Antigone

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.

Spoiler alert: when your father accidentally marries his mother, expect lots of family drama in the aftermath.AntigoneMap_Final

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Creon, angry that he has been thwarted, first jails Antigone and Ismene, then orders Antigone buried alive.
  3. Off stage and without anyone knowing yet, Antigone hangs herself in her tomb (beats a slow death by starvation or suffocation).
  4. Teiresias shows up to warn Creon that he’s pissing off the deities. Creon relents and orders Antigone unearthed.
  5. Haemon, who was engaged to Antigone and argued for her release from his father, kills himself on discovering she is dead.
  6. Eurydice kills herself when she learns her son is dead
  7. 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:

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