Antigone - Sophocles (496-406 BC e)

Literature of antiquity and the Middle Ages - Summary - 2019

Sophocles (496-406 BC e)

In Athens, they said: "The highest in human life is the law, and the unwritten law is above the written." An unwritten law is eternal, it is given by nature, and it holds on every human society: it commands to honor the gods, to love the relatives, to spare the weak. The written law is in every state its, it is established by people, it is not eternal, it can be published and canceled. The fact that the unwritten law above written is written by Sophocles of Athenians, the tragedy of Antigone.

In Thebes, King Oedipus was a wise man, a sinner and a sufferer. By the will of fate, he had a terrible part - without knowing, killing his father and marrying his mother. On his own accord, he executed himself - stroke his eyes to not see the light, as he did not see his involuntary crimes. By the will of the gods, he was granted forgiveness and blessed death. On his life, Sophocles wrote the tragedy "The King Oedipus", about his death - the tragedy "Oedipus in the Colonel".

From the incestuous marriage, Oedipus had two sons - Eteocles and Polygonius - and two daughters - Antigone and Isman. When Oedipus renounced power and went into exile, Eteokl and Polinik were under the control of the old Creton, Oedipus's specialist and counselor. Very soon the brothers quarreled: Eteokle banished Polinik, who assembled on a strange side a large army and went to Thebes in a war. There was a battle under the walls of Thebes, in a duel brother broke with his brother, and both died. About this Aeschylus wrote the tragedy "Seven v. Thebes". In the ending of this tragedy, Antigone and Isman, mourning brothers, appear. And about what was going on, Sophocles wrote in Antigone.

After the death of Eto'oklah and Polinik, the authority over Themis was taken by Creont. His first deed was a decree: Eto'oklah, the lawful king who had fallen for his fatherland, was buried with honor, and Polinik, who had brought the enemies to his hometown, to deprive the burial and to throw at the tortures of dogs and vultures. It was not in the custom: it was believed that the soul of the unborn can not find comfort in the afterlife, and that revenge of the defenseless dead - unworthy of people and unworthy of the gods. But Creon did not think about people and not about the gods, but about the state and the authorities.

But about the people and about the gods, about honor and piety thought a weak girl - Antigone. The policeman has the same brother as Ateokl, and she must take care that his soul finds the same afterlife calming down. The decree has not been announced yet, but she is ready to commit a crime. She calls her sister Isman - with their conversation the tragedy begins. "Will you help me?" - "How can you? We are weak women, our assignment is obedience, for us there is no demand for us: I honor gods, but I will not go against the state. " - "Well, I'll go alone, at least to death, and you will stay when you are not afraid of the gods." - "You are mad!" - "Leave me alone with my madness". - "Well, go; all the same I love you ".

The choir of the Favian elders enters, instead of anxiety, there is a joy: after all, victory is won, Thebes are saved, time to celebrate and to thank the gods. Creon comes out to meet the choir and announces his decree: the hero is an honor, the villain is a sermon, the body of Polinik was thrown at a disgrace, a guard guarded against him, who would break the royal decree, then death. And in response to these solemn words, the guardsman runs with disruptive explanations: the decree has already been violated, someone has put a corpse on the ground - let it be symbolically, but the burial has taken place, the guard has not followed, and he is now responsible, and he is horrified. Creon angry: find a criminal or guard to not drop your heads!

"Mighty man, but shit! - sings the choir. - He has conquered the earth and the sea, he owns thought and word; he builds cities and rules; but to the good or to the hardship of his power? Who honors the truth is good; Whoever fell into injustice is dangerous. " About whom he says: about the offender or about Creonte?

Suddenly the choir silences, it is amazed: the guard comes back, and behind him is the captive Antigone. "We wiped the ground from the corpse, we sat down to watch the next, and suddenly we see: the princess comes, weeping over the body, he again pours out the earth, he wants to make libations - here it is!" - "You broke the decree?" - "Yes, because he is not from Zeus and not from the eternal Truth: an unwritten law above the written, breaking it - is more terrible than death; Do you want to execute - let's go, your will, but my truth. " - "Do you go against the fellow citizens?" - "They are with me, only you are afraid." - "You will shame the hero brother!" - "No, I'm honored by the dead brother". - "The enemy will not become a friend after death." - "To share love is my lot, not hostility". Ismen comes out to their voices, the king scoops up and reproaches her: "You are an accomplice!" - "No, I did not help my sister, but I was ready to die with her." - "Do not dare to die with me - I chose death, you are life." - "They are both crazy, "Creon crashes," they are locked up, and my decree will be fulfilled." - "Death?" - "Death!" The choir sings in horror: God's anger is not the end, the trouble for misfortune - like a wave over the wave, the end of the Oedipus race: the gods endure people with hope, but they do not let them come true.

It was not easy for Creon to decide to be executed for Antigone. She is not only the daughter of his sister - she is also the bride of his son, the future king. Creon calls the prince: "Your bride has broken the decree; death is her sentence. The ruler must obey everything in a lawful and unlawful manner. Order - in obedience; but the order will fall - the state will perish. " - "Maybe you are right," the son objects, "but why then the whole city scams and pity the princess? Or you are just, and the whole people you are baking about are unlawful? "" The state is under the control of the king! "Kreont exclaims. "There is no proprietor over the people," the son answers him. The king is adamant: Antigone is buried in an underground tomb, let it save the underground gods which she so honors, and people will never see her again, "Then you will not see me again!" And with these words, the prince leaves. "Here it is, the power of love! - exclaims the choir. - Eroth, your flag is a banner of victories! Eroth - the catcher of the best prey! You have conquered all people - and, having conquered, you are mad ..."

Antigone is being executed. Her strength is over, she cries bitterly, but she does not spare anything. The cry of the Antigones resounds with the crying of the choir. "Here, instead of a wedding, I am a penalty, instead of love, I am death!" - "And for this you have eternal honor: you yourself have chosen the path - to die for the truth of God!" - "I live alive in Hades, where my father Oedipus and mother , the winner is a brother and a defeated brother, but they are buried dead, and I am alive! "-" The sinful sin in your generosity, your pride has fascinated you: an unwritten honest law, you can not be transgressed and written. " - "If God's law is above human, then why should I die?" Why pray to the gods, if for piety I declare me to be a dishonest? If the gods for the king - I will pay for my guilt; but if the gods for me - the king will pay. " Antigone is taken away; the choir in a long song commemorates the sufferers and sufferers of the ages, guilty and innocent, equal to those who suffered from the wrath of the gods.

The royal court is completed - God's court begins. To Creon is Tiresias, the beloved of the gods, the blind prophet - the one Oedipus warned. Not only is the people dissatisfied with the tsarist reprisal - the gods are angry: the fire does not want to burn on the altars, the birds of thought do not want to give signs. Creon does not believe: "Do not defile a man of God!" Terisius raises the voice: "You have violated the laws of nature and of the gods: he left the dead without burial, he locked the living in the grave! Being now in the city is infected, as with Oedipus, and to pay you dead for the dead - to lose your son! "The king is embarrassed, he first asks for advice from the choir; give up "Get down!" - says the choir. And the king cancels his order, orders the release of Antigone, and bury Polinik: yes, God's law is above human. The choir sings the prayer of Dionysus, the god born in the Thebes: help the fellow citizens!

But late. The bulletin brings the message: neither Antigones nor her groom is alive. The prince was found in an underground tomb hanging; and the king's son hugged her corpse. Creon came in, the prince rushed to his father, the king drew back, and then the prince smashed his sword in his chest. The corpse is on the corpse, their marriage was committed in the grave. The messenger silently listens to the queen - the wife of Creon, the mother of the prince; hears, turns and leaves; And a minute later a new messenger runs: the queen rushed to the sword, the queen killed herself, unable to live without her son. Creon, one on the stage, mourns herself, her family and her fault, and the choir echoes to him as Antigone echoed: "Wisdom is the highest blessing, pride is the worst sin, the spear of the serpent's execution, and under old age she teaches a foolish mind." With these words, the tragedy ends.