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Antigone (NHB Modern Plays)
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📖 eBook - ePub
Antigone (NHB Modern Plays)
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About This Book
A muscular version of Sophocles' timeless masterpiece, offering a profound reflection on the nature of power, democracy and human rights.
The war has ended, but with peace comes conflict. Antigone's brother Polyneices lies on the battlefield where he fell, his burial outlawed by Creon, the new king of Thebes. Should Antigone obey Creon, or must she follow her conscience and lay her beloved brother to rest?
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PublisherNick Hern Books
ANTIGONE. is there no end to this – every breathing moment – every damn thought – steeped in suffering – has our family not suffered enough – enough sorrow dishonour despair – choked we are – choked with the thoughts of the dead and the sins of the past – and now this – this taunt – creon – the mighty king creon – there is not one single drop of royal blood running through that man’s cowardly veins– he needs to shout louder than the rest of us for fear he might be ignored – proclaim he is the man – i – i daughter of oedipus proclaim – i will not be ignored – my voice will be heard throughout the city of thebes – my suffering and that of my family must end – enough is enough
ismene – my sister – have you heard anything – have you spoken to creon
ISMENE. no – he has a city to run antigone – his head’s full of burst pipes and dead bodies on the streets – he has no time for our grief
ANTIGONE. action must be taken – this is family business
ISMENE. what family business
ANTIGONE. creon – our uncle has taken no time in laying down the law
ISMENE. we have just fought a war – he is the king – is that not his job – this is a time for strong leadership
ANTIGONE. listen first and then tell me what you think of his leadership – he has not treated our dead brothers equally
ISMENE. they are both dead – is that not equal enough
ANTIGONE. one is to be honoured the other disgraced – eteocles will be buried beneath the ground – welcomed by the dead below – as is right and proper – not so for polyneices – no citizen of thebes is to lay a finger on his dead body – it is ordered that no one is to openly lament for the passing of this man – unburied – and unwept for – food for every pack of mad dogs and flock of screeching birds that feel the bite of hunger – that is creon’s proclamation – to leave the dead body of our brother at the side of the road like a slave – the king is on his way here to tell us that – he needs to make sure that we – the last two drops of royal blood – hear what he has to say – make no mistake about it ismene this filth is aimed at us – he has given orders that any citizen found helping polyneices on his way to hades will be stoned to death – stoned by their fellow citizens whether they agree with his proclamation or not – he has probably forced them to gather rocks as we speak – creon has made his decision – we must make ours – we are the daughters of oedipus – no cowardly blood flows through our veins – we shall let the whole of thebes know that – we must take action ismene
ISMENE. if creon has said it it is said – he doesn’t speak just to hear his own voice – this is important – we must listen – he is the king
ANTIGONE. king – don’t speak to me of him as king – if it wasn’t for the spilt blood of our family he’d be nothing
ISMENE. he is in power antigone
ANTIGONE. i cannot let that stop me
ISMENE. a proclamation is to be made – there is no choice here
ANTIGONE. no brother of mine…
ISMENE. my brother too – don’t forget that
ANTIGONE. no brother of mine will lie unburied at the side of the road like a slave – we are the royal family – no choice you say – we have a choice – will you – my sister – his sister – help me bury our brother polyneices
ANTIGONE. no cowardly blood flows within our veins
ISMENE. i am not a coward – i am obeying the law
ANTIGONE. liar – you are hiding behind the law only because you are afraid to confront it
ISMENE. don’t lecture me – i have been through as much as you – we are equal in that respect
ANTIGONE. then get angry – do something
ISMENE. the king has forbidden it
ANTIGONE. i hate your weakness – it is clear that i must act alone – i will not betray our brother polyneices
ISMENE. i am not betraying him – creon has…
ANTIGONE. i don’t want to hear that name again – stop saying it – just stop…
ISMENE. no – creon has forbidden it – i am powerless to do a damn thing – and you know that
ANTIGONE. what i know – i’ll tell you what i know – you are powerless because you choose not to act – i will not do nothing – he – creon – has no right to keep me from my brother
ISMENE. think antigone – don’t always let anger rule your head – think – think about death – not the dead – but death – death and our family – our father – our brother – blinded by his own hand for sins he didn’t know he was committing – exiled for fear he would pollute everything within spitting distance – his wife – our mother – his mother – she couldn’t tighten the noose round her neck quick enough – and now our two brothers – dead on the one day – each one’s sword buried within the other’s gut – you get the picture here
ANTIGONE. don’t tell me what i already know
ISMENE. then take heed of what you already know – break the chain antigone – don’t let the dead rule your every thought
ANTIGONE. the dead until they are treated with honour and dignity should rule our every thought – i’m doing this for our family ismene
ISMENE. our fate will be worst of all if we disobey our king and spit in the face of his power – we are ruled by those whose power is greater than ours – we obey their judgement no matter how painful that may be – with dignity and grace – we do this both as citizens and women – citizens and women antigone – the dead of our family understand that situation
ANTIGONE. i don’t need you – even if your answer was yes now i wouldn’t want it – it wouldn’t be pure – it wouldn’t come from love – you tell me you are certain of what you have to do – i am telling you i am certain of what i must do – believe me it is no hardship to die with honour – and i shall lie with those that i have honoured – i shall lie with them longer in hades then i ever stood with them on this earth – my actions are in honour of those i love and in honour of the gods – if you choose to dishonour that which the gods honour that is your business
ISMENE. i have not chosen to dishonour the gods – i have chosen not to act against the will of the people of the city – and our king
ANTIGONE. don’t speak as if it were a matter of principle to you – you’re afraid – nothing else – fear won’t stop me though – my brother is to be buried – and i shall bury him
ISMENE. the only fear i possess is fear for you antigone
ANTIGONE. don’t fear for me – my eyes are wide open and i walk into this fight with creon freely
ISMENE. do as you will – keep it to yourself though – and i will do the same
ANTIGONE. no – i am not hiding – scream it from the rooftops if you want – and if a crowd gathers tell them that antigone – daughter of oedipus – member of the royal family – has a proclamation – a proclamation from a woman and a sister – tell them – tell them i and my family have taken enough – i am not afraid to do what i think is right
ISMENE. i only hope that is true and you are not just disobeying the king because you are headstrong and need something to attack – because you hate the fact that it’s there at all
ANTIGONE. don’t think that – if you do those that love you most will end up hating you – i am doing what is right – my brother will be buried and the deed will be an honourable one
ISMENE. go then if you must – but i cannot go with you – you must always know antigone that i love you
ANTIGONE. as i love you ismene – let’s leave before creon’s empty and corrupt spiel fills the air
ANTIGONE and ISMENE exit. The OLD MAN enters trailing a body bag behind him. Before h...
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APA 6 Citation
Sophocles. (2014). Antigone (NHB Modern Plays) ([edition unavailable]). Nick Hern Books. Retrieved from https://www.perlego.com/book/1420316/antigone-nhb-modern-plays-pdf (Original work published 2014)
Sophocles. (2014) 2014. Antigone (NHB Modern Plays). [Edition unavailable]. Nick Hern Books. https://www.perlego.com/book/1420316/antigone-nhb-modern-plays-pdf.
Sophocles (2014) Antigone (NHB Modern Plays). [edition unavailable]. Nick Hern Books. Available at: https://www.perlego.com/book/1420316/antigone-nhb-modern-plays-pdf (Accessed: 14 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Sophocles. Antigone (NHB Modern Plays). [edition unavailable]. Nick Hern Books, 2014. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.