11 September 2008

What I'm reading

I'm reading Sophocles' Antigone, or actually re-reading it, which is actually more like thinking about it. The play is thought to have been first performed in late March, 441 B.C.

I fear B.C. is a politically incorrect term, as it means Before Christ and not everyone is Christian. I believe the new term is B.C.E. Before the Common Era. Forgive me!

The play was part of a public festival known as the "Great Dionysia," which celebrated Dionysius, the god of wine. During the annual Dionysia many of the famous Greek trajedies--and commedies and satires--were first produced.

The play is not Sophocles' easiest. It is the story of a myth, or the part of the myth that occurs at the tale end of the Oedipal disaster, after it's been discovered that their father was also their brother -- that is, their mother is also their grandmother. (You'll figure it out, if you don't know the story already) Other things have happened, such as their father poking his eyes out and their brothers killing each other. The people left in the family are the two sisters, a bossy, high-strung and righteous Antigone and her sweet mild lil sis, Ismene, and an uncle, Creon, who has taken the throne and immediately promises to kill anyone who attempts to properly bury Antigone's outcast, and already quite dead, brother.

In the first scene, Antigone meets her sister outside the castle--or whatever Greek royalty lived in--and says, "Ismene, my sister, mine own dear sister, knowest thou what ill there is?"

I'm impressed with how easy it is to read Antigone online. MIT has it here, Bartleby has it here, the awesome Diotima has it here, and Sparknotes--whoever they are--has it here.

It would be cool if all of those links worked.

More on tragedy--Greek--soon.


Blair's Blog said...

I thought the Greek tragedies were interesting. Seeing how plays were back then and how they are now are rather fun. I read Bartleby for a class sophomore year and it was just very odd. This man just had no concept of anything. Even though it was probably one of the oddest stories ever, it was probably one of the most interesting that I've read in college.

S. Merrill said...

Hey Professor,

I'll shoot you an email as well, but here's a comment to link to my blog. I wasn't aware that there was a sequel to Oedipus Rex. Interesting.

Across the Universe said...

Hello Professor,
This should serve you well as a link to my Blogerooni.
Hope that you're enjoying the weekend.
Yes, i do believe the term is B.C.E., so says wikipedia.
internet soul food:

Melanie Muska said...


Here is my URL- I e-mailed you Thursday night as I said I would... I don't think it's working.

I read Antigone sophomore year in HIGH SCHOOL!! Hope you enjoy it.