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Antigone summary

Laius received a prophecy that his son would kill him, so as soon as Oedipus was born, he ordered for his men to leave him on the mountain side to die, but a shepherd rescued him and gave him to the kin and queen of Corinth. He grew up not knowing he was adopted but one day a drunken lout told him, so he went to the oracle at delphi to find out the truth. There he was told that he would marry his mother and kill his father, so he ran away from Corinth to avoid harming those he loved. As he wandered, he came across Laius, who shoved him out of the way. this made Oedipus pretty mad, so he killed Laius’ entire party except for one shepherd who ran away (the same one who saved him as a child). Oedipus then continued on to Thebes, slaying the Sphinx as he did so, making him the Thebans’ hero. Oedipus was crowned king and married Jocasta (his mother, but no one knew that, just as no one knew that the man Oedipus killed was Laius).

They had a few children (including Antigone). Then one day a plague fell on the city, and the oracle was consulted to find out why. It was eventually revealed that Oedipus’ pollution from his patricide and incest caused it. When Oedipus found out what he had done, he carved out his eyes and went into exile, leaving his children to argue over who would become king. One of his son’s was crowned, bu the other wasn’t too happy about this, so he invaded the city to try to claim the crown for himself. Both were killed and Creon (Oedipus’ friend until he went a bit mental) took charge and buried the first son, but decreed that no one could bury the invaders. Antigone could not bear to see her brother left to wander the afterlife with no hope of crossing the river styx without a proper burial, so she disobeyed Creon and buried him, despite her sister Ismene’s many pleas. Creon had her killed for this, even though she was just being a loyal sister.

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