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Antigone - Antigone By Sophocles Written 442 B.C.E...

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Antigone By Sophocles Written 442 B.C.E Translated by R. C. Jebb Dramatis Personae daughters of Oedipus: ANTIGONE ISMENE CREON, King of Thebes EURYDICE, his wife HAEMON, his son TEIRESIAS, the blind prophet GUARD, set to watch the corpse of Polyneices FIRST MESSENGER SECOND MESSENGER, from the house CHORUS OF THEBAN ELDERS Scene 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. ANTIGONE 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? ISMENE 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. ANTIGONE I knew it well, and therefore sought to bring thee beyond the gates of the court, that thou mightest hear alone.
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ISMENE What is it? 'Tis plain that thou art brooding on some dark tidings. ANTIGONE What, hath not Creon destined our brothers, the one to honoured burial, the other to unburied shame? Eteocles, they say, with due observance of right and custom, he hath laid in the earth, for his honour among the dead below. But the hapless corpse of Polyneices-as rumour saith, it hath been published to the town that none shall entomb him or mourn, but leave unwept, unsepulchred, a welcome store for the birds, as they espy him, to feast on at will. Such, 'tis said, is the edict that the good Creon hath set forth for thee and for me,-yes, for me,- and is coming hither to proclaim it clearly to those who know it not; nor counts the matter light, but, whoso disobeys in aught, his doom is death by stoning before all the folk. Thou knowest it now; and thou wilt soon show whether thou art nobly bred, or the base daughter of a noble line. Antigone needs to bury her brother so she doesn’t hurt her own soul. ISMENE Poor sister,-and if things stand thus, what could I help to do or undo? ANTIGONE Consider if thou wilt share the toil and the deed.
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