In college I took a classical mythology course wherein we read a number of Greek tragedies. As with almost all my books, the margins are full of doodles. To help keep character relations straight and as a quick study tool before a quiz, I made a diagram of the characters of Sophocles’ Antigone. And now, here’s a cleaned up digital copy.
If you’re not familiar with the plot to Antigone, here’s my abbreviated version (numbers correspond to the plot points in the image):
Before the play starts:
- Oedipus unknowingly marries his mother. They have four children.
- Once the incest is out of the bag, Oedipus blinds himself and Jocasta takes her own life.
- In the upheaval that follows, their sons end up on different sides and fight one another to the death.
- Creon, Jocasta’s sister, takes the throne. He decides Eteocles should get a proper burial, but leaves Polyneices’ body out on the battlefield to rot.
Within the play:
- Antigone won’t stand for it and, despite her sister Ismene being a wimp and not helping, she goes and gives Polyneices his funeral rights.
- Creon, angry that he has been thwarted, first jails Antigone and Ismene, then orders Antigone buried alive.
- Off stage and without anyone knowing yet, Antigone hangs herself in her tomb (beats a slow death by starvation or suffocation).
- Teiresias shows up to warn Creon that he’s pissing off the deities. Creon relents and orders Antigone unearthed.
- Haemon, who was engaged to Antigone and argued for her release from his father, kills himself on discovering she is dead.
- Eurydice kills herself when she learns her son is dead
- Creon realizes all their blood is on his hands for his transgressions in not burying Polyneices. He is now childless and a widower. Life sucks.
For those who are curious, here is the original drafts from inside my textbook: