Objective for this Page: To summarize and comment upon the chorusís and Antigoneís reaction to her fate.
This choral passage is basically a dialogue, even a debate, between the elders of Thebes and Antigone, whom Creon is condemning to death.
The chorus laments that Love, personified by the goddess Aphrodite, overcomes everyone. Haemon is undone by love and so love has driven a wedge between father and son, to the detriment of Thebes.
The chorus states Antigone's living death, and she compares herself to others who were condemned to similar fates. The chorus apparently tries to comfort Antigone by noting that she is a mere mortal who suffers a destiny similar to a goddess's, but Antigone claims they are mocking her, siding with a king who has made an unjust law. She feels out of place on earth and in the afterlife.
The chorus, climaxing this segment of poetry, suggests that Antigone's fate is due to the curse on her father. Antigone upbraids them for making that taunt. The chorus blames her pride, her passion, for causing her to defy Creon. Antigone laments that she will never see another dawn and that no one will mourn her. (Photo: Richard Wills Cotton as Oedipus in the Northcott Theatre Production of Seneca's play about Antigone's father and half-brother performed in Exeter, England, in 1998.)
This section reminds the audience of Antigone's connection to the tragic Oedipus, who seems to be dead in the timeline of this play. Antigone's grief, though genuine, also seems self-centered, so that she, like her father, mixes higher motives (duty to the dead) with lower concerns (herself). During open discussion, David Hartley pointed out that Haemon had probably never stood up to Creon before and that Antigone was not on stage when Haemon and Creon had their confrontation, so she seems reasonable to despair of aid and of being mourned.
The content of this page is largely thanks to Megan Robinson.
Robin Tuck read up on Niobe and found the following:
Assessment: Choose a study question and respond in a paragraph, citing evidence from the play to support your point(s).
This instructional web was made in July, 2002, by Prof. Eric Hibbison, who is solely responsible for its content.