A Reading of Sophocles’ Antigone

"A Reading of Sophocles' Antigone, In Three Parts: Interpretation 4, No. 3 (Spring 1975): 148-196; 5, no. 1 (Summer 1975): 1-55; 5, no. 2 (Winter 1975): 148-184. Reprinted as Sacred Transgressions: A Reading of Sophocles' Antigone. 1999.


“Antigone meets Ismene outside the gates of the royal palace. She usurps for the planning of her crime the place Creon had designated for his own meeting with the elders. As they converse without any chance of being overheard, they must be imagined to meet in semidarkness, before anyone has set out for work. The chorus, at any rate, will greet the sun as thought it has just come up; and it is still early enough for them to convene at the palace without attracting undue notice. In this semidarkness Antigone introduces the theme of the play with her manner of addressing Ismene. “O my very own sister’s common head of Ismene.” The “head of Ismene,” which “common” characterizes, is not held in common. Antigone appears to that part is Ismene that most distinguishes her from everyone else and which makes her individually lovable, at the same time that she insists on the togetherness of Ismene and herself.”

Interpretation - Part 1 [pdf]
Interpretation - Part 2
Interpretation - Part 3