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Antigone
Novel Summary
Character Profiles
Metaphor Analysis
Theme Analysis
Top Ten Quotes
Biography
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Antigone




Biography

Sophocles, an Athenian politician and dramatist, was born in 496 B.C. and died in 406 B.C. His lifetime almost perfectly paralleled the "Golden Age" of Athens. Unlike other dramatists and thinkers of his time, Sophocles did not abstain from politics. Indeed Sophocles was completely immersed in it, serving as an elected official for several years, most notably as a Strategoi-an elected general. Fortunately for Sophocles, he died just before Athens surrendered to Sparta in 404 B.C., marking Athens' loss in the Peloponnesian War.

Dramatically speaking, Sophocles is best known for his adoption of the third actor in his Greek tragedies. This made it possible to include complex dialogues and character interactions in Antigone and other plays. Before this idea emerged to dominate drama, only two actors were included in each scene.

Sophocles wrote Antigone before Oedipus the King, and it is here that he establishes the connection of tragedy between generations of his characters. Indeed Antigone's fate is shaped not only through her own actions, but through Oedipus' sin as well. Though Oedipus the King, Sophocles' masterpiece, most critically reveals Athens' problems, Antigone also suggests a disturbing picture of its future.

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