Thursday, January 27, 2011

ALL Classes: Antigone Scene 4, Ode 4

As we've discussed last semester, cultural literacy is an essential component of enriching society, a for perpetuating values and historical memories, and so much more. In Sophocles' time, all Greeks were very familiar with each of the references cited below.

In Scene 4, Greek playwright Sophocles alludes to Acheron, Niobe, and Tantalos. Carefully read all footnotes, and then explain how these allusions give deeper meaning to Antigone's words and to Scene 4.

In Ode 4, Sophocles alludes to Danae, Dyras' son, the Implacable Sisters, King Phineus of Thrace, and to Ares, the god of war and violence. Why and how do these "stories within stories" significantly expand the meaning of each stanza?

11 comments:

  1. Why I think that Sophocles mentions Acheron, Niobe, and Tantalos is the reason to show that these two gods may come back to haunt or give punishment to Creon. Acheron is a different story though because Acheron is not the name of a person it is the name of a river in which leads to Hades. The reason why I think that these gods may punish Creon is to show that the gods have been through the exact same situation as Antigone and can't understand why people would do such a terrible thing. All the people listed here relate to Antigone in such a way that it relates to Antigone. For example, Niobe relates to Antigone because Niobe didn't understand what was wrong with boasting about having more children but she now understands that she got someone mad by boasting too much. The reason why these two women match is because they both didn't know what was wrong with what they had done but after realizing it made people mad they now understand their punishment. Tantalos relates to Antigone by may having a cruel punishment in the afterlife for not listening to the superior people. How the lake of Acheron relates to Antigone is by the leading pathway or in this case water way to the god of underworld. In return of Creon punishing Antigone, which in my opinion was not fair to Antigone is going to be cruel to Creon but exhilarating for Antigone and all the people who have suffered from Creon to watch.

    ReplyDelete
  2. In scene 4, Sophocles made multiple references to places in connection to death, or related to the same complication that Antigone faces. In line 9, Antigone says she is being summoned down to Acheron, which is a river that leads dead souls to the underworld. This reference is powerful because Antigone is on the verge of being sentenced to death for doing something she argues was rightfully just.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The way Sophocles connects his scenes with the stories of Acheron, Niobe, and Tantalos gives an ideal fate for Antigone. While Sophocles suggest that Antigone's remains will be placed upon the river of Acheron, Antigone tells the community the story of Niobe and her resemblance to this ancient queen. Antigone mentions the story of Niobe because she believes she is placed into a situation that is identical. Since Antigone broke Creon's decree, her punishment is to suffer the same fate as Niobe or “pray to the gods of hell: . . .Who will show her an escape from death” (775:146 – 148.)

    The story of Tantalos resemble Creon's fate because of the undoubtably poor choices he made. Antigone response to Creon is the hope his punishment equals hers.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The way these mini-stories expanded the stanzas with in Antigone is that it gives them a common ground and it shows Creon how much alike her situation is and how unjust he is being. Through these stories I noticed that each of the characters lost somebody. This could be alluded to how Antigone being locked up she will lose everyone she knows in this world to die a lonesome and slow death. Similar to how Niobe lost all her children and was turn into a stone pillar and cried a river from her tears. Another way these stories were used to enhance the main story with Antigone is that it created many different pictures or foreshadows of possible deaths that she may experience while being exiled. For example in the Niobe story she cried a river filled with her tears, which foreshadows eternal sadness and loneliness. In the story of Tantalos, he struggle to get water and food which foreshadowed to me that she will forever be hungry once she runs out of food. And finally with the stories of Dryas' son and nine implacable it said that they died mad, insane, and unable to be awed and inspired. Which foreshadowed to me that Antigone will go psychotic and become dumb from long periods of isolation.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I believe Sophocles alluded to the stories of Acheron, Niobe, and Tantalos in order to support one of many central themes of Greek mythology, which is the concept that fate and destiny cannot be avoided, as well as the idea that people who participate in evil-doings will be punished. On page 777 line 9, Antigone makes a reference to Acheron, a river transporting dead bodies to the Underworld. This story provides the reader with a perspective of Antigone’s situation and shows her realization and understanding of her own fate. This allusion to Acheron shows the long-lasting effects of fate and the power of destiny in Greek mythology.

    Antigone was accused of committing the crime of disobeying King Creon’s law and being boastful about this deed. This compares to the footnote regarding Niobe and her consequences for boasting about her many children. As a result, her children were slaughtered. She was then turned into a column of stone with a constant flow of tears as she mourns for her children. This may foreshadow Antigone’s destiny and her punishment for her boastful nature.

    The story of Tantalos also relates to those of Acheron and Niobe in its concept of punishment and afterlife. Tantalos suffered excessive thirst and hunger for a crime that is not specified. The reference to such a harsh punishment alludes to the similarly cruel punishment Antigone is faced with. The story of Tantalos shows the similarities throughout multiple Greek myths and revolves around the belief that those who do wrong will be punished and fate cannot be stopped.

    The myths involving Danae, Dyras’ son, the nine implacable Sisters, and King Phineus of Thrace all had the parallel association of including severe and never-ending punishments. These stories within stories allow the audience to see the larger picture and have reference points to use when analyzing the events in Antigone. The story of Danae involves the incessant effects of destiny and its powers to take the lives of many. This relates to Antigone’s death sentence and the fate of Oedipus, her father and brother. Lycurgos was blinded and kept in a rocky cave for disagreeing with a god. This alludes to Antigone’s refusal to obey King Creon’s law of leaving Polyneice's body to rot without burial. The removal of inspiration of poetry and music is also a harsh consequence, displaying the large-scale consequences associated in Greek myths.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sophocles’ allusions to Acheron, Niobe, and Tantalos exemplify Antigone’s understanding of the Greek culture. Antigone’s references to these great cultural aspects give the same affect as people of today’s references to famous or heroic people of the American culture. These references show how wise the person is and also how aware the person is of the situation. Therefore, Antigone’s references show that she understands very well what is happening to her and she can relate it to other stories of the Greek culture. These references could also foreshadow what will happen to Antigone in the future because each of these Greek references has an ending to it that relates to mortality, meaning that Antigone’s future could mean death.
    Each of Sophocles allusions in Ode 4 relate to the situation of Scene 4, piecing this ode and scene together into one finished puzzle. The allusion to the story of Danae relates to the story of Oedipus where his prophecy tried to be stopped, but as we learn from this story, destiny can’t be changed. This story relates to Scene 4 because on page 778 line 40, Antigone states that Oedipus’ crime with his mother affected the whole family, including Antigone. These “stories within stories” support and hold up the ode for the audience to interpret and understand.

    ReplyDelete
  7. In Greek culture the gods held the highest power in the minds of the people. It was the gods will that people needed to be buried, which is why it was such an offense when Creon ordered that Antigone’s brother was not to be buried. In scene 4 many gods as well as ancient Greek stories were mentioned within the scene. These stories create deeper meaning within Antigone because it shows turmoil and deception even within their ancient stories. Mentioning the stories within the scene could create a mirrored affect between the world of the gods and the world of the humans. In other words, what the gods did in the Greek stories, were lived through the people. This is similar to Hawaiian culture because many things the gods did the people “copied”. In the story of Papa and Wakea there was incest, which is what the Hawaiian people did because they thought it increased mana. In Scene 4 there was a note about Tantalos who was a corrupt king, this could be a metaphor for Creon. Acheron is the river that dead souls cross to get to the underworld. This can be a metaphor for the pass the Antigone will take, which can foreshadow her death. In Ode 4 Zeus, the high God of all Greece was mentioned a lot. This can show Creon as a kind of “Zeus” in Antigone. He not only rules all, he also causes problems for those around him but he can not be persecuted because he is the ruler.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I agree with Kalehua about the Paean because it asks the god Dionysos to lessen the consequences that Creon caused upon the city of Thebes. In Scene 5, the blind prophet Teiresias tells Creon what is going to happen to the city of Thebes. “The time is not far off when you shall pay back/ Corpse for corpse, flesh of your own flesh.” (Page 785) That is only a small portion of the prophecy that Teiresias told to Creon. This portion tells Creon that because he defiled the gods by letting Polyneices rot, he will die. As a cry for help and pity, the Choragos calls to the god Dionysos asking for help. “The shadow of plague is upon us: come with clement feet” (Page 787). This line is asking to lessen the consequences that will happen to Creon and the city of Thebes. Like Kanoe said, the plague in this line is referring to the suffering that Thebes and Creon will face because of the actions of Creon himself. I think that the cry for help is mainly for the city of Thebes and not Creon because the city did not do anything wrong. The city is being punished because of Creon’s actions, so Creon is the one that should be punished and not the city.

    ReplyDelete
  9. These allusions give deeper meanings to Antigone╩╗s words because, each story of Acheron, Niobe, and Tantalos portray people of the royal family being tortured until death by their royal family ties. These stories are quite the gruesome act either through jealousy or through the higher authority.
    These stories within stories bring forth significance towards each meaning by sharing the different actions that took place with each royal family. Each story shares the consequence of the kings and queens innocence, therefore leading them to have to suffer with a penalty in which they were not at fault for.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sophocles uses allusions so that the audience has a deeper understanding of Antigone’s fate. In Scene 4, there is an allusion to Acheron, the river of the underworld that carried the dead. When Antigone says that she is being summoned to Acheron, it is a reference to her death, therefore giving the audience the understanding that she will be killed. Also, as Kalehua said, Antigone was accused of being boastful. Because Niobe was punished for being boastful, the allusion to Niobe shows the audience that Antigone too will be punished for being boastful. In Scene 4, another allusion is to Tantalos, who suffered from eternal hunger and thirst. The allusion to Tantalos may allude to Antigone’s hunger for, perhaps, Haimon or for justice for what Creon did to her.
    In Ode 4, Danae, Drya’s son, and King Phineus of Thrace’s wife Cleopatra were all punished. Their punishments are significant because they imply that Antigone will be punished. Their imprisonment expands the meaning because it alludes to how Antigone will be imprisoned. Also, Danae had a son, Perseus, who eventually grew up and killed Danae’s father. The story of Perseus, which relates to the story of Oedipus, is significant because it means that fate cannot be avoided, and this allusion perhaps strengthens the fact that Antigone is doomed. The allusion to Ares expands the meaning because it foreshadows that Antigone’s fate involves violence. Alluding to Ares is significant because the meaning of the stanza may be that a character or characters in the story will die violently.

    ReplyDelete
  11. In Scene 4 Antigone’s words alludes toward Acheron because she talks about her timely death. Scene 4 states, “Acheron: one of the rivers that dead souls were ferried across to reach Hades, the Underworld” (771:footnotes 9). Antigone states, “Goodbye to the sun that shines for me no longer; Now sleepy Death” (777:7 & 8). These two statements refers to death; which looks upon antigone death and her dead soul passing over. Niobe and Tantalos refers to antigone’s words because it pertains to punishment. Scene 4 states, “Tantalos: a kind whose punishment in the Underworld was to suffer unending hunger and thirst” (771:footnotes 16). Antigone’s retalitation against Creon; expressing that his punishment may equal to hers.
    Ode 4, Sophocles alludes to these other characters in the ode because their story pertains to the stanzas in Ode 4. One example in the first stanza states, “All Danae’s beauty was locked away” (780:1). This is relevant to Antigone because she is beautiful and is being locked away for she disobeyed the king’s laws. In the second stanza Sophocles alludes to the character Dryas’ son who contravene the god, Dionysos and served sever punishment for his actions. The ode states, “And Dryas’ son also, that furious king, Bore the god’s prisoning anger for his pride: Sealed up by Dionysos in deaf stone, His madness died among echoes” (780:10-13). This line could pertain to Creon because he has too much pride, which blinds him of his actions that will equal great punishment. The next character that Sophocles alludes toward would be the Implacable Sisters. Ode 4 states, “nine implacable Sister: the Muses, goddesses of poetry, music, the arts, and the sciences. The Muses are implacable because they cannot be appeased once they have been offended; they will no longer offer their inspiration” (780:footnotes 18). This could refer to the gods because Creon disobeyed the laws of the gods and now they aren’t listening to him. In stanza three it states, “And old men tell a half-remembered tale of horror done where a dark ledge splits the sea and a double surf beats on the shores: how a king’s new woman, sick with hatred for the queen he had imprisoned, ripped out his two sons’ eyes with her bloody hands” (781:19-24). This could foreshadow what becomes of Creons’ future because he imprisoned Antigone for an unjust action and now he will pay for his actions. The last character that Sophocles alludes to is Ares the god of war and violence, who lived in Thrace. In ode 4 stanza three it states, “While grinning Ares watched the shuttle plunge four times: for blind wounds crying for revenge” (781:25&26). This could mean that Creon is overtaken with his pride and foreshadowing peoples anger at him.

    ReplyDelete