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Antigone | Study Guide

Jean Anouilh

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Antigone | Part Summaries

See Part Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • Before the action begins

    The Chorus introduces each character and explains Creon's prohibition against burying Polynices.

  • Dawn

    Antigone sneaks inside; the nurse scolds her; Ismene pleads with Antigone not to defy Creon's edict.

    Part 1 (Early Morning)
  • Early morning

    Antigone declares her enduring love to Haemon, then tells him they can never marry.

    Part 2 (Meeting with Haemon)
  • Noon

    Creon learns someone has tried to bury Polynices; the Chorus announces the inevitability of tragedy.

    Part 4 (Chorus)
  • Mid-afternoon

    The guards catch Antigone attempting to bury Polynices; they bring her to Creon.

    Part 5 (Mid-Afternoon)
  • Moments later

    To make Antigone give up burying Polynices, Creon begs, reasons, and threatens.

    Part 6 (The Daughter of Oedipus)
  • Moments after that

    Creon nearly persuades Antigone to forget Polynices; but when he tells her to be happy, she rebels.

    Part 7 (One Last Appeal)
  • After the argument

    Haemon joins the Chorus in condemning Creon's decision to put Antigone to death.

    Part 8 (What Have You Done?)
  • A little later

    In an unfinished letter to Haemon, Antigone admits she doesn't know what she is dying for.

    Part 9 (In Her Prison Cell)
  • A little later still

    The audience learns Antigone, Haemon, and Eurydice have killed themselves; Creon returns to work.

    Part 10 (Late Afternoon)

Part Summaries Chart

Part Summary
Prologue The set is plain, usually a bare stage with three entrances. The actors wear evening clothes. The Chorus tells us that t... Read More
Part 1 (Early Morning) In the early morning, as suggested by the lighting, the action of the play begins. Antigone tries to sneak inside past t... Read More
Part 2 (Meeting with Haemon) Haemon arrives while Antigone is still talking to the nurse, who exits. He has come to make up after an argument they ap... Read More
Part 3 (Later That Day) The lighting indicates late morning. Creon stands on the stage, and the page brings in Private Jonas, one of the three g... Read More
Part 4 (Chorus) At mid-afternoon the Chorus appears onstage. He says, "the spring is wound up tight" and "the tragedy is on." He goes on... Read More
Part 5 (Mid-Afternoon) Antigone enters in the clutches of the three guards. They don't know her identity and don't care. As Private Jonas says,... Read More
Part 6 (The Daughter of Oedipus) Once Creon determines Antigone really is guilty as charged, he tries to understand her motive. She says she owes Polynic... Read More
Part 7 (One Last Appeal) Creon continues to insist that Antigone's stand is meaningless, and he plays his ace card to prove it. He tells Antigone... Read More
Part 8 (What Have You Done?) The Chorus now pleads with Creon to have mercy on Antigone for the good of the people: "We shall carry the scar of her d... Read More
Part 9 (In Her Prison Cell) In her cell, realizing that Private Jonas is the last face she will see, Antigone asks about his life. After a while she... Read More
Part 10 (Late Afternoon) The play rapidly winds down in the final scene. In late afternoon a messenger announces he has news for the queen. Befor... Read More
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