The gods never move faster than when punishing men with the consequences of their own actions.
Desperate to gain control over a city ravaged by civil war, Creon refuses to bury the body of Antigone's rebellious brother. Outraged, she defies his edict. Creon condemns the young woman, his niece, to be buried alive. The people daren't object but the prophet Teiresias warns that this tyranny will anger the gods: the rotting corpse is polluting the city. Creon hesitates and his fate is sealed.
Sophocles' great tragic play dramatises the clash between the family and the city and, with high poetry and deep tragedy, presents an irreconcilable but equally-balanced conflict. Sophoclean heroine Antigone has become a cultural archetype, the symbol of personal integrity and an icon of political freedom, whilst her co-protagonist Creon can be interpreted as either a civic saviour or a ruthless tyrant. This edition of Don Taylor's translation presents one of the most accessible and performable versions of this ancient play and provides a blueprint for understanding and staging the play today. The volume also contains a Translator's Note and a preface by Polly Findlay, the director of the National Theatre's 2012 staging of the play.
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