Sophocles' play, first staged in the fifth century B.C., stands as a timely exploration of the conflict between those who affirm the individual's human rights and those who must protect the state's security. During the War of the Seven Against Thebes, Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus, learns that her brothers have killed each other, having been forced onto opposing sides of the battle. When Creon, king of Thebes, grants burial of one but not the "treacherous" other, Antigone defies his order, believing it her duty to bury all of her close kin. Enraged, Creon condemns her to death, and his soldiers wall her up in a tomb. While Creon eventually agrees to Antigone's release, it is too late: She takes her own life, initiating a tragic repetition of events in her family's history. In this outstanding new translation, commissioned by Ireland's renowned Abbey Theatre to commemorate its centenary, Seamus Heaney exposes the darkness and the humanity in Sophocles' masterpiece, and inks it with his own modern and masterly touch.
This is an English translation of Sophocles’ tragedy of Antigone and her fate when she decides to bury her dead brother Polyneices. Focus Classical Library provides close translations with notes and essays to provide access to understanding Greek culture.
Sophocles' Antigone comes alive in this new translation that will be useful for academic study and stage production. Diane Rayor's accurate yet accessible translation reflects the play's inherent theatricality. She provides an analytical introduction and comprehensive notes, and the edition includes an essay by director Karen Libman. Antigone begins after Oedipus and Jocasta's sons have killed each other in battle over the kingship. The new king, Kreon, decrees that the brother who attacked with a foreign army remain unburied and promises death to anyone who defies him. The play centers on Antigone's refusal to obey Kreon's law and Kreon's refusal to allow her brother's burial. Each acts on principle colored by gender, personality and family history. Antigone poses a conflict between passionate characters whose extreme stances leave no room for compromise. The highly charged struggle between the individual and the state has powerful implications for ethical and political situations today.
The costume design for the University of Central Florida Conservatory Theatre's production of Seamus Heaney's The Burial at Thebes: A Version of Sophocles' Antigone took an ancient Greek classic by Sophocles and infused it with influences from avant-garde theatre. This thesis documents the process of designing the costumes from academic, artistic, and technical aspects. Through this process, I explored how to communicate abstract ideas about humanity into actual costumes and how multiple cultural heritages can be intertwined in a united visual which pushes the audience to think more critically about the story. The recurring themes of duality are central to the final costume design: silk chiffon chitons draped over seemingly nude tattooed bodies, representing the ever-present competing allegiances to the will of the gods or to the law of man. Working backwards through the process, this thesis discusses the avant-garde aims of the production and how they were achieved in design. The historical and cultural research, and how it directly influenced the costume design, is discussed for both Seamus Heaney and The Burial at Thebes, as well as for Sophocles and Antigone. Moving through a thorough script analysis and text-to-text comparison of Antigone and The Burial at Thebes illuminates the character and situation traits that are expressed in the design. Script-to-script comparisons reveal the heightened political language Heaney has created to make a story readily accessible to modern audiences. This gives Creon more humanity, thus magnifying the conflict, which is analyzed using conflict theory.
In this book, Wm. Blake Tyrrell and Larry J. Bennett examine Sophocles' Antigone in the context of its setting in fifth-century Athens. The authors attempt to create an interpretive environment that is true to the issues and interests of fifth-century Athenians, as opposed to those of modern scholars and philosophers. As they contextualize the play in the dynamics of ancient Athens, the authors discuss the text of the Antigone in light of recent developments in the study of Greek antiquity and tragedy, and they turn to modern Greek rituals of lamentation for suggestive analogies. The result is a compelling book which opens new insights to the text, challenges the validity of old problems, and eases difficulties in its interpretation.
Seamus Heaney's new collection starts "In an age of bare hands and cast iron" and ends as "The automatic lock / clunks shut" in the eerie new conditions of a menaced twenty-first century. In their haunted, almost visionary clarity, the poems assay the weight and worth of what has been held in the hand and in the memory. Images out of a childhood spent safe from the horrors of World War II – railway sleepers, a sledgehammer, the "heavyweight / Silence" of "Cattle out in rain" – are colored by a strongly contemporary sense that "Anything can happen," and other images from the dangerous present – a journey on the Underground, a melting glacier – are fraught with this same anxiety. But District and Circle, which includes a number of prose poems and translations, offers resistance as the poet gathers his staying powers and stands his ground in the hiding places of love and excited language. In a sequence like "The Tollund Man in Springtime" and in several poems which "do the rounds of the district" – its known roads and rivers and trees, its familiar and unfamiliar ghosts – the gravity of memorial is transformed into the grace of recollection. With more relish and conviction than ever, Seamus Heaney maintains his trust in the obduracy of workaday realities and the mystery of everyday renewals. District and Circle is the winner of the 2007 Poetry Now award and the 2006 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry.