Antigone, Prologue and Scenes 1-2


Reader's Response: Antigone and Ismene disagree over the burial of Polyneices. With whom do you agree?

Thematic Focus: Antigone chooses to do what she thinks is right, rather than give in to Creon's law. What consequences do you think she will face as a result of her choices?

Check Your Comprehension:
1. Why does Antigone feel that her brother should get a proper burial?
2. How does Creon react to the news of Polyneices' burial?

Critical Thinking:
1. Explain what Ismene means when she says, "We are only women,/We cannot fight with men, Antigone!"
2. How might Ismene's advice to her sister seem cowardly to some readers?
3. In his argument with Antigone, Creon declares "An enemy is an enemy, even dead." What does he mean? Do you agree?
4. Compare and contrast the government of Creon in Thebes with a modern-day government.

Reading Strategy:
1. What is Ismene's motive for not going along with Antigone at first?
2. What is Antigone's motive for burying Polyneices?
3. What is Creon's motive for insisting on Antigone's death?

Literary Focus:
1. Describe the conflict between Antigone and Creon.
2. What qualities of each character contribute to the conflict?
3. Give examples of actions and feelings that show that Antigone is the protagonist and Creon is the antagonist.

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