VCCS Litonline

Structure
Home Prologue Parados Episode 1 Stasimon 1 Episode 2 Stasimon 2 Episode 3 Stasimon 3 Episode 4 Stasimon 4 Episode 5 Stasimon 5 Epilog Exodos

Objective for this Page: To present an overview of the play, emphasizing its structure.

The translation by Robert Fagles in our course textbook (John Schilb and John Clifford, Making Literature Matter [Boston: Bedford-St. Martin's, 2000]:1305-1345) does not segment the play, but I find it handy to quiz students by assigned section.  As a result, their contributions have been made according to the outline in the buttons above and the lines in section notes below.  The part name in the chart below are linked to summary, commentary, and discussion questions for that part, as are the buttons above.

Ancient Greek Play Structure Applied to Antigone

Part Lines in Fagles Main Action
Prologue 1-116 Antigone declares her intention to defy Creon's decree against burying her brother, Polynices.  She also observes that this decree seems aimed directly at her.
Parados 117-178 The elders of Thebes glory in the victory in yesterday's attack on the seven gates of Thebes.
Episode 1 179-377 Creon decrees that anyone burying Polynices will be stoned to death inside Thebes.
Stasimon 1 378-425 The elders of Thebes revel in the greatness of mankind.
Episode 2 426-656 Creon arrests Antigone, assisted by a hinky sentry who could easily be portrayed by Jar-Jar Binks.
Stasimon 2 657-705 The old men of Thebes grouse about the moral blindness that seems to infest Oedipus' spawn.
Episode 3 706-879 Haemon tries to play his dad in order to save his woman, but soon loses it and the scene degenerates into a Defcon 1 father vs. son hurling of insults.
Stasimon 3 880-969 The chorus (those old guys) blame the city's current turmoil on Love and hassles Antigone about her actions and parentage.
Episode 4 970-1035 Creon condemns Antigone to being entombed alive with her last meal; Antigone (wrongly) assumes no one will mourn her.
Stasimon 4 1036-1091 The elders of Thebes site other famous people who were buried alive or turned to stone as punishment by the gods [overlooking the fact that Creon isn't a god, just a tyrant trying to solidify his power base].
Episode 5 1092-1239 Tiresias straightens out Creon, but predicts that his slowness to rescind his decree will cost him the rest of his family.
Stasimon 5 1240-1272 Choral Paean: The elders of Thebes celebrate Creon's relenting.
Epilog 1272-1466 The messenger has some bad news and some more bad news.
Exodos 1467-1471 Fate teaches wisdom and piety, claim the Theban elders.
 

Assessment: As you read the play, make notes in your text about the structure and plot, using the above table as a guide.

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This instructional web was made in July, 2002, by Prof. Eric Hibbison, who is solely responsible for its content.