint at sorrow (deep sadness): what is your news for us? 846


They are dead. The living are guilt of their death. 847


Who is guilty? Who is dead? Speak! 848



Haimon is dead; and the land that killed him 849

Is his own hand. 850


His father’s? or his own? 851


His own, driven mad (made crazy) by the murder his father had done. 852


Teiresias, Teiresias, how clearly you saw it all! 853


This is my news: you must draw what conclusions you can from it. 854


But look: Eurydice, our Queen: 855

Has she overheard us? 856

[Enter EURYDICE from the Palace, Center]


I have heard something, friends: 857

As I was unlocking the gate of Pallas’ 17 shrine, 858

For I needed her help today, I heard a voice 859

Telling of some new sorrow (sadness). And I fainted 860

There at the temple with all my maidens (unmarried young women) about me. 861

But speak again: whatever it is, I can bear it: 862

Grief (deep sorrow or sadness) and I are no strangers. 863


Dearest Lady, 864

I will tell you plainly all that I have seen. 865

I shall not try to comfort you: what is the use, 866

Since comfort could lie only in what is not true? 867

The truth is always best. 868

I went with Creon 869

To the outer plain (open land with few trees) where Polyneices was lying, 870

No friend to pity (feel sorrow/compassion for) him, his body shredded (torn apart to pieces) by dogs. 871

We made our prayers in that place to Hecate 872

And Pluto, 18 that they would be merciful (forgiving). And we bathed (washed) 873

The corpse (dead body) with holy water, and we brought 874

Fresh-broken branches to burn what was left of it, 875

And upon the urn (vase used to store ashes) we heaped up a towering (extremely tall) barrow (wheelbarrow or cart) 876

Of the earth of his own land. 877



(1) What does the Messenger tell Queen Euridyce about the corpse of Polyneices?


When we are done, we ran 878

To the vault (arched building made of stones) where Antigone lay on her couch of stone. 879

One of the servants had gone ahead, 880

And while he was yet far off he heard a voice 881

Grieving within the chamber, and he came back 882

And told Creon. And as the King went closer, 883

The air was full of wailing, the words lost, 884

And he begged us to make all haste (hurry). “Am I a prophet?” 885

He said, weeping, “And must I walk this road, 886

The saddest of all that I have gone before? 887

My son’s voice calls me on. Oh quickly, quickly! 888

Look through the crevice (crack) there, and tell me 889

If it is Haimon, or some deception (trick) of the gods!” 890

We obeyed; and in the cavern’s (cave) farthest corner 891

We saw her lying: 892

She had made a noose (cloth tied to hang oneself) of her fine (high quality) linen veil (cloth to cover face) 893

And hanged herself. Haimon lay beside hers, 894

His arms about her waist, lamenting (expressing his deep grief, mourning) her, 895

His love lost underground, crying out 896

That his father has stolen her away from him. 897

When Creon saw him the tears rushed to his eyes 898

And he called to him: “What have you done, child? Speak to me. 899

What are you thinking that makes your eyes so stranger? 900

O my son, my son, I come to you on my knees!” 901

But Haimon spat (past tense of spit) in his face. He said not a word, 902

Staring–– 903

And suddenly drew (pulled out) his sword 904

And lunged (sudden move forward). Creon shrank back (pulled away), the blade missed; and the boy, 905

Desperate against himself , drove it half its length 906

Into his own side, and fell. And as he died 907

He gathered Antigone close in his arms again. 908

Choking, his blood bright red on her white cheek. 909

And now he lies dead with the dead, and she is his 910

At last, his bride in the houses of the dead. 911

[Exit EURDICE into the Palace.]


She has left us without a word. What can this mean? 912



(1) What do we learn about Antigone?

(1) What happens between Haimon and his father, King Creon?



It troubles me, too; yet she knows what is best, 913

Her grief (deep sadness) is too great for public lamentation (passionate expression of grief or sorrow) 914

And doubtless (without doubt) she has gone to her chamber (room) to weep (cry) 915

For dead son, leading her maidens (unmarried young women) in his dirge (funeral song of grief). 916


It may be so: but I fear this deep silence. 917



I will see what she is doing. I will go in. 918

[Exit MESSENGER into the Palace.]

[Enter CREON with attendants (employees), bearing (carrying) HAIMON’S body.]


But here is the King himself: oh look at him, 919

Bearing (carrying) his own damnation (eternal punishment) in his arms. 920


Nothing you say can touch me anymore. 921

My own blind heart has brought me 922

From darkness to final darkness. Here you see 923

The father murdering, the murdered son–– 924

And all my civic (political) wisdom! 925

Haimon my son, so young, so young to die, 926

I was the fool (person who acted unwisely), not you; and you died for me. 927


That is the truth; but you were late in learning it. 928


This truth is hard to bear. Surely a god 929

Has crushed me beneath the hugest weight of heaven, 930

And driven me headlong (in a rush) a barbaric (cruel) way 931

To trample out (destroy) the thing I held most dear. 932

The pains that men will take to come to pain! 933

[Enter MESSENGER from the Palace.]


The burden (something difficult or unpleasant) you carry in your hands is heavy, 934

But it is not all: you will find more in your house. 935


What burden (something difficult or unpleasant) worse than this shall I find there? 936


The Queen is dead. 937


port (door) of death, deaf (cannot hear) world, 938

Is there no pity (feeling of compassion) for me? And you, Angel of evil, 939

I was dead, and your words are death again. 940

Is it true, boy? Can it be true? 941

Is my wife dead? Has death bred (produced) death? 942


You can see for yourself. 942

[The doors are opened, and the body of EURDICE is disclosed (shown) within.]


Oh pity! 943

All true, all true, and more than I can bear! 944

O my wife, my son! 945


She stood before the altar, and her heart 946

Welcome the knife her own hand guided (led). 947

And a great cry burst (broke out suddenly and violently) from her lips for Megareus 19 dead, 948

And for Haimon dead, her sons; and her last breath 949

Was a curse for their father, the murdered of her sons. 950

And she fell, and the dark flowed in through her closing eyes. 951



(1) What do we learn about Queen Euridyce?  What led her to this response?



O God, I am sick with fear. 952

Are there no swords here? Has no one a blow for me? 953


Her curse is upon you for the deaths of both. 954


It is right that it should be. I alone am guilty. 955

I know it, and I say it. Lead me in, 956

Quickly, friends. 957

I have neither life nor substance (usefulness or importance). Lead me in. 957


You are right, if there can be right in so much wrong. 958

The briefest (shortest) way is best in a world of sorrow. 959


Let it come, 960

Let death come quickly, and be kind to me. 961

I would not ever see the sun again. 962


All that will come when it will; but we, meanwhile (while we wait), 963

Have much to do. Leave the future to itself. 964


All my heart was in that prayer! 965


Then do not pray anymore: the sky is deal 966


Lead me away. I have been rash (shown a lack of careful consideration) and foolish (stupid). 967

I have killed my son and my wife. 968

I look for comfort; my comfort lies here dead. 969

Whatever my hands have touched has come to nothing. 970

Fate (events beyond a person’s control, destiny) has brought all my pride to a thought of dust. 971



(1) Is King Creon the same person at the end of the play as he is at the beginning of the play?  Explain citing evidence from the text.


[As CREON is being led into the house, the CHORAGOS advances and speaks directly to the audience.]


There is no happiness where there is no wisdom; 972

No wisdom but in submission (act of accepting a higher force) to the gods. 973

Big words are always punished, 974

And proud men in old age learn to be wise. 975

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