Antigone Scene 4 & 5

Note the chorus' reference to Antigone's "bridal vault" . What do they mean by referring to a wedding chamber? This will be an important image in the last part of the play. Antigone becomes a "Bride of Death" (or "Bride of Hades"). To understand the importance of this metaphor, you might benefit from reading the Hymn to Demeter, which tells the story of Demeter and Persephone. Strangely, the maternal imagery continues with Antigone as well, as she tries to compare herself with Niobe . After reading about Niobe, consider what Antigone does and does not share with that mythical figure..How would you characterize the chorus' exchange with Antigone here? Consider Antigone's speech. Is this speech consistent with what she has argued before? Is Antigone's faith in the gods wavering here?

Scene 4
Aim:
1.How did Antigone's moods change in this scene?
2.What is the Chorus's stand on the issue of Antigine's endeavor?

Motivational Activities: Journal Writing-
Respond to the lines by Antigone and explain what they reveal ,"Look upon me, friends, and pity me/ ...Good-by to the sun that shines for me no longer;/Now sleepy Death/Summons me down to Acheron, that cold shore:/There is no bridesong there, nor any music."

Learning Activities:

1. Does Antigone have any regrets in Scene IV? Make a list of expressions that indicate her feelings when death is imminent.

2. Antigone mentions the curse on her father . Why is it appropriate for her to allude to it at this point in the play? Do you agree with her? Is it true that her family is cursed?

3. Why do you think the Chorus seems to be siding with Creon in its dialogue with Antigone but then the chorus takes Antigone's side when in gilogue with Creon? What role does Chorus play in Greek tragedy based on this observation?

4. Antigone prays that Creon's punishment "equal my own." (p. 228) Based
on what happened in Scene III, how do you think this will come true?

5. Why wouldn't Antigone show her true feelings before Creon?

Scene V
Aim: How does Tiresias try to persuade Creon to set Antigone free? Why does not Creon follow his advice? What does his fefusal to listen reveal?

Motivational Activity:
Read the excerpt of "Tragic Hero" by Charlotte Boyett-Compo, and write a journal entry to respond to it.

Learning Activities
:
1. Creon appears to revere Tiresias as the scene opens. How does this changeas the scene develops?
2. Tiresias says, "A good man yields when he knows his course is wrong and repairs his evil. The only crime is pride." (p. 232) Do you agree? Does Creon agree?
3. How could the quote mentioned in Question #2 also apply to Oedipus in Oedipus Rex?
4. How is the way Creon attacks Tiresias similar to the way that Oedipus did in Scene I of Oedipus Rex?
5. Creon says of Tiresias, "The generation of prophets has always loved gold." Tiresias responds by saying, "The generation of kings has always loved brass." (p. 233) What does Tiresias's response mean? How does it especially apply to Creon?
6. Why do you think Creon finally changes his mind? Knowing what you know about Greek tragedy, do you think he will be in time to prevent anything horrible from happening?
7. Comment on Creon's last lines of scene 5,"The laws of the gods are mighty, and a man must/ To the last day of his life!"

Homework Assignments:

bulletWrite a break-down summary of scene 4  and scene 5 (separately)
bulletAs a member of Chorus, what advice would you give Creon at this point?
bulletWhat is Creon'e fatal flaw? Where will it lead him to?

Or choose one of the assignments to do-

Enrichment Activities:

1. Read the Notes on tragedy and decide who is the true tragic hero in this play.
2. Read the essay on "OEDIPUS REX AS THE IDEAL TRAGIC HERO OF ARISTOTLE ". Use the same criteria to analyze the tragic hero in Antigone.
3. More essays on Tragic Heroes