The final chapter of Sophocles' classic Oedipus cycle, "Antigone" epitomizes the clash between law, social obligations, familial duty, and the honor of the gods. Oedipus' sons have slain each other on the battlefield, but Kreon, their uncle and Thebes' new ruler, has decreed that only Eteokles be buried. Polyneikes will be left to rot - the greatest dishonor imaginable for a Greek warrior. When their sister Antigone, however, attempts to see Polyneikes properly honored, she garners a death sentence for breaking Kreon's edict. Neither she nor Kreon's son Haemon can convince Kreon to reconsider, forcing the blind prophet Tiresias to reveal the terrible legacy that Kreon's hubris will bring to Thebes. Yet by then it is too late - Thebes will run with the blood of its ill-fated royal family, their fate for those who would act against the will of the gods. "Antigone" is Sophocles' classic investigation of the fallout that occurs when pride overwhelms social dignity - in Kreon's case - and when passion overwhelms perseverance - in Antigone's case.
This phenomenal translation by Robert Bagg achieves an accurate but idiomatic rendering of the Greek original, suited for reading, teaching, or performing, and sure to open a new generation to the depth and power of Greek drama.