Written 442 B.C.E
Translated by R. C. Jebb
daughters of Oedipus:
CREON, King of Thebes
EURYDICE, his wife
HAEMON, his son
TEIRESIAS, the blind prophet
GUARD, set to watch the corpse of Polyneices
SECOND MESSENGER, from the house
CHORUS OF THEBAN ELDERS
The same as in Oedipus the King, an open space before the royal palace, once that of Oedipus, at
Thebes. The backscene represents the front of the palace, with three doors, of which the central
and largest is the principal entrance into the house. The time is at daybreak on the morning after
the fall of the two brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices, and the flight of the defeated Argives.
ANTIGONE calls ISMENE forth from the palace, in order to speak to her alone.
Ismene, sister, mine own dear sister, knowest thou what ill there is, of all bequeathed by
Oedipus, that Zeus fulfils not for us twain while we live? Nothing painful is there, nothing
fraught with ruin, no shame, no dishonour, that I have not seen in thy woes and mine.
And now what new edict is this of which they tell, that our Captain hath just published to all
Thebes? Knowest thou aught? Hast thou heard? Or is it hidden from thee that our friends are
threatened with the doom of our foes?
No word of friends, Antigone, gladsome or painful, hath come to me, since we two sisters were
bereft of brothers twain, killed in one day by twofold blow; and since in this last night the Argive
host hath fled, know no more, whether my fortune be brighter, or more grievous.
I knew it well, and therefore sought to bring thee beyond the gates of the court, that thou
mightest hear alone.