Siblings in Sophocles' Antigone

Master's Thesis


This thesis explores the sibling relationship in Sophocles’ Antigone. In the first chapter, I provide a philological analysis of the words different characters use to discuss siblings in the tragedy. Here, I identify how Antigone and Ismene emphasize their status as overly-connected siblings by means of the sibling vocabulary they use. In the second chapter, I analyze how both sisters (not Antigone alone) demonstrate their sibling affection. I propose that Ismene displays an equally strong loyalty to Antigone as Antigone does to Polynices. In the final chapter, I offer a new interpretation of the third stasimon, the ode to Eros. Here, I suggest that Eros refers to the powerful force of love which can operate both erotically and non-erotically. This (non-erotic) force is what drives both Antigone and Ismene to act on behalf of their siblings, despite the danger which accompanies these actions. Through this thesis, I attempt to show how the sibling-connection is essential to Antigone, as is evident from the first line of the tragedy.


Attribute NameValues
Author Melody Wauke
Contributor Christopher Baron, Committee Member
Contributor Catherine M. Schlegel, Research Director
Contributor Aldo Tagliabue, Committee Member
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Classics
Degree Name Master of Arts
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Submission Date 2020-04-26
Record Visibility Public
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