<i>Antigone</i> and the Internationalization of Theatre in Antiquity

Edith Hall

in Antigone on the Contemporary World Stage

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199586196
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191728754 | DOI:

Series: Classical Presences

Antigone and the Internationalization of Theatre in Antiquity

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This chapter examines the reception of Antigone in antiquity. Sophocles put Antigone's previously fairly obscure story on the cultural map, and his play immediately became so influential that the endings of Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes and Euripides' Phoenician Women were probably revised to reflect it. In the 4th century bce and later, Aristotle and the orator Demosthenes quote the play approvingly and famous actors took it on tour throughout the Greek world; the Roman tragedian Accius became the first Roman writer known to have adapted Sophocles' play. The chapter argues that while the play's representation of an insular, incestuous world reflected democratic Athens' view of its long time enemy and neighbor, aristocratic Thebes, its depiction of leadership soon developed a panhellenic and international appeal among Greek states with different constitutions.

Keywords: Greek tragedy; Antigone; reception; theatre; classics; comparative literature; Sophocles; panhellenic

Chapter.  5985 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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