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ANTIGONE

Scene 1 Characters Involved: ANTIGONE ISMENE CREON Guard #1 CHORAGOS w/ Chorus as citizens of Thebes PROLOGUE: [Enter ANTIGONE and ISMENE] ANTIGONE: Oh cruel fate! Dear sister; we have suffered great hurdles in our life and I fear there is another one coming at us. Have you heard of our King CREON's new decree? ISMENE: I fear not sister. I have heard of nothing aside that two sisters have lost two brothers. ANTIGONE: I thought so. This is why I have asked you to come out here with me. ISMENE: What is it? And why do you speak so strangely? ANTIGONE: I have a plan. And not just any plan, it involves risking our lives. ISMENE: You dont mean? ANTIGONE: Yes, I intend on burying his body. He is my brother and I love him. This is the least he deserves. ISMENE: Are you crazy? What if King CREON finds out? Death is likely the wrst of our fears once he holds sight of this. ANTIGONE: I do not fear death nor punishment. I am dedicated to this. But how about you? You have been awfully silent. Prove yourself! Lets see if youre a true sister or a traitor to the family. ISMENE: I do love him, but am not mad. I fear, which you need to do. ANTIGONE: Then so be it. I shall go by myself. ISMENE: O how I fear for you! ANTIGONE: Do not. I need no sympathy from a sister who fears more than she loves. Farewell. [ANTIGONE Leaves] ISMENE: Then go! You may be unwise, but at least youre loyal to those who you love. PARODOS Scene 1: CHORAGOS: Be calm, be calm everyone! Our King is coming. Why has he summoned us to a conference you ask? I do not know but we shall soon find out. [Enter CREON] CREON: Gentlemen, I have called upon this conference to inform you of the recent happenings that have occurred. One is that our Ship of State has docked 1

successfully even in spite of the recent storms. Another is about the recent causalities the took place in the Argive attack. There were two major deaths, one being the death of a great soldier, Eteocles and the other being the death of a traitor, Polyneices. Of course, Eteocles would be given a proper burial, and Polyneices would be left in the fields, untouched and disrespected whatsoever. Nobody shall give their prayers nor amends. Anyone who will violate this will be punished severely. You understand? CHORAGOS: I speak for the entirety of your subjects my lord. You are our king. You have the right to impose the laws and we will abide by it. CREON: Good. I just wanted to make sure that nobody is above my law. [Enter Guard #1] Guard: Sir , sir I come with news of utter importance. Rambling:[I have come here out of breathe to inform you of a message. Though it is so great, that every time I stop, I think that I should go back thoug sense stopped me from doing so(insert other stuff)] CREON: ENOUGH!!!!! Come to the point sentry. I have no time for this dilly dally. Guard: (gulps) [With every phrase CREON, the choragus and the chorus draw nearer] The dead manPolyneicesout theresomeoneput dustburialandhas gone. [Long pause, CREON Speaks with deadly control, yet obvious is angry] CREON : Who dare do this? Guard: Please dont hurt me! I dont know anything, I swear. There were no signs of entry, nothing! Not a single footprint nor track was found. There were no holes of any sort, there was just enough dust on the body for it to pass on to its after life! CREON: How can that be?! CHORAGOS: Sir, do you think this may be a doing of the gods? CREON: What an insane thought! Why would the gods favour a criminal? Senile old man! [looks at guard] You, go! Find the doer of this action! Go to the ends of this world for I care. Severe consequences await you if you are unable do this. Dismissed! [CREON Exits] Guard: That is, if im still here. Farewell Thebes, I think this is the last time youll hear of me! [Guard Exits] ODE 1 Strophe 1 Chorus: The worlds wonders cannot be counted But none compares to man What yields to his brows is the sea of storm gray The huge huge crests bear him high O Earth holy and exhaustible You are graven with shining furror 2

Where his plows have gone year after year, The timeless labor of stallions. The light banded birds abd beasts that sing to cover The lithe fish are lightning their reaches of dim All are taken, tamed in the net of his mind. The lion on the hill, the wild horse windy-monded Resigned to himl and his blunt yoke has broken The sulthy shoulders of the mountain bull. Strophe 2 Chorus: The words thought as rapid as air He fashions to his good use; Thats very clear And his the skill that deflects the arrows of show The spears of winter rainl from every wind that blows He has made himself secure-from all but one In the late wind of death he cannot stand. Antistrophe 2 Chorus: O clear intelligence, youre immeasurable force! O fate of man, of good and evil source! When the laws are kept, how proud is this city! When the laws are broken, what then at this city! Never may the anarchic man find rest at my hearth Never be it said that my thoughts are his thoughts. Strophe 2 And old men tell a half-remembered tale Of humor done where a dark ledge splits the sea at sail And a double surf beats on the gray shores: How a kings new woman, sick and sore With hatred for the queen whom he had imprisoned Ripped out the eyes of his two poor sons. While grinning, Ares watched the shuttle plunge Four times: crying for revenge of for blind wounds Antistrophe 2 Crying, tears and blood-mixed. Born piteously Those sons whose mother was born heavenly Her father was the god of northwind 3

And gales to her when cradled And on the glittering hills she raced with young colts In the open light, untrammelled she walked But in her marriage, fate which is deathless To build a tomb like yours for all her happiness.

Scene 2
CHORAGOS: The princess ANTIGONE? But why? Sentry CREON Because shes guilty! I saw her burying him! (enters) Whats the problem? (sees the sentry) And you --- why have you come back so soon? My King, I left terribly frightened by your threats but now I come glad as i can be for i have found her! (pushes ANTIGONE toward CREON) Here, she is the one whom you are seeking But this is my niece. How can this be?! I swear to the gods, i saw him burying him (eyeing ANTIGONE, then speaks the Sentry) If you are not lying, then tell me what happened. As you have commanded, we kept guard. Nothing happened ---- until the whirlwind came. Eventually it stopped, and when it did, I saw the princess taking her chance. I saw her bury the corpse! And she does not even deny shes guilty! So now, I have brought her to you, my lord, though it saddens me for I have helped condemn a friend. ANTIGONE, tell the truth.

Sentry

CREON SENTRY CREON

SENTRY

CREON

ANTIGONE He had spoken of the truth CREON Are you aware of the law?

ANTIGONE There is no reason that i should not be CREON Yet you disobeyed.

ANTIGONE Because you are not a god! They who truly rule this world and the heavens do not make such foolish laws. Theirs are immortal and are recognized by all people, but yours? It is nonsense! If i must die, because of this then let it be. The mortal escaped death anyway and besides, death will be sweeter to me than this 4

life that i live. Go on, CREON, punish me. But do not forget that it may be that the fool himself will convict another of folly. CHORAGOS She has turned it to be like her father --- so stubborn! CREON Who are you to disobey the king? (turns to CHORAGOS) I love my sister, but this criminal who is unfortunately her daughter?! I have nothing but abhorrence. This proud girl must die... With her equally traitorous sister. (to the guards) Go! Arrest ISMENE!

ANTIGONE Your words annoy me. Why dont you just kill me now? So then you shall here these men sing praises to my name. CREON HA! (smirks) No they wont!

ANTIGONE They wont because you hold their tongue! CREON They wont because there is no guilt in them!

ANTIGONE So I am guilty of burying the corpse of my brother? CREON Isnt Eteocles your brother too?

ANTIGONE Yes and I love them equally. CREON But Polyneices is a traitor!

ANTIGONE the dead deserves to be honoured. CREON Not if in life he is wicked.

ANTIGONE Are you a god to judge him? CREON An enemy shall forever be an enemy

ANTIGONE sorry. I would rather love than hate. CREON (angry) Then go! Bring your love to hell!

CHORAGOS Here comes ISMENE! CREON Ah! The other snake!

ANTIGONE No! She is not a bit guilty! ISMENE Yes! I wasnt. But let me go with you but now I understand.

ANTIGONE Save yourself my dear sister. I belong to death but you do not. 5

ISMENE

Oh please, ANTIGONE! Youre the only one i have left. When you die, what shall happen to me? so let me share this fate. If you go to hell, then i shall follow. (Amused; to CHORAGOS) Look at these girls! One has lost her mind while the other has never had any at all. Grief teaches the steadiest minds to waver, king. Because you took sides with the guilty. I cant live without her. But this girl is evil! How could you call her evil? Shes the bride of your son. I shall not have such a woman as my daughter-in-law oh, poor Haemon. What do you know about marriage?

CREON

ISMENE CREON ISMENE CREON ISMENE CREON ISMENE CREON

CHORAGOS O King CREON, are you really going to rob your son of the woman he loves? CREON I wont! Death will. Guards! Take these girls away!

ODE 2 Strophe 1: Fortunate is the one who has never tasted Gods vengeance which is too full of destruction When the long darkness under sea roars up And burst drumming death upon the sand. Antistrophe: I witnessed this sorrow way back the past Loan upon Oedipus children and generation And takes the rage of this fierce enemy GOD. So lately this Oedipus flower is last And drank the sunlight And all its beauty have been covered with dust. Strophe 2: What mortal arrogance transcends the wrath of Zeus?! He cannot be put to sleep Nor the effortless long months of the timeless gods 6

But young is he till the end of time And that is and shall be ant all the past is his Nothing on earth can escape heavens curse. Antistrophe All the mens straying dream Ghosts of joy they bring But as they drowse, the walking embers all Burn them within They walk while their eyes are fixed But for our time the ancient wisdom speaks. Fate works most for woe. With the follys fairest show Mans little pressure is the spring of sorrow.

SCENE 3 CHORAGOS Haemon, the youngest of the kings sons! Has he come for Antigone? CREON HAEMON CREON What brings you here my son? (silence) Ah! I know! You have heard of what has become of Antigone. Are you here to tell me that you hate me? Father, I value your wisdom more than anything else. (hugs Haemon) Thats it my boy. What am i that the gods gifted me with a son as dutiful as you? Forget her. You shall soon find a woman a thousand times better than her. One who is not a lawbreaker. The important thing is, you understand that i cannot let her free for if i do, then no one shall follow me. and another, this is but a woman. A man may only lose to a man also.

HAEMON CREON

CHORAGOS (agrees) HAEMON But father, have you forgotten that all men are gifted with reason? Yours is not the only one that matters. I have heard the people say that shes innocent. She just covered the corpse of her brother. I do not find fault in that. Nor the people in the city.

CHORAGOS Father and son, please listen to each other.

CREON

What are you to teach me, an experienced man, of what is right and what is wrong? does age matter? How dare you! You my son, standing up to a criminal! She is not a criminal! The cuty says so. so the city teaches me how to rule? It is only I who knows how. the city that takes orders from just one voice is a desert. you ahev lost your mind to a woman. if you are a woman, then my concern is only for you. So? Your concern? in a public brawl with your father! How about you, in a public brawl with justice? With justice, when all that I do is within my rights? You have no right to trample on gods right! You foolish boy! Everything that you say is for that woman! And for me. And for you. And for the gods under the earth,. Youll never marry her while she lives. Then let her die! But her death will cause another. Are you threatening me?! How could i threaten a stone? How could you speak like that to your father? (to servants) Bring Antigone her and let her die before her bride grooms eyes! She will not die here and you will never see my face again! (leaves)

HAEMON CREON HAEMON CREON HAEMON CREON HAEMON CREON HAEMON CREON HAEMON CREON HAEMON CREON HAEMON CREON HAEMON CREON

HAEMON

CHORAGOS Hes gone. O King, we warn you. A young man in rage is dangerous. CREON Then let him do what he wants. Hell never save these girls anyway.

CHORAGOS girls? youll kill them both?

CREON

No! Ismene is innocent. I cannot punish her. But Antigone, she shall pass death soon. Ode 3 Strophe: Love is unconquerable Waster of rich men, keeper at warm nights In the soft face of a girl; Sea-wanderer, forest-visitor of might! Even the pure immortals cannot escape you And mortal man, in his one days dusk Trembles before your glorys the task. Antisrophe: Surely you swerve upon ruin The just mans consenting heart As here you have made the anger brighthen Between farther and son it strikes And none has conquered but Love! A girlss dance working heavens will Heaven as white and pure as dove. Pleasure to her who mock us, Merciless Aphrodite!

Scene 4 ANTIGONE: (As ANTIGONE enters, guarded.) See, my friends see me move among you for the last time! I look upon the sun whose light will never shine on me again!

CHORUS: (Approaches ANTIGONE to comfort her.) Yet there is glory in your way to death Unwasted by disease nor struck down by the sword You go to the world below as no one went before! ANTIGONE: (Continues to weep in sorrow.) Unmourned unloved unwed I take these last steps, never to see another dawn And with no one near to weep for me, as I part from the living! CREON: (Appears from the back, rather angry.) Death will not stop for tears! Take her away! Put her into the grave, as I have ordered! To live or die as she sees fit! Our hands are clean, but we are rid of her forever! (ANTIGONE is approached by the guards, she complies hesitantly.) ANTIGONE:

O tomb, my bridal chamber! O home below earth, eternal dwelling I shall soon be together with my many kinsmen who made the journey before me to Deaths domain! And now, lost in grief, I leave this earth with my life unspent. I look to you for welcome, my father, and you, mother, and you, my brother For when you died, my hands made you ready for the world below. See how they treat me, Polyneices! For ministering to your dead body, they bury me alive! (Looks back to the guards, and to CREON.) What sacred law have I broken? What aid can I hope from the gods? To whom shall I pray, when death is the price of piety? (Guards stop ANTIGONE from trying to attack CREON.) the gods should judge me guilty, I shall repent for my act. But if my judges are at fault, then let them suffer the same fate they inflict on me! CHORAGOS: O untamed and wayward heart! CREON: They shall regret more delay! ANTIGONE: Alas, every word he speaks brings death closer! (ANTIGONE is dragged by the guards to the cave. As the guards try to shut the cave, ANTIGONE speaks.) O gods of Thebes, I am last of your royal line! See who torments me for honoring your law! (Guards then finally close the cave and guard it.) Ode 4 Strophe 1 Chorus: All Panaes beauty was locked and doomed In a cell where no sunlight can pass through And what enclosed her is a grave-still room Although she was a princess too And Zeus in a rain of gold poured upon her O child, child In wealth or war theres no power Or though blackened snips for the sea Can prevail against pesting! Antistrophe 1: And Dyras son also, that furious king Bore the gods anger for which is prisoning Seated up by Dionysus in deaf stone His madness died among echoes alone 10

So at last he learned what dreadful power His tongue had mocked For the revels he had profaned And fired the wrath of nine Implacable sisters that love the sound of the flute

SCENE 5
-- CHANGE SCENE (FOREST) -(CREON and his men head for Thebes. TEIRESIAS suddenly appears, accompanied by a little boy.) TEIRESIAS: King of Thebes, we are two who see with the eyes of one, for such is the way of the blind. CREON: What tidings, TEIRESIAS? TEIRESIAS: Hear and follow your prophet's advice! CREON: I have never failed to do so! TEIRESIAS: And you have therefore kept our country secure. But now you are poised on the razor's edge! CREON: What are these fearful words? TEIRESIAS: You shall know what has been revealed to me. I was seated at the ancient post where the birds of omen gather. Suddenly I heard them burst into strange and savage screams; a babble without measure or meaning. But the whirring of their wings told me clearly... They tore one another with murderous claws! With foreboding, I offered a burnt sacrifice to the gods... But no answering flame flared up. No hopeful augury was the boy's report... For I am guided by his eyes so that I may give guidance to the others. Your edict has brought this blight upon our city! Our altars are being defiled by the birds and beasts that feed on the flesh of the son of Oedipus! And the gods are deaf to our prayers. Give death its own and beware of stabbing the fallen! It is no exploit to kill the dead again! CREON: I am a target for everyone, even the prophets! Long has your tribe traded on me! Though you pile up all the gold of Sardis, he shall not be buried! No mortal could defile the gods! Old man, the wisest can fall from greatness if they barter wisdom from money! All prophets are gluttons for gold! TEIRESIAS: All tyrants are gluttons for ill-gotten power! CREON: I am your king! TEIRESIAS: Only because my counsel helped you save Thebes! CREON: Fraud! TEIRESIAS: Then be warned! The sun will not circle the sky before a child of your flesh dies to pay for the others! You have put one of the living below the earth, sealed in a tomb without mercy! And you will not surrender Polyneices to the gods of death and keep him unpurified and unburied! I aim these arrows at your heart for goading me too far! And be sure you shall not escape their sting! (TEIRESIAS feels the little boy's head.) Come, my boy. Lead me home. Let him learn how to curb his tongue and to govern himself with more judgement! (TEIRESIAS and the little boy leave.) 11

-- CHANGE SCENE (PALACE) -(CREON sits on his throne, in deep thought. The elders give advice to him.) CHORAGOS: He leaves us fearful prospects! He was already prophet when my beard was black, and he has never spoken falsely. CREON: Tell me what I must do, and I shall obey. CHORAGOS: Free ANTIGONE from the cave and give her brother to the tomb! CREON: Ah, how hard it is for a mind to be changed by force! But I shall do it because I must! CHORAGOS: Go, and do what only you can do! CREON: Come with me, guards! My hand imprisioned her, so it shall set her free! (CREON gets up from his throne.) It is best to live with reverence for the law of the gods! (CREON and his guards head out for the cave in which ANTIGONE was enclosed.) Strophe 1 Choragos God of many names Chorus: O Dionysus, son of kadmeian semele Son of Zeus, guardian of the west Regent of Eleusis plain O, prince of maenads and the dragon field Antistrophe 1: Choragos Gog of many names Chorus: The flame that flares our heels The nymphs dance at the spring of Castalia From the vile-close mountain, Evohe, Evohe! Sing though the Theban streets

Strophe 2: Choragos God of many names Chorus: Iacchos of Thebes, a child of heaven Of Semele, the thunderers bride! The shadow of plague is upon us Come with healing feet Come down the slopes of Parnassus Across the lamenting waters Antistrophe 2: Choragos Io! Chorister of the throbbing stars! O purest voice of the night! 12

Blaze for us, thou son of god! Chorus: Come with Choric rapture of maenads Who cry Io Iacche! God of many names!

EXODOS
(The elders wait anxiously for what is to come. Suddenly, a MESSENGER breaks the silence.) MESSENGER: (Comes in the palace running, weary.) Members of the house of Cadmus and Amphion! Of Cadmus and Amphion! (Drops down in exhaustion.) Never more shall I scorn or envy any man! Who seemed more fortunate than CREON? Once he sat on the throne, his sons beside him... Now he is lost! CHORAGOS: What new disaster can this be? MESSENGER: There has been murder! CHORAGOS: Who was murdered? By whom? MESSENGER: Haemon! And by no stranger's hand! CHORAGOS: O prophet! Your words have come to pass! (Eurydice enters. MESSENGER kneels in front of her.) Eurydice: On my way to Athena's altar, I meet some new sorrow. Keep nothing hidden, whatever it may be! For grief and I are well acquainted. (All of the CHORAGOS look at the MESSENGER. He stands up.) MESSENGER: My lady, I saw it happen with my own two eyes. I shall tell you everything. Lies give brief comfort. Since you must know it some time... the truth is best now. I led your husband, the king, to the carcass of Polyneices, gnawed by the jackals. We called on the gods of death to restrain their wrath, and burned the remains in fresh-cut olive branches. --REENACTMENT MAY OCCUR HERE, WHILE THE MESSENGER IS TELLING THE STORYThen we hastened to ANTIGONE's tomb. On our way, we heard a sound of wailing, it came from the cave. CREON was told... He came closer and called out in anguish... "I feel I am riding on the road to doom!... That is my son's voice! Be quick! Look inside where the boulder was moved! Unless the gods delude me I hear my son!", he said. We obeyed our king's order... She was hanging, from a veil around her throat. Haemon had clasped her in his arms, mourning for his love... for his ill-fated marriage... and his father's folly. We heard the king say in a shattered voice... "My poor son, has suffering pushed you to madness? Leave this place, I beg you!". Haemon glared back in fury. He spat in his father's face, then he drew his sword! The king sprang aside from the blow; and his son, in bitter remorse, drove the blade into himself! --END OF REENACTMENT, IF ANY-But before he fell, he embraced his beloved, his blood staining her cheek. And now they lie together, wedded in the halls of Death. (Eurydice goes back to her chamber, nearly fainting along the way.) 13

CHORAGOS: The Queen has gone without saying a single word. MESSENGER: Strange. But I think she would not stay to show her grief and withdrew to mourn in private. CHORAGOS: Silence can hold more pain than the loudest cries... MESSENGER: I shall see what is hidden in her silence. (MESSENGER goes in Eurydice's quarter. Then, CREON arrives, carrying Haemon. The CHORAGOS gaze in disbelief.) CREON: O deadly flaws of my dark and wayward mind! Look upon us! Slayer and slain of the same blood... (Lays Haemon down on an altar.) O how blind my willfulness! O, my son! Cut down in your springtime! You fell victim not to your folly, but mine! CHORAGOS: You have learned, but alas, too late. CREON: Now, in my agony, I understand. Some god has given me this blow and led me to this path of destruction, so my joy would perish. (CREON mourns and sobs.) O what sham and mockery are the ways of man! (Then, MESSENGER appears from Eurydice's quarter.) MESSENGER: My lord, your burden is heavy now; yet you have more to bear. (CREON looks inside and sees her wife, Eurydice, dead.) CREON: O horror! Can there be another calamity? What more could come after? I go toward another death! O mother of misery! O child of despair! MESSENGER: Stabbed before the altar. She took her life with laments for her son, and curses for you, who killed him! I am shivering - I am afraid! Will no one drive a sword into my chest? (CREON sobs loudly.) Affliction and I are one. (Guards carry the body of Haemon. CREON continues to cry.) CREON: Lead me away... where I can be less than nothing! CHORAGOS: A good thought, if there can be good in so much wrong! Pain out of sight is always less. CREON: Come closer, Death. Come close to me... You are all that I crave now. I have no wish to see another day! CHORAGOS: Say no more! No man can evade his destiny. CREON: Then send me far away! There is no place for a man who caused his son to die... And you, my wife. I cannot see you anymore. Whatever touched my hand is cursed. On my head has fallen the hardest blow of a man's fate. (CREON grabs his crown and drops it. He heads out of the palace. One of the members of the CHORAGOS get the crown. Then, the CHORAGOS speak to the audience.) CHORAGOS: All happiness must be crowned with wisdom... and reverence for divine law. The proud words of the great are paid with greater disaster, to teach them prudence; though, too late.

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