The Vilayet of Aidin or Aydin known as Vilayet of Smyrna or Izmir after its administrative centre, was a first-level administrative division of the Ottoman Empire in the south-west of Asia Minor, including the ancient regions of Lydia, Ionia and western Lycia. It was described by the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica as the "richest and most productive province of Asiatic Turkey". At the beginning of the 20th century it had an area of 17,370 square miles, while the preliminary results of the first Ottoman census of 1885 gave the population as 1,390,783; the stated accuracy of the population figures ranges from "approximate" to "merely conjectural" depending on the region from which they were gathered. As of 1920, the vilayet had an "exceptionally large" Christian population; the British described Aidin Vilayet as having a "remarkable variety of agriculture", as of 1920. They produced grains and cotton in Aydın and Nazilli; the region produced opium and valonia oak. Fruit was one of the most popular exports, with grapes being popular.
Before World War I, fig production was up, with an expansive increase in production and exportation via railway. Grapes were used to produce raisins and licorice was produced in the region, it was noted as growing wild along the Büyük Menderes River. It was exported to the United States and United Kingdom. Aidin, as of 1920, was considered to be the world's supply center for emery in the areas between Tire and Söke. In the early 20th century, Aidin was noted for large deposits of chromium near Mount Olympus and in the southwestern region of the vilayet. Antimony and mercury were found in the area. Carpet was manufactured in Vilayet in Smyrna, but with carpet being made throughout the region, including in Kula, Uşak, Gördes and Isparta. After World War I, sales declined, Britain remained a major importer of Turkish carpets from Aidin. Carpets were produced by women; as of 1920, the region was noted as having 6,000 square kilometers of forest. The west and southwest had the most thickly forested areas.
The British described Makri as being "rich in excellent timber." Cedars were found with oak and pine throughout the vilayet. In the early 20th-century, deforestation had begun via private companies of the vilayet. Sawmills had been erected, with Makri having its own steam-run sawmill. Most trees were felled by hand at this time. Tavas had a timber economy during this period. Before 1914, the vilayet was subdivided into: Smyrna Sanjak, subdivided into the kazas of Smyrna, Karaburun, Kuşadası, Çeşme, Ödemiş, Urla, Foça, Bayındır, Bergama and Tire. Sarukhan Sanjak, subdivided into the kazas of Manisa, Alaşehir, Akhisar, Salihli, Gördes, Demirci, Eşme, Kırkağaç, Soma and Kasaba. Aidin Sanjak, subdivided into the kazas of Aydın, Bozdoğan, Söke and Çine. Menteshe Sanjak, subdivided into the kazas of Muğla, Makri, Bodrum, Köyceğiz and Marmaris. Denizli Sanjak, subdivided into the kazas of Denizli, Tavas, Çal, Sarayköy and Garbikaraağaç. In 1893, there were in total 39 Kaza. According to the Ottoman census of that year, in the 35 kazas Muslims were the majority.
In the kaza of Izmir there was no majority but Muslims were the largest group. In the kaza of Foça, Urla and Çesme, comprising the Karaburun Peninsula, Greeks were the majority. However, according to American pre-Greco-Turkish War estimates, the Greek element was the most numerous in Smyrna Sanjak with 375,000 inhabitants, while other groups included Muslims and Armenians
Henrik Johan Ibsen was a Norwegian playwright, theatre director, poet. As one of the founders of modernism in theatre, Ibsen is referred to as "the father of realism" and one of the most influential playwrights of his time, his major works include Brand, Peer Gynt, An Enemy of the People and Galilean, A Doll's House, Hedda Gabler, The Wild Duck, When We Dead Awaken, Pillars of Society, The Lady from the Sea, The Master Builder, John Gabriel Borkman. He is the most performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare, by the early 20th century A Doll's House became the world's most performed play. Several of his dramas were considered scandalous to many of his era, when European theatre was expected to model strict morals of family life and propriety. Ibsen's work examined the realities that lay behind the façades, revealing much, disquieting to a number of his contemporaries, he had a critical eye and conducted a free inquiry into the conditions of life and issues of morality. His early poetic and cinematic play Peer Gynt, has strong surreal elements.
Ibsen is ranked as one of the most distinguished playwrights in the European tradition. Richard Hornby describes him as "a profound poetic dramatist—the best since Shakespeare", he is regarded as the most important playwright since Shakespeare. He influenced other playwrights and novelists such as George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Miller, James Joyce, Eugene O'Neill, Miroslav Krleža. Ibsen was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1902, 1903, 1904. Ibsen wrote his plays in Danish and they were published by the Danish publisher Gyldendal. Although most of his plays are set in Norway—often in places reminiscent of Skien, the port town where he grew up—Ibsen lived for 27 years in Italy and Germany, visited Norway during his most productive years. Born into a merchant family connected to the patriciate of Skien, Ibsen shaped his dramas according to his family background, he was the father of Prime Minister Sigurd Ibsen. Ibsen's dramas have a strong influence upon contemporary culture.
Ibsen was born to Knud Ibsen and Marichen Altenburg, into a well-to-do merchant family, in the small port town of Skien in Telemark county, a city, noted for shipping timber. As he wrote in an 1882 letter to critic and scholar Georg Brandes, "my parents were members on both sides of the most respected families in Skien", explaining that he was related with "just about all the patrician families who dominated the place and its surroundings", mentioning the families Paus, von der Lippe and Blom. Ibsen's grandfather, ship captain Henrich Ibsen, had died at sea in 1797, Knud Ibsen was raised on the estate of ship-owner Ole Paus, after his mother Johanne, née Plesner, remarried. Knud Ibsen's half-brothers included lawyer and politician Christian Cornelius Paus and ship-owner Christopher Blom Paus, lawyer Henrik Johan Paus, who grew up with Ibsen's mother in the Altenburg home and after whom Henrik Ibsen was named. Knud Ibsen's paternal ancestors were ship captains of Danish origin, but he decided to become a merchant, had some initial success.
His marriage to Marichen Altenburg, a daughter of ship-owner Johan Andreas Altenburg and Hedevig Christine Paus, was a successful match. Theodore Jorgenson points out that "Henrik's ancestry reached back into the important Telemark family of Paus both on the father's and on the mother's side. Hedvig Paus must have been well known to the young dramatist, for she lived until 1848." Henrik Ibsen was fascinated by his parents' "strange incestuous marriage," and would treat the subject of incestuous relationships in several plays, notably his masterpiece Rosmersholm. When Henrik Ibsen was around seven years old, his father's fortunes took a significant turn for the worse, the family was forced to sell the major Altenburg building in central Skien and move permanently to their small summer house, Venstøp, outside of the city. Henrik's sister Hedvig would write about their mother: "She was a quiet, lovable woman, the soul of the house, everything to her husband and children, she sacrificed herself time again.
There was no bitterness or reproach in her." The Ibsen family moved to a city house, owned by Knud Ibsen's half-brother, wealthy banker and ship-owner Christopher Blom Paus. His father's financial ruin would have a strong influence on Ibsen's work. Ibsen would both name characters in his plays after his own family. A central theme in Ibsen's plays is the portrayal of suffering women, echoing his mother Marichen Altenburg. At fifteen, Ibsen was forced to leave school, he began writing plays. In 1846, when Ibsen was 18, he had a liaison with Else Sophie Jensdatter Birkedalen which produced a son, Hans Jacob Hendrichsen Birkdalen, whose upbringing Ibsen paid for until the boy was fourteen, though Ibsen never saw Hans Jacob. Ibsen went to Christiania intending to matriculate at the university, he soon rejected the idea (his earlier attempts at entering university were blocked as he did not pass all
Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer, regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. He received multiple nominations for Nobel Prize in Literature every year from 1902 to 1906, nominations for Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, 1902 and 1910, his miss of the prize is a major Nobel prize controversy. Born to an aristocratic Russian family in 1828, he is best known for the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina cited as pinnacles of realist fiction, he first achieved literary acclaim in his twenties with his semi-autobiographical trilogy, Childhood and Youth, Sevastopol Sketches, based upon his experiences in the Crimean War. Tolstoy's fiction includes dozens of short stories and several novellas such as The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Family Happiness, Hadji Murad, he wrote plays and numerous philosophical essays. In the 1870s Tolstoy experienced a profound moral crisis, followed by what he regarded as an profound spiritual awakening, as outlined in his non-fiction work A Confession.
His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him to become a fervent Christian anarchist and pacifist. Tolstoy's ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal 20th-century figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Tolstoy became a dedicated advocate of Georgism, the economic philosophy of Henry George, which he incorporated into his writing Resurrection; the Tolstoys were a well-known family of old Russian nobility who traced their ancestry to a mythical nobleman named Indris described by Pyotr Tolstoy as arriving "from Nemec, from the lands of Caesar" to Chernigov in 1353 along with his two sons Litvinos and Zimonten and a druzhina of 3000 people. While the word "Nemec" has been long used to describe Germans only, at that time it was applied to any foreigner who didn't speak Russian. Indris was converted to Eastern Orthodoxy under the name of Leonty and his sons – as Konstantin and Feodor, respectively.
Konstantin's grandson Andrei Kharitonovich was nicknamed Tolstiy by Vasily II of Moscow after he moved from Chernigov to Moscow. Because of the pagan names and the fact that Chernigov at the time was ruled by Demetrius I Starshy some researches concluded that they were Lithuanians who arrived from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania part of the State of the Teutonic Order. At the same time, no mention of Indris was found in the 14th – 16th-century documents, while the Chernigov Chronicles used by Pyotr Tolstoy as a reference were lost; the first documented members of the Tolstoy family lived during the 17th century, thus Pyotr Tolstoy himself is considered the founder of the noble house, being granted the title of count by Peter the Great. Tolstoy was born at Yasnaya Polyana, a family estate 12 kilometres southwest of Tula, 200 kilometers south of Moscow, he was the fourth of five children of Count Nikolai Ilyich Tolstoy, a veteran of the Patriotic War of 1812, Countess Mariya Tolstaya. After his mother died when he was two and his father when he was nine and his siblings were brought up by relatives.
In 1844, he began studying law and oriental languages at Kazan University, where teachers described him as "both unable and unwilling to learn." Tolstoy left the university in the middle of his studies, returned to Yasnaya Polyana and spent much of his time in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, leading a lax and leisurely lifestyle. He began writing during this period, including his first novel Childhood, a fictitious account of his own youth, published in 1852. In 1851, after running up heavy gambling debts, he went with his older brother to the Caucasus and joined the army. Tolstoy served as a young artillery officer during the Crimean War and was in Sevastopol during the 11-month-long siege of Sevastopol in 1854–55, including the Battle of the Chernaya. During the war he was promoted to lieutenant, he was appalled by the number of deaths involved in warfare, left the army after the end of the Crimean War. His conversion from a dissolute and privileged society author to the non-violent and spiritual anarchist of his latter days was brought about by his experience in the army as well as two trips around Europe in 1857 and 1860–61.
Others who followed the same path were Mikhail Bakunin and Peter Kropotkin. During his 1857 visit, Tolstoy witnessed a public execution in Paris, a traumatic experience that would mark the rest of his life. Writing in a letter to his friend Vasily Botkin: "The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens... Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere." Tolstoy's concept of non-violence or Ahimsa was bolstered when he read a German version of the Tirukkural. He instilled the concept in Mahatma Gandhi through his A Letter to a Hindu when young Gandhi corresponded with him seeking his advice, his European trip in 1860–61 shaped both his political and literary development when he met Victor Hugo, whose literary talents Tolstoy praised after reading Hugo's newly finished Les Misérables. The similar evocation of battle scenes in Hugo's novel and Tolstoy's War and Peace indicates this influence. Tolstoy's politi
In a modern sense, comedy refers to any discourse or work intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter in theatre, film, stand-up comedy, or any other medium of entertainment. The origins of the term are found in Ancient Greece. In the Athenian democracy, the public opinion of voters was influenced by the political satire performed by the comic poets at the theaters; the theatrical genre of Greek comedy can be described as a dramatic performance which pits two groups or societies against each other in an amusing agon or conflict. Northrop Frye depicted these two opposing sides as a "Society of Youth" and a "Society of the Old." A revised view characterizes the essential agon of comedy as a struggle between a powerless youth and the societal conventions that pose obstacles to his hopes. In this struggle, the youth is understood to be constrained by his lack of social authority, is left with little choice but to take recourse in ruses which engender dramatic irony which provokes laughter.
Satire and political satire use comedy to portray persons or social institutions as ridiculous or corrupt, thus alienating their audience from the object of their humor. Parody subverts popular genres and forms, critiquing those forms without condemning them. Other forms of comedy include screwball comedy, which derives its humor from bizarre, surprising situations or characters, black comedy, characterized by a form of humor that includes darker aspects of human behavior or human nature. Scatological humor, sexual humor, race humor create comedy by violating social conventions or taboos in comic ways. A comedy of manners takes as its subject a particular part of society and uses humor to parody or satirize the behavior and mannerisms of its members. Romantic comedy is a popular genre that depicts burgeoning romance in humorous terms and focuses on the foibles of those who are falling in love; the word "comedy" is derived from the Classical Greek κωμῳδία kōmōidía, a compound either of κῶμος kômos or κώμη kṓmē and ᾠδή ōidḗ.
The adjective "comic", which means that which relates to comedy is, in modern usage confined to the sense of "laughter-provoking". Of this, the word came into modern usage through the Latin comoedia and Italian commedia and has, over time, passed through various shades of meaning; the Greeks and Romans confined their use of the word "comedy" to descriptions of stage-plays with happy endings. Aristotle defined comedy as an imitation of men worse than the average. However, the characters portrayed in comedies were not worse than average in every way, only insofar as they are Ridiculous, a species of the Ugly; the Ridiculous may be defined as a deformity not productive of pain or harm to others. In the Middle Ages, the term expanded to include narrative poems with happy endings, it is in this sense that Dante used the term in the title of La Commedia. As time progressed, the word came more and more to be associated with any sort of performance intended to cause laughter. During the Middle Ages, the term "comedy" became synonymous with satire, with humour in general.
Aristotle's Poetics was translated into Arabic in the medieval Islamic world, where it was elaborated upon by Arabic writers and Islamic philosophers, such as Abu Bischr, his pupils Al-Farabi and Averroes. They disassociated comedy from Greek dramatic representation and instead identified it with Arabic poetic themes and forms, such as hija, they viewed comedy as the "art of reprehension", made no reference to light and cheerful events, or to the troubling beginnings and happy endings associated with classical Greek comedy. After the Latin translations of the 12th century, the term "comedy" gained a more general meaning in medieval literature. In the late 20th century, many scholars preferred to use the term laughter to refer to the whole gamut of the comic, in order to avoid the use of ambiguous and problematically defined genres such as the grotesque and satire. Starting from 425 BCE, Aristophanes, a comic playwright and satirical author of the Ancient Greek Theater, wrote 40 comedies, 11 of which survive.
Aristophanes developed his type of comedy from the earlier satyr plays, which were highly obscene. The only surviving examples of the satyr plays are by Euripides, which are much examples and not representative of the genre. In ancient Greece, comedy originated in bawdy and ribald songs or recitations apropos of phallic processions and fertility festivals or gatherings. Around 335 BCE, Aristotle, in his work Poetics, stated that comedy originated in phallic processions and the light treatment of the otherwise base and ugly, he adds that the origins of comedy are obscure because it was not treated from its inception. However, comedy had its own Muse: Thalia. Aristotle taught that comedy was positive for society, since it brings forth happiness, which for Aristotle was the ideal state, the final goal in any activity. For Aristotle, a comedy did not need to involve sexual humor. A comedy is about the fortunate rise of a sympathetic character. Aristotle divides comedy into three categories or subgenres: farce, romantic comedy, satire.
On the contrary, Plato taught. He believed that it produces an emotion that overrides ra
Aristophanes, son of Philippus, of the deme Kydathenaion, was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive complete; these provide the most valuable examples of a genre of comic drama known as Old Comedy and are used to define it, along with fragments from dozens of lost plays by Aristophanes and his contemporaries. Known as "The Father of Comedy" and "the Prince of Ancient Comedy", Aristophanes has been said to recreate the life of ancient Athens more convincingly than any other author, his powers of ridicule were acknowledged by influential contemporaries. Aristophanes' second play, The Babylonians, was denounced by Cleon as a slander against the Athenian polis, it is possible that the case was argued in court, but details of the trial are not recorded and Aristophanes caricatured Cleon mercilessly in his subsequent plays The Knights, the first of many plays that he directed himself. "In my opinion," he says through that play's Chorus, "the author-director of comedies has the hardest job of all."
Less is known about Aristophanes than about his plays. In fact, his plays are the main source of information about his life, it was conventional in Old Comedy for the Chorus to speak on behalf of the author during an address called the'parabasis' and thus some biographical facts can be found there. However, these facts relate entirely to his career as a dramatist and the plays contain few clear and unambiguous clues about his personal beliefs or his private life, he was a comic poet in an age when it was conventional for a poet to assume the role of'teacher', though this referred to his training of the Chorus in rehearsal, it covered his relationship with the audience as a commentator on significant issues. Aristophanes claimed to be writing for a clever and discerning audience, yet he declared that'other times' would judge the audience according to its reception of his plays, he sometimes boasts of his originality as a dramatist yet his plays espouse opposition to radical new influences in Athenian society.
He caricatured leading figures in the arts, in politics, in philosophy/religion. Such caricatures seem to imply that Aristophanes was an old-fashioned conservative, yet that view of him leads to contradictions, it has been argued that Aristophanes produced plays to entertain the audience and to win prestigious competitions. His plays were written for production at the great dramatic festivals of Athens, the Lenaia and City Dionysia, where they were judged and awarded prizes in competition with the works of other comic dramatists. An elaborate series of lotteries, designed to prevent prejudice and corruption, reduced the voting judges at the City Dionysia to just five; these judges reflected the mood of the audiences yet there is much uncertainty about the composition of those audiences. The theatres were huge, with seating for at least 10,000 at the Theatre of Dionysus; the day's program at the City Dionysia for example was crowded, with three tragedies and a'satyr' play ahead of a comedy, but it is possible that many of the poorer citizens occupied the festival holiday with other pursuits.
The conservative views expressed in the plays might therefore reflect the attitudes of the dominant group in an unrepresentative audience. The production process might have influenced the views expressed in the plays. Throughout most of Aristophanes' career, the Chorus was essential to a play's success and it was recruited and funded by a choregus, a wealthy citizen appointed to the task by one of the archons. A choregus could regard his personal expenditure on the Chorus as a civic duty and a public honour, but Aristophanes showed in The Knights that wealthy citizens might regard civic responsibilities as punishment imposed on them by demagogues and populists like Cleon, thus the political conservatism of the plays may reflect the views of the wealthiest section of Athenian society, on whose generosity all dramatists depended for putting on their plays. When Aristophanes' first play The Banqueters was produced, Athens was an ambitious, imperial power and the Peloponnesian War was only in its fourth year.
His plays express pride in the achievement of the older generation yet they are not jingoistic, they are staunchly opposed to the war with Sparta. The plays are scathing in criticism of war profiteers, among whom populists such as Cleon figure prominently. By the time his last play was produced Athens had been defeated in war, its empire had been dismantled and it had undergone a transformation from being the political to the intellectual centre of Greece. Aristophanes was part of this transformation and he shared in the intellectual fashions of the period—the structure of his plays evolves from Old Comedy until, in his last surviving play, Wealth II, it more resembles New Comedy; however it is uncertain whether he led or responded to changes in audience expectations. Aristophanes won second prize at the City Dionysia in 427 BC with his first play The Banqueters, he won first prize there with The Babylonians. It was usual for foreign d
Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus, a distinct city prior to its 5th century BC incorporation with Athens. A center for the arts and philosophy, home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, it is referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy because of its cultural and political impact on the European continent, in particular the Romans. In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, industrial, maritime and cultural life in Greece. In 2012, Athens was ranked the world's 39th richest city by purchasing power and the 67th most expensive in a UBS study. Athens is a global one of the biggest economic centres in southeastern Europe.
It has a large financial sector, its port Piraeus is both the largest passenger port in Europe, the second largest in the world. While at the same time being the sixth busiest passenger port in Europe; the Municipality of Athens had a population of 664,046 within its administrative limits, a land area of 38.96 km2. The urban area of Athens extends beyond its administrative municipal city limits, with a population of 3,090,508 over an area of 412 km2. According to Eurostat in 2011, the functional urban area of Athens was the 9th most populous FUA in the European Union, with a population of 3.8 million people. Athens is the southernmost capital on the European mainland; the heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery.
Landmarks of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1834, include the Hellenic Parliament and the so-called "architectural trilogy of Athens", consisting of the National Library of Greece, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Academy of Athens. Athens is home to several museums and cultural institutions, such as the National Archeological Museum, featuring the world's largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, the Acropolis Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Benaki Museum and the Byzantine and Christian Museum. Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, 108 years it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics, making it one of only a handful of cities to have hosted the Olympics more than once. In Ancient Greek, the name of the city was Ἀθῆναι a plural. In earlier Greek, such as Homeric Greek, the name had been current in the singular form though, as Ἀθήνη, it was rendered in the plural on, like those of Θῆβαι and Μυκῆναι.
The root of the word is not of Greek or Indo-European origin, is a remnant of the Pre-Greek substrate of Attica. In antiquity, it was debated whether Athens took its name from its patron goddess Athena or Athena took her name from the city. Modern scholars now agree that the goddess takes her name from the city, because the ending -ene is common in names of locations, but rare for personal names. During the medieval period, the name of the city was rendered once again in the singular as Ἀθήνα. However, after the establishment of the modern Greek state, due to the conservatism of the written language, Ἀθῆναι became again the official name of the city and remained so until the abandonment of Katharevousa in the 1970s, when Ἀθήνα, Athína, became the official name. According to the ancient Athenian founding myth, the goddess of wisdom, competed against Poseidon, the god of the seas, for patronage of the yet-unnamed city. According to the account given by Pseudo-Apollodorus, Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a salt water spring welled up.
In an alternative version of the myth from Vergil's Georgics, Poseidon instead gave the Athenians the first horse. In both versions, Athena offered the Athenians the first domesticated olive tree. Cecrops declared Athena the patron goddess of Athens. Different etymologies, now rejected, were proposed during the 19th century. Christian Lobeck proposed as the root of the name the word ἄθος or ἄνθος meaning "flower", to denote Athens as the "flowering city". Ludwig von Döderlein proposed the stem of the verb θάω, stem θη- to denote Athens as having fertile soil. In classical literature, the city was sometimes referred to as the City of the Violet Crown, first documented in Pindar's ἰοστέφανοι Ἀθᾶναι, or as τὸ κλεινὸν ἄστυ. In medieval texts, variant names include Setines and Astines, all derivations involving false splitting of p
Antigone (Sophocles play)
Antigone is a tragedy by Sophocles written in or before 441 BC. Of the three Theban plays Antigone is the third in order of the events depicted in the plays, but it is the first, written; the play expands on the Theban legend that predates it, it picks up where Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes ends. Prior to the beginning of the play, brothers Eteocles and Polyneices, leading opposite sides in Thebes' civil war, died fighting each other for the throne. Creon, the new ruler of Thebes and brother of the former Queen Jocasta, has decided that Eteocles will be honored and Polyneices will be in public shame; the rebel brother's body will not be sanctified by holy rites and will lie unburied on the battlefield, prey for carrion animals like worms and vultures, the harshest punishment at the time. Antigone and Ismene are the sisters of the dead Eteocles. In the opening of the play, Antigone brings Ismene outside the palace gates late at night for a secret meeting: Antigone wants to bury Polyneices' body, in defiance of Creon's edict.
Ismene refuses to help her, not believing that it will be possible to bury their brother, under guard, but she is unable to stop Antigone from going to bury her brother herself. Creon enters, along with the chorus of Theban elders, he seeks their support in the days to come and in particular, wants them to back his edict regarding the disposal of Polyneices' body. The leader of the chorus pledges his support out of deference to Creon. A sentry enters, fearfully reporting that the body has been given funeral rites and a symbolic burial with a thin covering of earth, though no one sees who committed the crime. Creon, orders the sentry to find the culprit or face death himself; the sentry leaves, the chorus sings about honouring the gods, but after a short absence, he returns, bringing Antigone with him. The sentry explains that the watchmen uncovered Polyneices' body and caught Antigone as she did the funeral rituals. Creon questions her after sending the sentry away, she does not deny what she has done.
She argues unflinchingly with Creon about the immorality of the edict and the morality of her actions. Creon becomes furious, seeing Ismene upset, thinks she must have known of Antigone's plan, he summons her. Ismene tries to confess falsely to the crime, wishing to die alongside her sister, but Antigone will not have it. Creon orders that the two women be temporarily imprisoned. Haemon, Creon's son, enters to pledge allegiance to his father though he is engaged to Antigone, he seems willing to forsake Antigone, but when Haemon tries to persuade his father to spare Antigone, claiming that "under cover of darkness the city mourns for the girl", the discussion deteriorates, the two men are soon bitterly insulting each other. When Creon threatens to execute Antigone in front of his son, Haemon leaves, vowing never to see Creon again. Creon decides to bury Antigone alive in a cave. By not killing her directly, he hopes to pay the minimal respects to the gods, she is brought out of the house, this time, she is sorrowful instead of defiant.
She expresses her regrets at not dying for following the laws of the gods. She is taken away to her living tomb, with the Leader of the Chorus expressing great sorrow for what is going to happen to her. Tiresias, the blind prophet, enters. Tiresias warns Creon that Polyneices should now be urgently buried because the gods are displeased, refusing to accept any sacrifices or prayers from Thebes. Creon accuses Tiresias of being corrupt. Tiresias responds that because of Creon's mistakes, he will lose "a son of own loins" for the crimes of leaving Polyneices unburied and putting Antigone into the earth. All of Greece will despise Creon, the sacrificial offerings of Thebes will not be accepted by the gods; the leader of the chorus, asks Creon to take Tiresias' advice to free Antigone and bury Polyneices. Creon assents; the chorus delivers a choral ode to the god Dionysus. A messenger enters to tell the leader of the chorus. Eurydice, Creon's wife and Haemon's mother and asks the messenger to tell her everything.
The messenger reports. When Creon arrived at Antigone's cave, he found Haemon lamenting over Antigone, who had hanged herself. After unsuccessfully attempting to stab Creon, Haemon stabbed himself. Having listened to the messenger's account, Eurydice disappears into the palace. Creon enters, he blames himself. A second messenger arrives to tell the chorus that Eurydice has killed herself. With her last breath, she cursed her husband. Creon blames himself for everything that has happened, and, a broken man, he asks his servants to help him inside; the order he valued so much has been protected, he is still the king, but he has acted against the gods and lost his children and his wife as a result. After Creon condemns himself, the leader of the chorus closes by saying that although the gods punish the proud, punishment brings wisdom. Antigone, compared to her beautiful and docile sister, is portrayed as a heroine who recognizes her familial duty, her dialogues with Ismene reveal her to be as stubborn as her uncle.
In her, the ideal of the female character is boldly outlined. She defies Creon’s decree despite the consequences she may face, in order to honor her deceased brother. Ismene serves as a foil for An