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Historical Context

Anouilhs Antigone

Overview
1. Sophocles Version
a.
b.

Greek Historical Context


Significance at the time & to Anouilhs Version

2. Anouilh's Version
a.
b.
c.

Anti Fascist French Revolution


Symbolism to the French Revolution
Nazi opinion of Antigone

Discussion Questions Throughout

Greek Historical Context

Time Period

The play was written in Athens during the rule of Pericles


Pericles was known for being in favor with the masses, and the common people. He did many things to improve Athens
as well as the way of life for the people residing there.
One of his acts aloud the poor the see theater for free. Thus many of people in Athens would of had access to watch
Antigone
During a great time of national fervor
performed in 443 or 441 BC

Antigone & Sophocles

Antigone may of led to Sophocles being appointed as one the ten generals to lead a military expedition against Samos
Island.
Although the play shows no real signs of propaganda, it could of made him more favorable in the public's eyes.

What significance does Sophocles version of Antigone


have on Anouilh's?

Anti-Fascist French Resistance


inspired by Paul Collettes act of resistance
Anouilh believed this captured the meaning of tragedy

Censorship
connections were less clear
performed in theatre in 1944
theatrical importance

Do you believe that Anouilh and Sophocles intentions


were similar or different?

Symbolism
The French Resistance = Antigone
-

Resisted for family


Fighting against a higher power
Nary an outcome (many deaths)
Unknown stance

(...) I dont know any more what Im dying


for (...) (Antigone, 57)

The Vichy Government = Creon


-

Controlled by a third party


Struggle between loyalties

So doesnt it strike you strange - I a king, set at naught by you


yet listening patiently (...) whos all powerful {and} (...) seen
plenty of people killed, just as appealing as you - and here I
am taking all this trouble to try to keep you from dying?
(Antigone, 37)
Nazi = Chorus
-

Overpowering
Ominous

In drama you struggle, because you hope youre going


to survive. Its utilitarian - sordid. But tragedy is
gratuitous. (...) Fit for a king! (Antigone, 26)

What do you think Nazis opinion of Antigone was?

Nazi Opinion of Antigone


Antigone was not censored by Germany because it was
thought to be a retelling of an ancient tale.
Nazis embraced Antigone because of the classical source.
Allowed the play to take place in France, which was
under strict censorship.

Bibliography

"Antigone - Sophocles - Ancient Greece - Classical Literature." Antigone - Sophocles - Ancient Greece - Classical
Literature. Web. 16 Sept. 2015. <http://www.ancient-literature.com/greece_sophocles_antigone.html>.
"Pericles." Pericles. Web. 15 Sept. 2015. <http://www.ancientgreece.com/s/People/Pericles/>.
"The French Resistance - History Learning Site." History Learning Site. Web. 15 Sept. 2015. <http://www.
historylearningsite.co.uk/world-war-two/resistance-movements/the-french-resistance/>.
"The French Resistance." WW2DB RSS. Web. 17 Sept. 2015. <http://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=153>.
"Antigone: A Parallel to the French Resistance." Needtoreadblog. 14 July 2013. Web. 15 Sept. 2015. <https:
//needtoreadblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/antigone-a-parallel-to-the-french-resistance/>.
"Iraq Academic Scientific Journals." Iraq Academic Scientific Journals. Web. 15 Sept. 2015. <http://www.iasj.net/iasj?
func=fulltext&aId=56111>.
"Vichy France | French History." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 15 Sept. 2015.
<http://www.britannica.com/event/Vichy-France>.
The Agony of Antigone: Anouilhs Heroine Symbolized Nazi Resistance, Its Validity Holds, says ARTs Cotter. Los
Angeles Times. Web. 15 Sept. 2015. <http://articles.latimes.com/1992-09-25/entertainment/ca-994_1_jean-anouilh>