Classics 320 Final Exam Study Guide
Classics 320 Final Exam Study Guide Classics 320
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This 29 page Study Guide was uploaded by Hannah James on Sunday December 6, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to Classics 320 at a university taught by Laura McClure in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 24 views.
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Date Created: 12/06/15
Theogony by Hesiod Creation came out of the Chasm (“chaos”) this is probably the realm or nothingness present before the universe was created o Earth, Tartara (Taratrus), and Erebos (the realm of darkness/death) came from the chasm Eros was the first god, the god of sexual love Eros’ youngest son Kronos was a schemer and most fearsome of his children o Kronos hated Eros The children of Heaven and Earth were many o Earth bore the heavens first, and later the mountains and sea o They bore cyclopes’, who had only one eye and gave Zeus his thunderbolt o They also bore three sons with 100 arms and 50 heads, who were strong and powerful (Kottos, Briareos, and Gyges) Heaven hated his children from the beginning, and he hid them away in a cavern of Earth o This filled Earth, and she groaned and hated it o Earth created the element grey adamant (a heavy metal the gods use) and made a large hook o She showed it to her children and Kronos said he would help her o Heaven came and stretched over Earth during the night, and Kronos ambushed him, cutting off his genitals When he flung them across the Earth the Erinyes, Giants, and Meliai were created Erinyes: goddesses of retribution for crimes such as murder and other serious crimes Giants: powerful beings that once fought against the gods and were defeated Meliai: tree nymphs The genitals landed in the sea, and when it foamed around them, Aphrodite was created Heaven then gave his children the name “Titans” Night bore dark things like the Fates, Death, Misery, Strife and: o Hesperides: signing maidens who live in the gardens beyond the sunset (Hercules had to get their apples) o The Furies: prosecute the transgressions of men and gods Sea bore Nereus (sometimes called “Old man of the sea”) Thaumus bore Iris (god’s messenger; assoc. with rainbow) and the Harpies (goddesses of the stormwinds) Phorcys and Ceto bore: o The old women (shared one eye and one tooth) o The gorgons (two were immortal, Medusa was mortal) Poseidon lay with Medusa, and when Perseus cut off her head, Chrysaor and Pegasus came out Pegasus flew away to live with the gods, bringing thunder and lightning to Zeus Chrysaor fathered threeheaded Geryoneus, from whom Hercules stole cattle, and whose dog (Orthos) he also killed o Echinda (part nymph, part serpent) Bore Orthos (the dog) Bore Cerberus (Hades’ dog) Bore the Hydra of Lerna (the serpent that grows more heads when they are severed), whom Hera fostered in her wrath towards Hercules Hercules slew it with the help of Athena Bore Chimaera, who bore the Sphinx (death to the people of Cadmus until Oedipus solved her riddle) and the Nemean Lion (slain by Hercules) Tethys bore the swirling rivers (Nile, Rhesus, etc.), and the Nymphs, who bring fertility and fortune Thea, with Hyperion, gave birth to the Sun, Moon, and Dawn Dawn bore the winds and mist, who bore the Morning Star and the other stars Rhea bore to Kronos: o Hestia (goddess of the hearth), Demeter (goddess of cereals), Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus Kronos swallowed all his children, for Heaven and Earth predicted that he would be defeated by Zeus o When Zeus was to be born, Rhea hid him in a cave to be raised by Earth and gave Kronos a stone to swallow Zeus defeated Kronos, releasing the Cyclops’s (who gave him his thunderbolt as a thankyou) Iapetos fathered Prometheus and Atlas o Atlas holds up the sky and Prometheus was punished by a bird for stealing fire for Man until Heracles set him free Zeus hated Man, and punished them for receiving fire by working with Hephaestus and Athena to create Woman (often called Athena) Zeus recruited the hundredarmed men, sons of Earth and Heaven who had long been imprisoned, to fight the Titans o This turned the tide of the war and allowed Zeus to win o The Titans were imprisoned in Tartarus, guarded by the hundredarmed men Nearby Tartarus stands Atlas, who holds the sky o Night and Day switch places and one always waits in the house (Night cradles Sleep and his brother Death) Further on stands the house of Hades his hound Cerberus, and the goddess Styx Earth bore her youngest son Typhoeus, who had 100 snake heads that made every sound imaginable o Zeus saw how dangerous he was and he cut off all his heads and flung him into Tartarus o Typhoeus is responsible for the wet winds that blow haphazardly across the sea and trouble men on ships Zeus made Metis (an Oceanid nymph whose name meant resourceful and cunning) his first wife o But when she became pregnant, Earth advised him to put her in his belly so that no other god could hold his royal station, which he did (Metis’ children would’ve been very clever He prevented the birth of an heir, and now Metis is inside him, which is why he possess resourcefulness and cunning Zeus’ second wife was Themis (all that was right and proper in society) o She bore him the Watchers, Justice, Lawfulness, Peace, and the Fates Eurynome bore Zeus the three Graces, Splendor, Good, Cheer, and Festivity) Demeter bore Zeus Persephone, who was stolen by Hades Memory bore Zeus the nine Muses Leto bore him Apollo and Artemis Hera bore him Hebe, Ares, and Eileithyia (goddess of childbirth) Zeus bore by himself Athena, while Hera bore Hephaestus Poseidon and Amphitrite bore Tirton Ares and Cytherea bore Terror, Fear, and Harmonia To Zeus Maia (Atlas’ daughter) bore Hermes, and Cadmus’ daughter (King of Thebes) Semele bore him Dionysus Alcmene bore Zeus Hercules Hephaestus made Aglaia his wife Dionysus made Ariadne (Minos’ daughter) his wife, who was made immortal for him Heracles made Hebe (daughter of Zeus) his wife and became immortal Sun and Perseis bore Circe and King Aeetes Demeter gave birth to Wealth Agamemnon Summary A Watchman, atop the roof of the palace in Argos, complains that he has spent so much time in this perch that he knows the night sky by heart o He is waiting for a beacon that will signal the fall of Troy, which has been besieged for ten years by a Greek army led by Agamemnon, the king of Argos Agamemnon's wife, Clytemnestra, governs Argos in her husband's absence The beacon flares; the Watchman out at the news, and rushes inside to tell the Queen The Chorus, Argos' oldest and wisest male citizens, discusses the history of the Trojan War Clytemnestra joins them, and the Chorus demands to know why she has ordered sacrifices to all the gods and celebrations throughout the city o Before she answers, they tell the story of how the Greeks were trapped by unfavorable winds, and how Agamemnon learned that the winds were sent by Artemis (goddess of the hunt) In order to appease her and sail to Troy, Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter, Iphigenia; the Chorus describes her cries for mercy as her father's men cut her throat Clytemnestra then tells them that Troy has fallen to the Greeks o She pictures the slaughter inside the walls of Troy, and hopes that the Greeks will commit no offenses against the gods that would hinder a safe journey home. The Chorus gives thanks to Zeus for the victory and says that Troy deserved destruction as punishment for the crime of Paris Meanwhile, all is not well at home; the losses suffered have made the citizens of Argos grumble, and the Chorus worries that the heroes of the battles outside Troy may be made to pay for their triumph The Chorus debates whether to believe the news that the beacons have transmitted o One of the Chorus members sees a Herald arriving from the beach, and they agree that this man's news will reveal what has truly transpired in Troy The Herald expresses his relief at returning to Argos after ten years abroad, saying that he never dared to hope that he would see his home again o He greets the Chorus and announces that Agamemnon is returning in triumph The Chorus tells him to rejoice, and adds that the city has grown fearful in the absence of its warriors o The Herald insists that however much they have suffered, the warriors suffered more o He goes on to describe the trials they endured during the siege of Troy Clytemnestra arrives and says that she heard the news and made sacrifices in spite of old men's doubts o Now she orders the Herald to return to Agamemnon and to tell him to return quickly because she (who has been faithful all these years) yearns for his strong presence in their house The Herald notes that her speech sounds noble and fitting for the wife of the King o Before he leaves, the Chorus asks about the fate of Menelaus, Agamemnon's brother, and the Herald becomes displeased He proceeds to tell them how the Greek fleet endured a powerful storm that battered their fleet and sank many ships Somehow, Agamemnon's ship escaped harm, but when the storm had passed Menelaus had disappeared (his fate remains unknown) After delivering the unhappy news about Menelaus, the Herald departs Agamemnon arrives, riding in a chariot with Cassandra beside him o The Chorus hails him, and confesses to having doubted him in the war on Troy Agamemnon gives thanks to the gods for their part in his victory at Troy, and tells the Chorus that he hears their wordsthat the most loyal man serves obediently even if he disagrees with the ruler Clytemnestra greets the King, declaring her passionate love for him and describing the sufferings of a wife who waits at home while her husband wages war o Fearing revolution at home, she sent their son Orestes away to stay with friends in another city Now her solitude are over, and she can rejoice in his homecoming She asked her maidens to prepare a purple carpet for Agamemnon so that his don’t touch the earth as he enters the palace Agamemnon rebukes his wife for laying the carpet before him saying that, were he to walk on it, he would incur the wrath of the gods o She accuses him of fear and says that had Priam would have walked on purple o Agamemnon finally consents and enters his palace on the carpet, demanding proper care and attention for Cassandra, the Trojan princess he has taken as his slave and concubine The Chorus senses foreboding, despite Agamemnon's arrival and the restoration of order Clytemnestra reemerges and orders Cassandra to participate in the sacrifices of thanksgiving, telling her that she should not be too unhappy with her fate since she will have kind masters o Cassandra offers no reply, and the Chorus echoes the Queen's orders When the Trojan princess remains silent, the Chorus suggests that perhaps she does not speak the language, but Clytemnestra says that she will waste no more time with the girl o She retires within, leaving Cassandra alone with the Chorus Cassandra speaks for the first time, crying out to Apollo o She asks him why he torments her and to what city he has brought her The Chorus tells her she is in the house of Agamemnon's family o She recalls crimes committed here, then prophecies about future acts of violence o The Chorus does not comprehend her message, but she continues to declare that destruction will fall upon this place The Chorus induces her to tell her story o Apollo fell in love with her and granted her the gift of prophecy; she promised to bear him a child When she broke her word, he punished her by making it so that nobody would heed her warnings After explaining this, she prophecies that she and Agamemnon will die at the hands of a woman o Eventually, a son will emerge to kill the murderess and avenge his father's death After delivering this prophecy, Cassandra declares that she is resigned to die o Everyone else in her native city has perished, and it is time for her to join them The Chorus praises her bravery, even as they fail to understand her prophecy\ Once Cassandra goes, the Chorus fears for the King's safety o Suddenly, Agamemnon 's voice is heard from inside, crying out in agony that he is mortally wounded Another cry comes, followed by silence The doors fly open, revealing Clytemnestra standing triumphantly over the bodies of Agamemnon and Cassandra Without a hint of shame, the Queen describes how she killed Agamemnon with an ax, after using heavy robes to trap him in his bath o She tells the Chorus that he was evil and deserved to die They declare that she will be exiled and shunned by all men for her crime She rebuffs their reproach by pointing out their hypocrisy; none of them protested when Agamemnon killed her innocent daughter, Iphigenia The murder of her husband is justified, she insists Agamemnon can lie dead alongside Cassandra, who shared his bed The Chorus laments the murder, blaming Agamemnon's death on Helen of Troy o They wonder who will mourn for Agamemnon since his wifesupposedly his closest relationhas killed him Clytemnestra tells them that Iphigenia, his child, will greet him next Aegisthus, Clytemnestra's lover, appears for the first time and is accompanied by his bodyguards o He is Agamemnon's cousin, and as he rejoices over the murder, we learn the history of the ancestral curse that has led to the King's death Aegisthus' father, Thyestes, tried unsuccessfully to seize the crown from Agamemnon's father, Atreus, and was exiled from Argos o Eventually, Thyestes returned to the city and begged for mercy o Atreus pretended to welcome him, and then boiled two of Thyestes' sons and served them to his brother, who ate his own children unwittingly Since that horrible day, Thyestes (now dead) and his son have been exiles Only now has the terrible crime against Aegisthus' family been avenged The Chorus taunts Aegisthus, saying that he allowed a woman to do the deed for him, and tells him that he will be executed for the crime o Aegisthus replies that because of his exile, he could not get close enough to Agamemnon to kill him He claims that his henchmen and the treasury will enable him to control the city He promises to have the Chorus killed As they trade threats, Clytemnestra acts as a peacemaker, telling the Chorus that she and Aegisthus could not have acted any other way, and that peace will reign in Argos under her rule o The defeated Chorus accepts their authority, but declares that when Orestes returns, he will exact vengeance for his father's murder o Aegisthus and Clytemnestra dismiss these words as empty threats, and together they take up the reins of the state Oedipus Summary Oedipus steps out of the royal palace of Thebes and is greeted by priests and the impoverished citizens o Thebes has been struck by a plague, the citizens are dying, and no one knows how to put an end to it Oedipus asks a priest why the citizens have gathered around the palace o The priest responds that the city is dying and asks the king to save Thebes Oedipus replies that he sees and understands the terrible fate of Thebes, and that no one is more sorrowful than he o He has sent Creon, his brotherinlaw and fellow ruler, to the Delphic oracle to find out how to stop the plague Then Creon arrives, and Oedipus asks what the oracle has said o Creon asks Oedipus if he wants to hear the news in private, but Oedipus insists that all the citizens hear Creon then tells what he has learned from the god Apollo, who spoke through the oracle: the murderer of Laius, who ruled Thebes before Oedipus, is in Thebes o He must be driven out in order for the plague to end Creon goes on to tell the story of Laius’s murder o On their way to consult an oracle, Laius and all but one of his fellow travelers were killed by thieves Oedipus asks why the Thebans made no attempt to find the murderers, and Creon reminds him that Thebes was then more concerned with the curse of the Sphinx o Hearing this, Oedipus resolves to solve the mystery of Laius’s murder The Chorus enters, calling on the gods Apollo, Athena, and Artemis to save Thebes o Apparently, it has not heard Creon’s news about Laius’s murderer Oedipus returns and tells the Chorus that he will end the plague himself o He asks if anyone knows who killed Laius, promising that the informant will be rewarded and the murderer will receive no harsher punishment than exile No one responds, and Oedipus furiously curses Laius’s murderer and anyone who is protecting him Oedipus curses himself, proclaiming that should he discover the murderer to be a member of his family, that person would be given exile and harsh treatment that he has just stated The Leader of the Chorus suggests that Oedipus call for Tiresias, a great prophet o Oedipus responds that he has already done so A boy leads in the blind prophet Tiresias o Oedipus begs him to reveal who Laius’s murderer is, but Tiresias answers only that he knows the truth but wishes he did not Puzzled at first, then angry, Oedipus insists that Tiresias tell Thebes what he knows o Provoked by the anger and insults of Oedipus, Tiresias hints at his knowledge Finally, when Oedipus furiously accuses Tiresias of the murder, Tiresias tells Oedipus that Oedipus himself is the curse o Oedipus dares Tiresias to say it again, and so Tiresias calls Oedipus the murderer The king criticizes Tiresias’s powers wildly and insults his blindness, but Tiresias only responds that the insults will eventually be turned on Oedipus by all of Thebes o Driven into a fury by the accusation, Oedipus proceeds to concoct a story that Creon and Tiresias are conspiring to overthrow him The leader of the Chorus asks Oedipus to calm down, but Tiresias only taunts Oedipus further, saying that the king does not even know who his parents are o This statement angers Oedipus, but he asks for the truth about his parents Tiresias answers in riddles, saying that the murderer of Laius will turn out to be both brother and father to his children, both son and husband to his mother The characters exit and the Chorus takes the stage, confused and unsure whom to believe o They say they will not believe the accusations against Oedipus unless they have proof Creon enters, soon followed by Oedipus o Oedipus accuses Creon of trying to overthrow him, since it was he who recommended that Tiresias come Creon asks Oedipus to be rational, but Oedipus says that he wants Creon murdered o Both Creon and the leader of the Chorus try to get Oedipus to understand that he’s concocting fantasies, but Oedipus is certain Jocasta enters and convinces Oedipus that he should not kill Creon, though Oedipus is convinced that Creon is guilty o Creon leaves, and the Chorus reassures Oedipus that it will always be loyal to him Oedipus explains that Tiresias condemned him, and Jocasta responds that prophets are false o As proof, she says that the Delphic oracle told Laius he would be murdered by his son, while in reality his son was cast out as a baby and Laius was murdered by thieves Her narrative of Laius’ murder sounds familiar to Oedipus, and he asks to hear more Jocasta tells him that Laius was killed at a threeway crossroads just before Oedipus arrived o Oedipus, stunned, tells his wife that he may be the one who murdered Laius He tells Jocasta that when he was the prince of Corinth, he heard at a banquet that he was not really the son of the king and queen o He went to the oracle of Delphi, which did not answer him but did tell him he would murder his father and sleep with his mother Hearing this, Oedipus fled from home, never to return It was then, on the journey that brought him to Thebes, that Oedipus was confronted by a group of travelers, whom he killed in selfdefense, at the crossroads where Laius was killed. Hoping that he will not be identified as Laius’s murderer, Oedipus sends for the shepherd who was the only man to survive the attack o Oedipus and Jocasta leave the stage, and the Chorus enters, announcing that the world is ruled by destiny and denouncing prideful men who would defy the gods o At the same time, the Chorus worries that if all the prophecies and oracles are wrong —if a proud man can triumph—then the gods may not rule the world after all Jocasta enters from the palace to offer a branch wrapped in wool to Apollo A messenger enters, looking for Oedipus o He tells Jocasta that he has come from Corinth to tell Oedipus that his father, Polybus, is dead, and that Corinth wants Oedipus to come and rule there Jocasta rejoices, convinced that since Polybus is dead from natural causes, the prophecy that Oedipus will murder his father is false o Oedipus arrives, hears the messenger’s news, and rejoices with Jocasta They concur that prophecies are worthless and the world is ruled by chance However, Oedipus still fears the prophecy saying he would sleep with his mother o The messenger says he can rid himself of that worry, because Polybus and his wife, Merope, are not really Oedipus’s natural parents The messenger explains that he used to be a shepherd years ago o One day, he found a baby on Mount Cithaeron, near Thebes The baby had its ankles pinned together, and the former shepherd set them free o That baby was Oedipus, who still walks with a limp because of the injury When Oedipus inquires who left him in the woods on the mountain, the messenger replies that another shepherd, Laius’s servant, gave him baby Oedipus o At this, Jocasta turns sharply, sensing some horrible revelation on the horizon Oedipus wants to find this shepherd, so he can find out who his natural parents are o Jocasta begs him to abandon his search immediately, but Oedipus is insistent After screaming and pleading to no avail, Jocasta finally flees back into the palace o Oedipus dismisses her concerns as fears that he may be born of poor parents, and Oedipus and the Chorus rejoice at the possibility that they may soon know his parents The other shepherd, who turns out to be the same shepherd who witnessed Laius’s murder, comes onto the stage o The messenger identifies him as the man who gave him the young Oedipus Oedipus interrogates the shepherd, asking who gave him the baby, but he refuses to talk o Finally, after Oedipus threatens him with torture, the shepherd answers that the baby came from the house of Laius Questioned further, he answers that it was Laius’s child, and that Jocasta gave it to him to destroy because of a prophecy that the child would kill his parents o But instead, the shepherd gave him to the other shepherd, so that he might be raised as a prince in Corinth Realizing who he is and who his parents are, Oedipus screams that he sees the truth, and flees back into the palace o The shepherd and the messenger slowly exit the stage The Chorus enters and cries that Oedipus, greatest of men, was brought low by destiny, for he unknowingly murdered his father and married his mother The messenger enters again to tell the Chorus what has happened in the palace o Jocasta is dead, by suicide She locked herself in her bedroom, crying for Laius and weeping for her monstrous fate o Oedipus came to the door in a fury, asking for a sword and cursing Jocasta He finally hurled himself at the bedroom door and burst through it, where he saw Jocasta hanging from a noose o Seeing this, Oedipus sobbed and embraced Jocasta He took the gold pins that held her robes and, with them, stabbed out his eyes He kept raking the pins down his eyes, crying that he could not bear to see the world now that he had learned the truth Just as the messenger finishes the story, Oedipus emerges from the palace o With blood streaming from his blind eyes, he fumes and rants at his fate He claims that though Apollo ordained his destiny, it was he alone who pierced his own eyes o He asks that he be banished from Thebes The Chorus shrinks away from Oedipus as he curses his birth, his marriage, his life, and in turn all births, marriages, and lives Creon enters, and the Chorus expresses hope that he can restore order Creon forgives Oedipus for his past accusations and asks that Oedipus be sent inside so that the public display of shame might stop Creon agrees to exile Oedipus from the city, but tells him that he will only do so if every detail is approved by the gods o Oedipus embraces the hope of exile, since he believes that, for some reason, the gods want to keep him alive He says that his two sons are men and can take care of themselves, but asks that Creon take care of his girls, whom he would like to see one final time The girls, Antigone and Ismene, come forth, crying o Oedipus embraces them and says he weeps for them, since they will be excluded from society, and no man will want to marry the offspring of an incestuous marriage He turns to Creon and asks him to promise that he will take care of them o He reaches out to Creon, but Creon will not touch his hand Oedipus asks his daughters to pray that they may have a better life than his o Creon then puts an end to the farewell, saying that Oedipus has wept shamefully long enough Creon orders the guards to take Antigone and Ismene away from Oedipus, and tells Oedipus that his power has ended Everyone exits, and the Chorus comes onstage once more o Oedipus, greatest of men, has fallen, they say, and so all life is miserable, and only death can bring peace Antigone Summary Part I: The cast sits about palace The Chorus descends from the top of the staircase and introduces the players to the audience o It begins with Antigone, explaining that she is about to "burst forth as the tense, sallow, willful girl" who will rise up alone against the king and die young The Chorus then introduces the chatting pair, Haemon, Antigone's dashing fiancé, and Ismene, her radiantly beautiful sister o They recount that though one would have expected Haemon to go for Ismene, he inexplicably proposed to Antigone on the night of a ball o He does not know his engagement only earns him the right to die sooner The Chorus then turns to the powerfully built Creon, king of Thebes o When he was younger, and Oedipus ruled, he was an art patron o The death of Oedipus and his sons bound him to the weary duties of rule Next to the sisters' Nurse sits the good Queen Eurydice o She knits and will go on knitting until the time comes for her to go to her room and die The Messenger stands against the wall, brooding over his premonition of Haemon's death Finally the Chorus presents the three redfaced, cardplaying guards o They are common policemen, bothered by the worries of the daytoday, eternally innocent, indifferent, and prepared to arrest anyone under any leader The Chorus then recounts the events leading up to Antigone's tragedy o Oedipus, Antigone and Ismene's father, also had two sons, Eteocles and Polynices Upon his death, it was agreed that they would each take the throne from one year to the next o After the first year, however, Eteocles, the elder, refused to step down Polynices and six foreign princes charged the seven gates of Thebes and all were defeated o The brothers killed each other in a duel, leaving Creon king Creon ordered Eteocles buried in honor and left Polynices to rot Furthermore, any who attempt to bury him will be put to death It is an ashen dawn and the house is still asleep o Antigone sneaks in from the outside The Nurse appears and asks where she has been; she was not there when she went to check if she had flung her blanket off in the night o "Nowhere," Antigone replies, musing on how beautiful the world is when gray, how lovely the garden is when not thinking of men The Nurse asks angrily if she went to meet someone—perhaps a lover o Antigone assents, and the Nurse is outraged and says that girls are all the same Even Antigone, who never used to wear makeup, primp in front of the mirror, and ogle boys like Ismene. She was convinced Antigone would be alone for life o Now she knows she is a hypocrite Part II: The Nurse shudders to think of what Creon and Haemon will think, and certainly Antigone's mother will reproach her in the underworld o Antigone bids the Nurse not to cry: she was only teasing o She embraces her "sweet red apple" and swears to her purity Suddenly a sleepless Ismene enters, also asking where Antigone has been o The Nurse chastises them both for rising so early Antigone sends her away for coffee She tells Ismene she should not forgo her beauty sleep o She recalls how she was such a beastly sister, flinging mud and worms at her, tying her to a tree and cutting off her hair How easy it must be to never be unreasonable with all that "smooth silken hair" set around her head Ismene interrupts Antigone, saying they cannot bury Polynices, as Creon will put them to death o Antigone is unmoved, and replies that it is his purpose, just as theirs is to bury their brother Ismene insists that she behaves too impulsively o She sort of sees what Creon intends with his edict, and that he must set an example. Antigone rejoins that she, the nasty, willful brat, does not understand o The family has always told her to understand, to not play with water or earth, to not eat from every dish at once, to not run in the wind, or give empty one's pockets for beggars Antigone pushes Ismene off Ismene enjoins her to be sensible, since only men die for ideas Ismene tells Antigone that Antigone is a young and beautiful girl engaged to be married o Antigone retorts that she is not beautiful o Ismene disagrees, saying that she always gives the little boys and girls pause in the streets Antigone bids her to go back to bed; the sun is up, and she can do nothing today Ismene retires The Nurse reappears, calling Antigone to breakfast Antigone asks the Nurse to keep her warm and safe as she always has, explaining that she is too young for what she must endure Antigone makes a request that the Nurse must never scold her dog Puff again and talk to her as she does, especially if, for whatever reason, she can no longer o If she gets too unhappy, she should put her to sleep o Indignant and perplexed, the Nurse agrees Suddenly Haemon enters and the Nurse departs o The betrothed embrace, and Antigone begs his forgiveness o Smiling, Haemon replies that he already had when she stormed out He wonders from whom she stole the perfume, rouge, powder, and frock o Antigone admits that she filched them from Ismene She was a fool to waste an evening, especially when they may not have many more o She asks Haemon to hold her with all his strength Part III: Antigone tells Haemon that she would have protected their son against the world o Though his mother would have not been imposing, she would have been stronger than those "real mothers” Instead, she would have been Haemon's "real wife" Antigone asks him if he is sure he loved her the night he proposed, that he did not want Ismene instead o His arms and hands do no lie—he loves her as a woman Haemon assures her that he loves her exactly as she loves him, with all of himself o Ashamed, Antigone implores him to tell her the truth When he thinks of her, she asks whether he senses that a "great empty space is being hollowed out" inside him and that something inside him is dying o Haemon assents; Antigone feels the same Antigone draws away, announcing that she has two more things to say o Haemon must, however, swear to leave instantly after she does He reluctantly swears Antigone explains that she came to Haemon in Ismene's accoutrements because she wanted to become his wife before their wedding because she will never be able to marry him o Stupefied, Haemon departs Ismene enters, terrified that Antigone will attempt to bury Polynices despite the daylight o Antigone says that Polynices is dead and never loved her, instead he was like an enemy in the house Antigone tells her she is too late and she has just come from burying him Later in the day, Creon stands on the top step with his Page o The nervous First Guard enters, and Creon asks what has happened with the body The Guard explains that he has been in the service for seventeen years, is known for his obedience, and is due for a promotion o The Guard says that the men had the two o'clock watch, the toughest part of the night When they were not looking, someone covered the body with dirt last night The guards heard nothing, only discovering a kid's shovel at the scene Creon is in disbelief: he broke the rebellion in the banks, the public square, and the temples, yet a kid rebels; the kid he will undoubtedly become a martyr o He orders the guards to uncover the body and keep the matter secret, on the pain of death The Guard excitedly promises to obey and Creon orders him out o Creon turns to the Page and muses that he will have to "clean up the mess” He asks the Page if he would die, who says that yes he would defy the Guard with his shovel o Both exit The Chorus appears and announces that the tragedy is on o Anything will set it going—a glance, one question too many—and the rest is automatic The machine has been oiled since time began o Death, treason, and sorrow are "on the march," moving in the wake of storm, tears, and stillness Part IV: The Guards are heard and the Chorus announces that Antigone has been caught and will be able to be herself for the first time in her life o The Guards enter with a struggling Antigone, the First telling her to give it a rest Antigone complains of their dirty hands; the Guard gestures to her own o The Second Guard compares her to a nut who exposed herself in the main square the other day The First proposes that they throw a party o The trio discusses plans, the First insisting that they keep it from their wives Creon and the Page enter, and the guards stand at attention o The First explains Antigone's arrest The guards had moved the corpse upwind to mitigate the stench o When he took a break for some tobacco, he found her madly clawing in the broad daylight Antigone affirms his account and also confesses to having come the night before; the child's shovel on the scene was once Polynices's o The First Guard remarks how one sentry thought she was a dog Creon sends the guards out Once he is certain no one saw Antigone arrested, he orders her to bed. She is to say that she has been ill and not left the palace o He will get rid of the guardsmen Antigone replies that he knows she will only do the same tonight o She says that Polynices is home from the hunt and it is her duty to unlock the house of the dead for him Creon asks if she thought her being the proud Oedipus's daughter put her above the law o No one has a more sacred obligation to the law than its makers Antigone retorts that had she been a scullery maid she would have done the same o Creon disagrees and a maid would have taken the edict seriously Antigone replies that she has never doubted Creon would put her to death Creon curses the pride of Oedipus o Like him, her death seem the "natural climax" to her life For them, human happiness is meaningless and misery unable to satisfy their passion o Only a "cozy tea party" with death and destiny can quench them Oedipus was happiest when he listened greedily to the revelation of his tragic fate o But those days are over for Thebes Being more humbly named, Creon will devote himself only to the order of the kingdom Part V: Creon assures Antigone that he does not romanticize his work: ruling is his trade, and a trade he takes seriously If some wild messenger was to tell him tomorrow his wife was his mother, he would hardly surrender himself to his private feelings o Nor will he execute Antigone today, as she is mother of the next heir, and her marriage is worth more to Thebes than her death Moreover, though she may think him prosaic, he is fond of her o Antigone moves wordlessly to the arch Creon warns her that if anyone else knows of her crime, he will have to execute her o Her act will do no good Antigone insists that she must do what she can o After a pause, Creon asks if she really believes in the desecrating "mass production jibberjabber" of the priests she has seen so many times Antigone agrees to its absurdity Creon asks for whose sake then does Antigone go o Antigone replies that she acts only for herself Creon declares that he wants to save her o Antigone retorts that while he is an allpowerful king, he cannot do so Aware that Antigone has cast him as the villain of her play, Creon warns against going too far o He was been far more generous than the average tyrant, and she taunts him when she can see the hesitation in his face Angrily he seizes her arm o Antigone moans in pain and he twists her to his side After a pause, Antigone remarks that Creon is squeezing her arm too tightly and his grasp no longer hurts o Creon releases her Creon insists that he will not let politics cause her death o The entire story comes down to politics He finds rotting corpses as nauseating as Antigone, and he would have buried Polynices as a matter of public hygiene o But to educate the masses, his stench must fill the town for a month He agrees that his reign makes him loathsome but he has no choice o Antigone rejoins that he should have said no; she can say no to anything she thinks vile Because Creon said yes, he can only, for all his trappings, sentence her to death Antigone knows that she frightens her uncle and his fate frightens him; Creon concurs Antigone cries that while her nails are broken, her fingers bleeding, and her arms covered in welts, she is a queen o Creon asks her to pity him then and live There had to be a man who said yes because the ship of state was sinking o On such a sinking ship, nothing can have a name except the ship itself and the storm Antigone replies that she is not here to understand, only to say no and die o Creon rejoins that it is easy to say no, no is a manmade word The beasts cannot say no to hunger and propagation o They persevere in their simple, good, and obstinate will Antigone jeers that Creon would be quite the king if men were animals Part VI: Creon murmurs that Antigone must hate him o He has long imagined this conversation, seeing a whitefaced boy who would come to assassin him and, despite all Creon's efforts, would only tell him he despised him He cannot believe that boy is Antigone, coming to him over something so meaningless as Polynices's burial Creon makes a final appeal that he will tell her the story he alone knows o He asks her to remember her childhood—how her brothers would torment her and then, when they were older, they would come home late in evening clothes and smoking cigarettes She must have known they were making her parents unhappy Staring outward, Antigone recalls how a handsome Polynices once gave her a paper nightclub flower; Creon knows she must have looked to it for courage last night o Polynices, however, was but a "cruel, vicious little voluptuary" Creon recounts how he saw him strike his father once when he refused to settle his gambling debts o Antigone insists that he is lying Creon continues and says that Oedipus was too cowardly to imprison him, so he let him join the Argive army o As soon as Polynices reached Argos, the attempts on Oedipus's life began The assassins confessed the identities of their employees Yesterday he gave Eteocles a state funeral, making him Thebes's martyr o He had no choice: he could not afford a story of two gangsters after a civil war But Eteocles too plotted to overthrow his father o Both brothers were gangsters, fighting over the spoils of Thebes When Creon sent for their bodies, they were found mashed together in a bloody pulp o He had the prettier one brought in, but he does not know which was buried Creon could not have Antigone die a victim to that "obscene story” o Antigone murmurs that she at least had her faith o Dazed, she raises to go her room. Creon urges her to find Haemon and marry quickly, since she has her life before her Quietly, Antigone challenges him to paint the happy Antigone o She loves Haemon now, but if what she loves in Haemon is to be worn away by Creon's happiness, she will not love Haemon She laughs at Creon because she sees the impotence he must have had at fifteen o Creon attempts to silence her Antigone curses his happiness and she refuses his humdrum moderation o Creon tells her to scream on in her father's voice Antigone cries that she is of the tribe that asks questions, that hates man's filthy, docile, female, and whorish hope o Father was ugly like her but became beautiful at the very end, when his questions were answered, when he could no longer doubt his crime, when hope was gone Part VII Creon struggles to cover Antigone's mouth, and a distraught Ismene rushes in, begging Antigone's forgiveness and promising to help o Antigone rejects her, saying that she does not deserve to die with her o Ismene swears she will bury Polynices herself then Antigone calls on Creon to have her arrested, warning him that her disease is catching o Creon relents "At last," cries Antigone, and the Guards take her away Standing behind Creon, the Chorus tells Creon that he cannot let Antigone die: we will carry the "scar of her death" for centuries o Creon replies that death was her sole purpose and Polynices was but a pretext Haemon enters and also begs his father to stop the guards o He must save her, lock her up and declare her mad Creon replies that the nation will know he is making an exception for his son o The howling mob already knows the truth, and he can do nothing Though master of Thebes, he is but master under the law o Creon urges Haemon to bear his sorrow; he must take up the burden of manhood. Aghast, Haemon wonders if Creon really was the "massive god" he loved as a child. o Creon does not need to say yes to Antigone's death He has no right to desert Haemon, to shrink into nothingness and leave the world bare o Creon replies that the world is bare, that Haemon is alone, and that he must see his father as he is Haemon flees, crying that he will not live without Antigone The Chorus murmurs that he is "wounded to death," and Creon replies that all of us are. Suddenly the Guards enter, dragging Antigone o They warn Creon that the mob is crowing into the palace Antigone begs to be alone until her execution Creon orders the palace emptied o The characters exit Antigone sits before the pacing First Guard in her prison cell o She remarks that his is the last face she will see o She chides him for hurting her this morning upon her arrest o She asks him his age, whether he has children and if he loves them, and how long he has served in the Guard The Guard rambles about his pay, the extra rations for his family, promotions, and quibbles between sergeants and guardsmen o "I see," Antigone replies, barely audible She abruptly interrupts him, pointing out that she is soon to die o The Guard gapes at her and turns away Antigone asks if he thinks it hurts to die o "How would I know?" scoffs the Guard, but he knows that a saber in the guts would hurt Antigone asks him how she is to die The Guard haltingly recites the proclamation from memory: to protect the city from her foul blood, Antigone is to be "immuredimmured" or buried alive in a cave The Guard proudly remarks that the Guard and not the Army will stand watch o Antigone murmurs that while a pair of animals can press together in the cold, she will be alone Part VIII: The Guard asks if he can do anything for Antigone o She asks if he could give someone a letter after her death As the Guard is reluctant to endanger his job, Antigone offers her gold ring o Still reluctant, the Guard suggest that she dictate her letter and he write it in his notebook in case they search his pockets Antigone recites her letter, and the Guard mutters it back to her as he writes o She hesitates upon admitting that she does not even know what she is dying for and then asks the Guard to scratch it and the entire letter out No one must know her doubt—it would be as if they were defiling her corpse o She begins anew: "Forgive me, my darling. You would all have been so happy except for Antigone." Suddenly a drum roll is heard, and the other Guards appear and lead Antigone out The Chorus enters, announcing that it is Creon's turn o The Messenger appears, calling for the Queen He tells the Chorus what has ensued: Antigone had just been immured, when the crowd heard Haemon's moan from within Creon howled for the slaves to remove the stones, tearing at them himself with his hands o They found Haemon holding Antigone's corpse: she had hung herself with the red and gold cord of her robe Creon approached his son, but he remained deaf to his father's voice Suddenly he then rose, struck Creon, and drew his sword o Staring at him in contempt, Haemon stabbed himself and lay beside Antigone in a pool of blood Creon and the Page enter upon the Messenger's final words o Creon announces that he has laid the lovers out sidebyside The Chorus warns that Creon has one thing more to learn regarding his wife's fate o Upon being told of Haemon's death, she finished her row, climbed to her lavenderscented room, and cut her throat Creon tells the Page that while they don’t know it, the truth is that work has to be done o The Page should hope that he never grows up He asks the time and it is five o'clock, and he has a cabinet meeting; they exit The Chorus moves downstage that notes that it is true if it had not been for Antigone, all would have been at peace o But now all who had to die have died They are stiff, useless, and rotting and will be forgotten We shall never know the fever that consumed Antigone o The Guards then enter and resume their cardgame The Chorus remarks that only the Guards are left, and the tragedy does not matter to them o They go on playing cards Medea Summary Nurse laments that Jason’s ship, the Argo, was ever built, because Medea wouldn’t have helped him get the golden fleece and wouldn’t have fallen in love with him o The Nurse says Medea has been inconsolable since Jason’s betrayal (she gave up her family and home to help him, and now he’s abandoned her) Apparently she even hates her own sons by Jason (Nurse worries she’ll do something drastic) A Tutor enters with Medea’s two sons o When the Nurse says why she is sad, the Tutor explains that the situation is even worse because Creon is planning on exiling Medea and her sons Nurse replies Jason would never allow it, but the Tutor says he’s not so sure The Nurse tells the Tutor to keep the kids away from Medea, who cries out from the house wishing she were dead Parados (Chorus Entry Song): The chorus is a group of Corinthian women who are upset about the drama going on o They say it’s foolish to wish to die just because your husband is leaving you The Chorus says to bring Medea out, for they want to talk some sense into her First Episode: Medea enters and says her life has lost all meaning o She says women are treated as the lowest life forms on Earth (they pay huge dowries, have to only hope for a good marriage, cannot divorce, and have to undergo childbirth) Medea says she has it the worst because she is in a strange land with no home, and begs the Chorus not to stand in the way of her revenge o They agree Creon enters and orders Medea to take her sons and leave Corinth Medea asks him why o Creon replies he’s afraid she’ll kill his daughter because she has a reputation as a sorceress Medea says the rumors of her powers are exaggerated and says she’s only angry at Jason, but Creon insists she leave (he even threatens to throw her out forcefully) Medea begs him to let her stay for one day to make travel arrangements and prepare her sons; Creon agrees The Chorus asks what Medea plans to do now, and she says she has a plan for Jason and his new bride; she says she’s going to kill them and Creon o She decides poison is the way to go so she won’t get caught, but decides to postpone her revenge until she has guaranteed shelter (no other city will take her in if she kills them) Second Episode: Jason enters, quite exasperated. o He tells Medea it’s her fault they are banished If she hadn't gone around cursing Creon and his daughter, they would've been able to stay in Corinth. Jason says that he'll give her some money for her impending journey Medea tells him just how ungrateful he is, pointing out that she saved his life, and says that he never would've gotten the Golden Fleece if it wasn't for her o She helped him with all the tasks required Medea asks Jason where she's supposed to go (she made half the world her enemy to help him) Jason tells Medea she's exaggerating about how much she helped him o He says she should be grateful because she now lives in the muchbetter Greece and is famous o He tells her that he's only marrying the princess out of devotion to his family. He says he only wants to provide his family with a more stable life by marrying in to royalty. Jason concludes that if men could only have kids on their own, they'd have no need of women and the world would be a better place Medea tells Jason he should've tried to convince her of some of these points, before he snuck off and took a second wife. Jason says his new wife had nothing to do with lust. He was only concerned for the happiness of his family, but Medea curses him o He gives up and decides to go
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