Essays on Antigone

Original title Antigone
Author Sophocles
Genre Tragedy
Language Ancient Greek
Characters Antigone Ismene Creon Eurydice Haemon Tiresias, Sentry, Leader of the Chorus, First Messenger, Second Messenger
Published 441 BC
ISBN 9780571244270
Book Summary
Essay Examples

Table of Contents

About Antigone Book

After Oedipus Rex, Antigone written by Sophocles’ is the best-known play to exist. Even though Antigone was written more than two thousand years ago, the moral dilemma it examines via its two key characters — Antigone and Creon — is as important now as when Antigone writer wrote it. Antigone is one of the best Greek tragedies ever written.

The tragic story and theme of the book is the tension between an individual’s action and fate. The book is based n various myths and is hard to read.

Book Summary

Both Polyneices and Eteocles were killed in battle. They were brothers who led different sides in the civil war in Thebes. According to Creon, there will be respect for Eteocles and shame for Polyneices, the future king of Thebes.

As a result, the corpse of the disobedient brother will be left unburied and available for consumption by carrion animals. It is Antigone and Ismene, the surviving siblings of Oedipus’s long-dead brothers, who will carry on his legacy.

Antigone meets with Ismene late at night outside the city gates for a covert meeting because she intends to bury Polyneices’ body against Creon’s command. Antigone denies Ismene’s assistance because she is afraid of the death punishment, but she is powerless to stop her.

Creon comes in, as well as the Chorus of Theban Elders. He hopes they will stand by his side in the days to come, especially when it comes to disposing of Polyneices’ corpse. Support from the Chorus of the Elders has been pledged.

It’s said that a Sentry has already buried the corpse. An enraged Creon tells the Sentry that he will die if he doesn’t discover the guilty. The Sentry departs, but he returns with Antigone after a brief period.

Creon asks her about what she did, and she doesn’t lie. She doesn’t back down when she talks to Creon about how moral the law is and her actions. A furious Creon summons the young woman, certain that Ismene supports her.

Antigone refuses to believe Ismene’s story that she made up in order to die with her sister. Creon gives the order to lock up the two women temporarily. Antigone’s fiancé, Creon’s son Haemon, joins the fray to make a pact with his father.

His willingness to follow Creon’s orders is first apparent, but Haemon’s attempts to gently convince his father to rescue Antigone quickly devolve into an exchange of insults. To avoid seeing Creon ever again, Haemon departs.

It is decided that Antigone will be imprisoned in a cave while Ismene will be rescued. One last time, she cries out and defends herself in front of her family and friends. As she is dragged away, the Chorus expresses their deep sadness for what will happen to her.

The blind prophet Teiresias makes his entrance. He says the gods back Antigone. To prove his innocence, Creon says he would lose one of his children because of the sins he has made in the past: letting Polyneices unburied and burying Antigone.

The gods will reject Creon’s sacrifices because of his disgrace, and all of Greece will despise him. The scared Chorus begs Creon to listen to their advice. They instruct him to bury Polyneices and liberate Antigone, and he agrees.

Creon reluctantly accepts, and his confidence weakens. In order to correct his blunders, he goes with a large group of men. It is revealed that Haemon has taken his own life as announced by a Messenger, who joins the Chorus midway through their choral homage to the deity Dionysis.

Creon’s wife and Haemon’s mother, Eurydice, appears and requests the Messenger for all the information. Haemon and Antigone, according to the Messenger, have both committed suicide. As Eurydice enters the palace, she vanishes.

Creon carries Haemon’s corpse. He knows he created this. A second messenger tells Creon and the Chorus that Eurydice committed suicide. She cursed her spouse as she died. Creon blames himself and begs his servants to assist him inside.

The order he treasured is safe, and he is still king, but he acted even against gods and lost his kid and wife. The Chorus concludes by stating that even if the gods chastise the haughty, retribution provides insight to the one who endures it. 

Antigone Quotes

If you have read the Antigone book summary, hopefully, you will enjoy these words and tales of the ancient drama Antigone.

  • “Say I am mad and give my madness rein To wreck itself; the worst that can befall Is but to die an honorable death.”
  • “No youths have sung the marriage song for me, My bridal bed No maids have strewn with flowers from the lea, ‘Tis Death I wed.”
  • “I was born to join in love, not hate – my nature.”
  • “For death is gain to him whose life, like mine, Is full of misery.”
  • “When misfortune comes, The wisest even lose their mother wit.”

Essay Structure On Antigone

In terms of content and structure, an ancient Greek drama was typically organized chronologically from beginning to end. To get a better understanding, you must read the Antigone short summary. The fundamental format for an essay about Antigone is as follows:


As the name suggests, the introductory paragraph serves the function of introducing your topic. An effective introduction starts with a “hook,” a sentence or phrase that piques the reader’s interest and encourages them to continue reading.

It’s important to include a thesis statement in your introduction, which you should do around the paragraph’s conclusion. The drama “Antigone” follows a chronological sequence; however, there are moments when individuals talk about events from the past.

The introductory, episodes and final scenes were laid out in a three-act structure in ancient Greek plays. “Antigone” is a tragedy in the literary sense: the plot illustrates human collapse as a consequence of hubris. It keeps the audience wondering about the key elements long after the play has ended.


The bulk of your Antigone essay takes place here. This is when you flesh out your thoughts and bring up all elements linked to your primary theme.

In most cases, you should have three body paragraphs or parts, each focusing on a specific topic. You may think of it as raising the issue. There are three key types of evidence that, when combined, provide strong backing for your main idea.


Many students are unsure how to write a conclusion to essays about Antigone. They tend to see their ending as an afterthought; nonetheless, this portion is just as vital as the rest of your work and should not be neglected.

In your conclusion, you should not propose new ideas, but you should synthesize your important arguments and illustrate how they support your thesis statement.

Tips To Consider While Writing An Essay About Antigone

Learn how to write an excellent essay on a work of literature you’ve read and persuade your readers that it’s worth their time. To help you with your Antigone essay, here are some pointers to keep in mind:

Read The Book Thoroughly

Don’t read anything only to figure out what the author is trying to convey or get some data. Participate actively in the reading process by circling key phrases and highlighting paragraphs as you read the material.

Find A Compelling Topic

With a greater understanding of the essay, you’ll be able to choose a more appropriate subject. A good way to start brainstorming is to take a seat and let your thoughts flow freely. To write an outstanding essay, concentrate on a certain essay style and its intended audience before selecting an intriguing subject.

Create The Outline

Starting with your thesis statement at the top of the outline, you’ll want to lay down the fundamental structure of your essay. Using subject sentences is a smart strategy for writing an Antigone literary analysis essay.

When a new paragraph begins, the first sentence of the paragraph should include a subject sentence that serves as a mini-thesis statement. The paragraph’s central theme is introduced in this phrase.

Write The Thesis Statement

Creating a good thesis is frequently the most difficult element of the essay writing process since you will be developing it throughout the whole piece. When choosing a thesis statement, make sure it’s broad enough to cover a wide range of topics, but it’s not broad, so you can’t adequately express your ideas.

Include A Lesson Or Moral

The play Antigone teaches its audience that the gods’ rule should be revered more than the law of humans. The violation of God’s law by human law is a sin. Antigone is correct to defy Creon’s wicked rule preventing Polynices’ burial in Antigone.

Conclusion: Proofread Your Work

You’ll review your essay repeatedly to ensure nothing has slipped through the cracks. You’ll begin by ensuring that your essay is logically organized, that all of your ideas are relevant to your subject, and that all of your facts are properly mentioned and supported. Correct any issues in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting.


i. What is the basic story of Antigone?

After the civil war in which Oedipus’ two sons, Eteocles and Polyneices, murder one another. The new king and Creon’s successor try to punish Polyneices for treason by not burying him properly.

ii. What is Antigone known for?

Antigone secretly buried Polyneices because she loved him and believed the order was unfair. As a result, she was sentenced to death by Creon and imprisoned in a cave where she killed herself by hanging.

iii. Who is Antigone, and what did he do?

Sophocles’ trilogy of tragedies includes Antigone, written about 441 B.C., as one of three plays. Creon’s (King) rule forbids Antigone from burying her brother Polynices. Therefore she defies him by doing so. Despite Creon’s threats to kill anybody who dug up Polynices’ grave, Antigone persisted in her determination.

iv. Who is Antigone in love with?

There is a lot of love in Antigone, and it is best expressed by three characters: Antigone, Creon, and Ismene. Antigone adores her brother Polyneices and the gods, while Creon lusts for great wealth and power, and Ismene adores Antigone and the gods.

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FAQ about Antigone

Who Is The Tragic Hero In Antigone Written By Sophocles
...In conclusion, Sophocles depicts the story of Antigone, who is sentenced for carrying a burial for Polyneices in defiance of the king’s order. The author more specifically sheds light on the king’s abuse of power through the chorus. By fearing th...
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