European Theater History

Jean Anouilh’s Antigone was first performed in Paris in 1944 under the Nazi occupation of France.

The production we saw was filmed in 1972 during the Vietnam war era. On the surface it seems a resigned statement of hopelessness; of the inevitability of tragedy, war and familial conflict. But is it? Or, if it is, is that all it is?  How might this story—essentially a debate between the idealistic Antigone and the utilitarian Creon—resonate with us today? How does Anouilh’s vision of the world in this particular play speak to you?

What could lines such as: “The gods take a hand in every game—even politics.” and “What a king you’d be if only people were animals.”and “Why must ‘dirty work’ be done?” mean for you in 2020? How did the look and feel of the production we viewed, which took place in a cold marble world of staircases, corporate-looking offices and freight elevators, contribute to your perspective? Use specific examples from Antigone to shape your answers. Your essay should be three-to-five pages, double-spaced, in a 12 pt. professional font, using one- inch margins.

 

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