The Difference between Sophocles Antigone and Jean Anouilh Antigone

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Reading the two versions of the tragedy of Antigone, it was a really interesting experience. Just to see how different the characters are, to see a similar storyline but it is played out differently. This is a book you should really attempt to compare with the original Greek tragedy Antigone, by Sophocles and the Jean Anouilh version, (Which is the more modern one) about the whole plot of the story and characters. Both of the playwrights have the same storyline, about a girl named Antigone (the main character), who defies her uncle, Creon, who also happens to be the king of Thebes. The characters in the plays are generally constant between the two versions. Both of them also made sure Antigone be faced with the penalty of death to reflect the attitudes and the actions that unfold in the old days. Itr’s almost like a remake but minor details being the only difference. I do think the most interesting difference is the change in the main character, Antigone; Antigone herself is the main production of these two plays.

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Sophocles is the play writer who is the person who is known for his style of a Greek tragic play. He puts in a flaw in just about every main character. He is the main person who is known for Greek styled plays. You see thing main thinking of Jean Anouilh, is that he takes Sophocles’ drama, grinds it down the very main idea of Antigone, and the next thing you know is that a new (but yet similar) story has appeared. Antigone motives and understanding of the situation are the same, though much of her characteristics do differ among the two plays. Her character can be understandable by reading the story since it is based on her. In the Jean Anouilh version, you see Antigoner’s real colors when she is brought upon Creon by the guards after she is caught trying to bury the rotting body of Polynecies. Barring the fact, that Antigone’s argument for burying Polynecies body is the same in both of the texts. Either way, her justification for burying Polynices is quite the same: She desires it to go by her religious views by burying Polynices so that he can have a good afterlife. You also notice that in both plays, her original determination to bury Polynices body and her impulsiveness is the same.

Looking back at the original Sophocles version, Antigone has a snappy comeback to everything that Creon throws at her. Looking back at the argument she had with Creon, Antigone just seems like she can just snap back at anyone who even dares defies or even talks to her in any way. In Jean Anouilh version of Antigone, she doesnt tend to snap back and is a lot lesser ruder of a person in that play. Though I am going to have to say she is just as stubborn as she is from the Sophocles version.

Let me elaborate on how stubborn she can be in the Jean Anouilh version: Creon says, Did you tell anyone what you were going to do, then Antigone replies: No., Did you meet anyone on your way out? , Nobody., Are you sure? , Quite sure. (Jean Anouilh, pg.26), and this conversation between Creon and Antigone keeps going back and forth, and her attitude does not seem to change much throughout the play. Still, there are some similarities. Previously I have mentioned how stubborn, and how rude Antigone can be at times throughout the play; In Jean Anouilh version of Antigone, he depicts her as a solid, but yet a more nice Antigone. Sophocles version feels a lot more like a script, the characters in the play all knowing what to say, the modern Antigone play has more depth added to the characters.

Both of the plays have their own kind of honor. While both of the plays are essentially the same, this, in turn, makes the comparison easy. The real difference is the elements both plays uses. Sophocles wrote his with an idea in mind. Each character has an idea and then dies with it. The new Antigone, in this case, does not carry just carry its idea but also travel to areas they have been set to be in. Both of the plays attract different people.

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The Difference Between Sophocles Antigone And Jean Anouilh Antigone. (2019, Jun 13). Retrieved June 1, 2023 , from

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