Literapedia Book Notes for

Antigone by Sophocles

Scene Summaries

  • prologue (lines 1–116) Antigone and Ismene discuss the situation. Antigone leaves with resolve, and Ismene frets upon the stage.
    • parodos—intro ode (lines 117–172) The chorus celebrates the victory over the Seven Against Thebes.

  • 1st scene (lines 173–376) Creon gives a speech on kingship to the old men of the city (the chorus), and speaks with their Leader. The Sentry tells of the burial and is sent away by Creon.
    • 1st ode (lines 377–416) The chorus describes the stages of humankind and talks of the fall of reckless men.

  • 2nd scene (lines 417–655) The Sentry presents Antigone to Creon as the perpetrator of the crime. Ismene begs to share the guilt but is rebuffed by her sister.
    • 2nd ode (lines 656–700) The chorus bemoans the situation and comments on the ruin of man.

  • 3rd scene (lines 701–878) Haemon enters and pledges allegiance to Creon, his father, but suggests to him that he is wrong. Creon tells the Leader Antigone’s punishment.
    • 3rd ode (lines 879–894) Once again the chorus is bummed at the situation, but this time they talk about love.

  • 4th scene (lines 895–1034) Antigone is led to her death. The chorus and their Leader feel sorry for her, but Creon has no pity.
    • 4th ode (lines 1035–1089) The chorus compares Antigone’s fate to that of Danaë and possibly compares Creon to Lycurgus

  • 5th scene (lines 1090–1238) Tiresias shows up to warn Creon, but Creon angers him and runs him off by accusations of lying to make money. The Leader convinces Creon to free Antigone.
    • 5th ode (lines 1239–1272) The chorus sings praise of the god Dionysus, suggesting their hope for the “rebirth” of Antigone.

  • epilogue (lines 1273–1465) A Messenger tells the Leader and Eurydice how Antigone was found dead and how Haemon killed himself. Creon enters and finds that Eurydice killed herself. Creon confesses his mistakes and the Leader “consoles” him.
    • exodus (lines 1466–1470) The chorus tells us that wisdom is a good thing.

Book Note Creator

Hal Waller, instructor