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Antigone November 15, 2015

Posted by anagasto in law, poetry.
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Her rebel brother was killed in battle and the King proclaimed the death penalty for anyone trying to bury him.

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She thought that a king’s edict could not override divine law.  She went out at night to perform the minimal burial rites, but was discovered and arrested to be buried alive in a cave.

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The people considered her a hero.

They also wondered whether she was maybe crazy and they were careful not to take sides.

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A blind old prophet came to the doors of the palace. He warned the King of imminent disaster.

The people swayed back and forth in their views, and the King could not decide until it was too late.

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In the Greek past, the actors wore masks. This favoured abstraction. Every viewer had to find his own response.

Now , with close-ups, the play depends much more on the director’s interpretation and his choice of actors: Abigail Trabue, Irene Papas, Genevieve Bujold  or Juliet Stevenson, each suggests a different Antigone all made  up by the movie director and the actress.

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The play is called ANTIGONE.

Sophocles wrote about 2500 years ago and all in verse.

In German there is a great translation made by Hölderlin, but in English I have found only “Sophocles: The Theban Plays” translated by E.F.Watling

It could certainly be translated in prose, as a novel.

Older versions are free online, but have become unreadable: “Thou canst betake thee whither thou wilt….”

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The stage set designs are somber:

This design, pretty as it is, suggests a prehistoric Celtic burial site, which does not fit the high level of rationality prevalent in ancient Greek culture and displayed in Sophocles’ verse.

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This stage design is darkly solemn, which is a pity, because the tragedy took place in broad daylight, on the main square, in front of the royal palace, not in some  spooky luxury hotel hall.

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