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Antigone (The Oedipus Plays) | Study Guide


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Stasimon 4

Professor Bradley Greenburg of Northeastern Illinois University provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Stasimon 4 of Sophocles's play Antigone.

Antigone (The Oedipus Plays) | Stasimon 4 | Summary



The Chorus brings up the fact that "the power of fate is full of mystery," and that there is no getting around it, even if you are rich or powerful. They recall how similar fates to Antigone's befell other well-known mythological figures—all were imprisoned in cruel ways and died, even though they all had something powerful that distinguished them.


The Chorus makes the comparison to other mythological figures in order to show that no matter how wealthy, powerful, or demigod-like one might be, fate cannot be escaped, even if that fate is as awful as Antigone's. Their reference to Danae calls up a comparison to Antigone's imprisonment, since Danae, the daughter of the king of Argos, was also doomed by a prophecy to be "a prisoner hidden in a chamber like a tomb, although she, too, came from a noble line." Similarly Antigone's fate was set in motion by her relation to Oedipus, and there's nothing she can do to change it. The other comparison the Chorus calls out is to Lycurgus, who attacked Dionysus and paid for it with a painful death. Even though the Chorus reveals sympathy toward Antigone in these comparisons, they refuse to compare her to the gods since they also recognize that she broke a law.

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