Posts Tagged ‘Antigone’

Antigone, New Diorama Theatre 1500 11 January

January 12, 2020

**

Antigone

This was the story of Antigone reflected in the world of two girls too young to go drinking.  I found that painful, with the heroism and beauty of the original dismissed without hope of appeal and what felt like a lot of overextended improvisation of sisters arguing and sistering.  They occasionally got to imitate some other characters as well.

I just about managed to last out an hour by concentrating on Ismene’s spangly sneakers and counting the number of people in the audience and fantasising about a clear run to the doorway.

Once again somebody had missed the point that tragedy is about things happening to people who are adults and are able to comprehend and react to events as adults.  That is tragic, bundles of suffering crushed by the incomprehensible is just disgusting.

After Antigone’s death there followed what I thought was a rather affecting momologue by Ismene covering first sexual experience, marriage, childbirth, social obligations, widowhood, being left unoccupied in a big house.  It would have been better if the actress had spoken more clearly.

So then I thought the playwright wanted to ask what a woman’s life is for.  First of all Antigone tries to be like a man and act in the world and then Ismene although damaged experiences family life and a husband and going to ceremonies with relatives, but all the will and intellect is just the emptiness of unused rooms.

I quickly made my way to the NDT unisex toilets, and then home.  See also  Greek Drama in London 2020.

 

 

Antigone, Greenwich Theatre 30 October

October 30, 2017

**

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From AoD trailer

This was the first Actors of Dionysus production I had seen.

It was noisy.

For a large amount of the time, I sat huddled-up with my eyes closed wishing it would do away.  There was no poetry and no heroism and very little chorus, just people running and shouting and 1980s radiophonic effects.

Antigone did what she did with no inner conflict or anguish and she and Ismene shouted at each other.  Then Creon’s world fell on him and it was over.

I think the generality of the audience may have understood what the obeah woman Tiresias was saying but I didn’t.

On the positive side, well, drones, it was the first time I had seen a drone and know I know what they look like.  Three lines of actual Sophocles at the end suggested what might have been, in another world perhaps.  The description of Emily Davison’s death might also have become something if given a chance.

Dismiss me.  Enough.

Antigone/Lysistrata, Cambridge Arts Theatre 13 October

October 14, 2016

**/****

antigone

Set for Antigone (picture acquired from Twitter)

So this year’s Cambridge Greek Play (in Ancient Greek, with surtitles) was a double-bill of Antigone and LysistrataAntigone is these days as close to being unsinkable as a Greek play can be, while productions very often make a mess of Lysistrata by taking it literally–seriously, even.

Things turned out rather differently this time round.  Antigone displayed a fine collection  of the clichés that even the London stage has finally managed to just about rid itself of:  fences, barbed wire, battledress, battery-powered torches, submachine guns, men in suits…I closed my eyes and endured.  To be fair, it got better as the thing went on and they performers relied more on their native wits.  And there was a standout performance from counter-tenor Jack Hawkins as Teiresias with very beautiful counter-tenorial music too.  But why (for instance) did Antigone dart anxiously upstage and downstage when she was supposed to be processing towards her bridal tomb?

I would have given up and gone home at half-time but I didn’t want to disturb the couple of old dears who had me wedged in.  The young woman of East Asian heritage sitting on the other side of me asked whether this was it–I replied that there was another play to come, a comedy indeed.

Then we had Lysistrata done as a musical comedy, and very funny it was too.  This time, we had the standout performer (Natasha Cutler-a real musical comedy princess) in the title role, and that helped a lot of course.

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ἀφεκτέα τοίνυν ἐστὶν ἡμῖν τοῦ πέους. (=it is necessary then for us to give up cock).

The audience also got to sing along with οὐδεὶς οὔτε μοιχὸς οὔτ᾽ ἀνήρ (line 212=no-one, neither lover nor husband), while the surtitles promised a Cambridge Scholarship in Classics for an explanation of the lion-on-a-cheesegrater position. (Line  231 οὐ στήσομαι λέαιν᾽ ἐπὶ τυροκνήστιδος = I won’t crouch down like the lioness on a cheesegrater. You’d better ask Simon Goldhill about that gender reassignment.)

lion

No.  Not like that.  Not at all like that.  (Picture from Twitter.)

The pedant could of course cavil–once Boris Johnson and Donald Trump had appeared on stage they should have been properly savaged, especially in respect of diminutive and deformed genitalia, while a headless pig looking for David Cameron would have been a good Aristophanic joke. The famously…well, tedious…ball-of-wool metaphor was interpreted via interpretive dance, when one thing it certainly recommends is favourable treatment of useful foreigners–surely an opportunity for further kicking of the Brexit-Trump gang. You can also ask whether a production largely attended by pupils of fee-paying schools could ever permit itself proper Aristophanic obscenity…

Successive approximations to Antigone, lines 801-816

January 13, 2016

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From:  Sophocles Antigone, ed Mark Griffith, CUP 1999

1.  Without referring to anything

CHORUS Now already I bear myself
Out of the laws, having seen these things, I cannot
Hold back any longer the springs of tears,
Because I see the general marriage-chamber
This Antigone finishing.

ANTIGONE You see me, oh citizens of the fatherland,
Going the new way,
Seeing the new light of the sun,
And never again; but the general Hades
Is taking me alive to the bank of
Acheron, and I have not obtained
Bridal songs, nor will has in any way
A bridal song sounded at my wedding,
But I will marry at Acheron.

2.  After consulting LSJ and the notes at the back

CH Even I myself am being swept
Out of the proper bounds, having seen these things, I cannot
Hold back any longer the springs of tears,
Because I see the general marriage-chamber
This Antigone making her way to it.

AN You see me, oh citizens of the fatherland,
Going the last way,
Seeing the last light of the sun,
And never again; but the Hades who puts all to bed
Is taking me alive to the bank of
Acheron, and I have not any share of
Bridal songs, nor will has in any way
A bridal song sounded at my wedding,
But I will marry at Acheron.

3. After comparison with Lloyd-Jones’s Loeb

CH Even I myself am being swept
Out of the proper bounds, having seen these things, I cannot
Hold back any longer the springs of tears,
Because I see the general marriage-chamber
This Antigone making her way to it.

AN See me, oh citizens of the fatherland,
Going the last way,
Seeing the last light of the sun,
And never again; but the Hades who puts all to bed
Is taking me alive to the bank of
Acheron, and I have not any share of
Bridal songs, nor will has in any way
A bridal song sounded at my wedding,
But I will be the bride of Acheron.

4.  After pre-class revisions

CH  Even I myself am being swept
Out of the proper bounds, having seen these things, I cannot
Hold back any longer the springs of tears,
Because I see the marriage-chamber where all must lie
This Antigone making her way to it.

AN See me, oh citizens of the fatherland,
Going the last way,
Seeing the last light of the sun,
And never again; but the Hades who puts all to bed
Is taking me alive to the bank of
Acheron, and I have not any share of
Processional songs, nor has in any way
A bridal song sounded at my wedding,
But I will be the bride of Acheron.

5.  After class

CH Even I myself am being swept
Out of the proper bounds, having seen these things, I cannot
Hold back any longer the springs of tears,
Because I see the marriage-chamber where all must lie
This Antigone making her way to it.

AN See me, oh citizens of the fatherland,
Going the last way,
Glimpsing the last light of the sun,
And never again; but the Hades who puts all to bed
Is taking me alive to the bank of
Acheron, and I have not any share of
Processional songs, nor has in any way
A bridal song celebrated me at my wedding,
But I will be the bride of Acheron.

Θρῄσσησιν!?

November 25, 2015

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In the really excellent edition of Antigone by Mark Griffith, we come across the passage above in the third choral song, and are immediately struck by the rather strange dative plural Θρῄσσησιν, or Θρήισσησιν if you prefer.  Why not Θρήισσηισιν? Is this a new form, or was somebody suffering from iota fatigue?

There is an article that says
As for morphology, in the dative plurals of α- and o-declensions, both lyric and non-lyric passages of tragedy use longer forms (-αισι(ν) and -οισι(ν)) alongside the usual -αις and -οις. Until 420 BCE, Attic inscriptions frequently employ the forms -ασι (with long alpha) and -ησι, which Aeschylus may have used. Lloyd-Jones and Wilson occasionally print such forms in Sophocles (Ant. 589 Θρῄσσησιν, in lyrics)

That seems to be a reference to the Oxford Classical Text Sophocles, where the Preface says, and in English, strangely enough:In matters of orthography we have paid some attention to the evidence provided by epigraphical discoveries, even though one cannot be sure that poets followed exactly the same rules as officials responsible for drafting public decrees. [p xiii]

It seems reasonable  that if you were having lots of stuff engraved in stone you would naturally try to leave out iotas or indeed anything else.

Apart from that, Griffith seems to be indicating by modest silence that he prepared his own edition of the text, but it looks as though he may have been starting from the OCT rather than actual manuscripts.