Book Review: Antigone by Sophocles
By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu
The film version is highly effective in illustrating the story, “Antigone.” The Sophocles play is a charged-up drama, with a desperate and heroic feeling. The scene opens with this vision of an empty throne and two sisters passionately detailing their plans. “Antigone,” featured as the title of the tragedy, is a round character and protagonist who confronts conformity and rebellion. The story takes place before the Palace of Creon, King of Thebes.
Literary elements in the written version of Antigone, play out differently than in the film version. The characters become more dimensional with breathlessness, passion, and greater physicality in the film version. There may exist extraordinarily little physical description of the characters in the written version. The Chorus sang out in verse which was particularly dynamic in the film version with alot of dramatic movement cascading up and down stairs with soloists. However, the overlapped wording or unison of the Chorus as well as characters were easier to discern in the written version. There was also little or no movement in the written version. The written version of the Chorus was highly poetic where one might find literary devices or rhyme and look for incidence in the writing. The film version presented a dramatic take with rich characterization.
The Play commences with Antigone’s lamentation to her sister over their dueling brothers feud, consequent, “double death,” and later issue, the nature of their burial (Sophocles 418). Those who defy the ruling class face stoning to death (Sophocles 418). Despite, the current direction, Antigone defies the ruling class and vows to her sister, Ismene, in the opening scene, to bury her brother Polyneices who is to be devoured in a field by carrion birds (Sophocles 418). Antigone illustrates a dominate idea of which she decides not to conform and initiates her subsequent rebellion.
Sophocles. “Antigone,” Abcarian, Richard, Marvin Klotz, and Samuel Cohen, eds. Literature: The Human Experience: Reading and Writing. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2016. Print. pp.417-447