The opera begins in the early morning following a battle in Thebes between the armies of the two sons of Oedipus: Eteocles and Polynices. King Creon, who ascended the throne of Thebes after both brothers are killed in battle, decrees that Polynices is not to be buried. Antigone, his sister, defies the order, but is caught. Creon decrees that she be buried alive in spite of the fact that she is betrothed to his son, Haemon. The gods, through the blind prophet Tiresias, express their disapproval of Creon's decision, which convinces him to rescind his order, and he goes to bury Polynices. However, Antigone has already hanged herself rather than be buried alive. When Creon arrives at the tomb where she was to be interred, his son, Haemon, attacks him and then kills himself. Now, when Creon's wife, Eurydice, is informed of their death she, too, takes her own life. At the end of the play, and the opera, Creon is the only principal left alive.
Antigonae guide sections