Some questions/comments from Mr. Jerry Pendrick, Classics Scholar, who will visit our classes after Thanksgiving. Consider these questions about Antigone. If these give rise to others, great! Bring your ideas and questions back to school. Mr. Kendrick is excited to discuss Sophocles’ play with you. BTW, he has read it in the original Greek.
“Most modern readers sympathize strongly with Antigone. In democratic Athens, how would the audience feel about Antigone — who is essentially a princess and daughter of the (former) king, a sort of Ivanka Trump figure, a member of the “1%” of Athenian society — asserting her right to disobey laws she happens to disagree with?
What exactly are Antigone’s motives for disobeying Creon’s edict? Are they religious, as her famous speech at lines 450–457 suggest? Or are they purely personal, as her speech at 920ff suggests? Is she a consistent character who operates from consistent principles/motives?
The plot of the play proves that Creon was ultimately in the wrong. Does it also prove that Antigone was ultimately in the right? Why or why not? A related question is: what actually does it mean to be an Athenian tragedy?
This should provide enough fodder for discussion.”