Jean Anouilh’s “Antigone”
The ancient Greek story, the modern French play,
And their crucially important messages for us
An Illustrated Presentation by Dr. Lena Hatzichronoglou
Antigone, the daughter of the Theban king Oedipus, is one of the most prominent and memorable heroines of Greek Myth. The fateful story of her family is mostly known by the tragedies of Aeschylus, Euripides and above all Sophocles, whose play Antigone immortalized her character. For ever since the fifth century BC, Antigone has been the inspiration behind countless pieces of art, which include: music by Mendelssohn, some thirty operas, movies, poetry, painting and drama.
In her story, Jean Anouilh, the French playwright of the twentieth century, found the perfect vehicle through which to express himself in the occupied France of 1944 by writing his own Antigone.
But, in the story of the young daughter of Oedipus who defies the Law of the State in order to remain loyal to the gods, to her dead brother and to the tradition, we too can see a reflection of the devastating power of our own dilemmas. In a world of lost innocence and of blurred values and ideas, we too can question anew the meaning of reality, or the clarity of our own ideals and principles.
In this presentation, a close look at the Antigone will force us to confront our own thoughts when faced with choices involving the law versus religion, expediency versus morality, man versus woman, state versus family, strength versus weakness, intransigence versus flexibility, or obedience versus defiance.
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