►“Antigone” by Sophocles / Two Poems at “La Poesía no Muerde” / #BloggersBash Awards 🔆.-
“Antigone” is the third of the three Sophocles´ Theban plays but was the first written, chronologically.
Oedipus has just passed away in Colonus, and, after Oedipus´ death Antigone and her sister Ismene decide to return to Thebes.
After her father went into exile, Antigone and her sister were raised in the house of Creon.
Antigone´s brothers Polyneices and Eteocles were casualties in a brutal war for power, each brother dying by the other’s hand.
During Oedipus´s exile, the Teban throne was shared by Polynices and Eteocles.
The two brothers decided to rule in an alternating fashion every year; but when it was time for Eteocles to step down, instead he expelled Polynices and kept the throne for himself.
Polynices, enraged, gathered an army and marched against Thebes, a story that is known as the Seven against Thebes.
During that battle, the attackers were repelled; the two brothers ended up in single combat, and killed each other.
After their death, their uncle Creon declared that Eteocles will be honored with burial since he was a defender of Thebes, while Polyneices’ body is left to the vultures and dogs. It is this edict that drives Antigone to defy the state, since she believes her brother Polyneices deserves the same treatment as Eteocles.
In the opening of the play, Antigone brings Ismene outside the palace gates late at night for a secret meeting: Antigone wants to bury Polyneices’ body, in defiance of Creon’s edict. Ismene refuses to help her, fearing the death penalty, but she is unable to stop Antigone from going to bury her brother herself, causing Antigone to disown her out of anger.
Creon decides to spare Ismene but rules that Antigone should be buried alive in a cave as punishment for her transgressions. She is brought out of the house, bewailing her fate but still vigorously defending her actions, and is taken away to her living tomb, to expressions of great sorrow by the Chorus.
Haemon, Creon’s son who was to marry Antigone, advises his father to reconsider his decision.
In a dramatic dialogue with his father, Haemon defends the moral basis of Antigone’s actions while warning his father that the people of Thebes sympathize with her determination to bury Polyneices.
The blind prophet Tiresias warns Creon warns Creon that the gods side with Antigone, and that Creon will lose a child for his crimes of leaving Polyneices unburied and for punishing Antigone so harshly. Tiresias warns that all of Greece will despise him, and that the sacrificial offerings of Thebes will not be accepted by the gods.
Creon insults Tiresias, but soon after he realizes that Tiresias has never been wrong and that he must do his bidding. Hence he eventually consents to follow their advice and to free Antigone and to bury Polyneices.
But, a messenger then enters to report that, in their desperation, both Haemon and Antigone have taken their own lives. Creon’s wife, Eurydice, is distraught with grief over the loss of her son, and flees the scene. Creon himself begins to understand that his own actions have caused these events. A second messenger then brings the news that Eurydice has also killed herself, calling curses down on Creon for having caused the tragedy.and, with her last breath, had cursed her husband and his intransigence.
Alone, in despair, Creon accepts responsibility for all the tragedy and prays for a quick death. The Chorus closes the play with an attempt at consolation, by saying that although the gods punish the proud, punishment also brings wisdom.
♠Description of the Family Tree (Elements of the plot included):
Oedipus is a descendent of the Labdacus family. He inadvertently kills his father Laius and marries his mother, Jocasta.
As a result of Oedipus’ marriage to Jocasta, he sires four children, who are at once his siblings and his children: Eteocles, Polyneices, Ismene, and Antigone.
Oedipus, shamed by his marriage and murder, surrenders the kingdom to his brother Creon.
Creon takes over the kingdom because it is feared that Eteocles and Polyneices are also cursed by the Labdacus plague and will continue bringing misery to Thebes.
However, Polyneices makes a claim on the Theban crown, causing him to be banished. At this point, Polyneices raises an army, returns to claim Thebes, and ends up dying at the hands of Eteocles, who dies in the fray as well.
Creon remains in control of Thebes.
Of this line, only Ismene and Antigone remain living at the start of the play.
Antigone is supposed to marry her cousin Haemon, but by the end of the play, in a revelation that demonstrates just how widespread the Labdacus curse is – Haemon, Eurydice (Haemon´s mother) and Antigone die, leaving only Ismene and Creon as descendants of Labdacus.
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→Antigone / Creon:
The idealistic character of Antigone consciously risks her life through her actions, concerned only with obeying the laws of the gods and the dictates of familial loyalty and social decency. Creon, on the other hand, regards only the requirement of political expediency and physical power, although he too is unrelenting in his stance. Much of the tragedy lies in the fact that Creon’s realization of his folly and rashness comes too late, and he pays a heavy price, left alone in his wretchedness.
Creon abuses his power, mainly by decreeing man’s law as a consequence of divine will. He is loyal to the state, but is subject to human weakness and poor judgment. He has Polyneices’ body defiled while Eteocles is honored because he feels that he cannot give equal to share to both brothers when one was a traitor and the other was loyal. He does not recognize that other forms of justice exist, and in his pride he condemns Antigone, defies the gods, and brings ruin on himself.
→Antigone / Ismene:
When faced with injustice, Antigone and Ismene react quite differently – the former aggressively, progressively, and the latter more conservatively. Ismene is not so much afraid of injustice as she is frightened of her own demise – and she cannot bear to incur the wrath of men for fear of being condemned to the same fate as the rest of her family. After watching her father and brothers die, she believes that the best course of action is to lie low and obey. In the case of Ismene, it seems inaction is tied to fear-at least until she willingly offers to die next to Antigone, at which point we realize that she is not so much inactive as she is unsure of her place as a woman. Thus, while Ismene is a figure characterized principally by doubt, Antigone is one who plunges ahead purely on self-belief and her firm convictions about right and wrong. Ultimately, then, because of these fundamental differences in philosophy, they cannot die together, though Ismene wants to. Antigone forbids it.
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►Most Important Themes:
The play explores many deep themes such as state control (the right of the individual to reject society’s infringement on personal freedoms and obligations); natural law vs. Human law (Creon advocates obedience to Human laws, while Antigone stresses the higher laws of duty to the gods and one’s family) and the related issue of civil disobedience (Antigone believes that state law is not absolute, and that civil disobedience is justified in extreme cases); citizenship (Creon’s decree that Polyneices should remain unburied suggests that Polyneices’ treason in attacking the city effectively revokes his citizenship and the rights that go with it – ”citizenship by law” rather than “citizenship by nature”); and family (for Antigone, the honour of the family outweighs her duties to the state).
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►Quotes from Sophocles´s “Antigone”:
“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride”∼
“Tomorrow is tomorrow.
Future cares have future cures,
And we must mind today”.
“That will come when it comes;
we must deal with all that lies before us.
The future rests with the ones who tend the future.”
“To err is common
To all men, but the man who having erred
Hugs not his errors, but repents and seeks
The cure, is not a wastrel nor unwise”.
“All men make mistakes, it is only human.
But once the wrong is done, a man
can turn his back on folly, misfortune too,
if he tries to make amends, however low he’s fallen,
and stops his bullnecked ways. Stubbornness
brands you for stupidity—pride is a crime”.
“I was born to join in love, not hate–that is my nature”.
“Do not fear for me. Make straight your own path to destiny”.
“Unnatural silence signifies no good”.
“Mad are thy subjects all, and even the wisest heart
Straight to folly will fall, at a touch of thy poisoned dart”.
“Wisdom is the supreme part of happiness; and reverence towards the Gods must be inviolate. Great words of prideful men are ever punished with great blows, and, in old age, teach the chastened to be wise”.
“Oh, it’s terrible when the one who does the judging judges things all wrong”.
► “My Poems Inmersión / Immersion and Quien calla otorga / Silence means consent at La Poesía no Muerde”.
[May 4th/May 12th 2016].~
I am glad to announce that my poems “Immersion” and “Silence means consent” were featured at “La Poesía no Muerde”
In both cases, the prompt was to write a poem based on images and songs.
•The song corresponding to the first poem is “Alanna” and it was composed by Orlando Valle.
As to its image, it comes from Bernardo Arcos, whose blog´s name is “La cueva de Don Bernardo”. Plus, You can check out the Youtube Video, in which I read the poem here
•The song for “Silence means consent” is “Reunión Bleue”, by Orlando Valle. Several photographs by Marcos Ferreiro illustrate the poem. You can check out the Youtube Video, in which I read the poem here.
It is a collective blog in Spanish which prompts are usually triggered by images that might lead to poems or poems that, once published, are waiting to be illustrated with images. In this case, music was a new component.
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►La Poesía no Muerde
~ Poem~ “Inmersión” / “Immersion”:
►“Inmersión” (Cuarta Experiencia “La Poesía no Muerde”):
►La Poesía no Muerde / Poetry doesn´t Bite
~ Poem~ “Quien calla otorga” / “Silence means consent”:
🌟Last but surely not least 🌟:
→Bloggers Bash Awards: “Most informative Blog Award”:
So guys, have you read about the Annual Blogger’s Bash… In case you haven´t, it is an annual blogger meeting which takes place in London… This year, it was set up for June 11th.
As Sacha says: “It’s purpose is to bring together the blogging community and provide an opportunity for everyone to meet the friends they have made online”.
Well, apparently they had a blast. There was a welcome speech; bloggers social gathering; the Annual Bloggers Bash awards given out at intervals. And… the event included an informative masterclass from Luca Sartoni, international speaker and member of Automatic, WordPress.
During the event, the attendees knew first-hand who were the Bloggers Bash Awards´winners. Soon later, the one and only Sacha posted the complete list on her blog.
This is the personal side of the issue: I am very happy to announce that I won the Bloggers Bash Award for Most informative Blog!… You can watch this little clip from the Bash, in which Geoff announced I had won Most Informative Blog… Thanks to everyone who voted for me. Also, congratulations to all the nominees, and to the Bash committee for organizing these awards and the event!.
Note: In order to write this overview on the Annual Blogger’s Bash, I read and used information contained in the following posts/blogs (Credits go to the respective owners).