71 pages 2 hours read



Fiction | Play | Adult | BCE

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  • Genre: Fiction; Play; Greek Tragedy
  • Originally Published: 441 BCE
  • Reading Level/Interest: College/Adult
  • Structure/Length: 8 scenes and 6 odes; approx. 80-100 pages; approx. 1 hour, 30 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Antigone, the teenage daughter of Oedipus and the princess of Thebes, decides to give her recently deceased brother Polyneikes a proper burial. This goes against King Kreon’s ruling, and as a result, Antigone is sentenced to death.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Violence; murder

Sophocles, Author

  • Bio: Born circa 496 BCE in Colonus, Athens, Greece; died in 406 BCE; ancient Greek tragedian who wrote over 120 plays, of which seven fully survive; influenced modern drama and playwriting by incorporating painted scenery and introducing a third speaking character in his plays
  • Other Works: Oedipus Rex (429 BC); Philoctetes (409 BC); Oedipus at Colonus (406 BC)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Fate and its Inescapability
  • God and Man’s Law
  • Youth and Age

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Develop an understanding of cultural and historical contexts regarding burial rites in ancient cultures that impact the protagonist’s development as a tragic hero.
  • Study short paired texts and other resources to make connections via the text’s themes of Fate and its Inescapability, God and Man’s Law and Youth and Age.
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