Greek Classics have long been the bedrock of a proper and
thorough education. Reading about the tracks and lives of our ancestors
cannot help but uplift us in our current life's path as it arms us with
lessons of the past. Tomes have been written on the subject, but to put it
in very modern, even economic terms, a recent article in the NY Times put it
into such a perspective with an article on what books one finds on the
shelves of the world’s most successful CEO’s. The article points out that
one doesn’t find “how-to-business books” on their shelves, but rather works
of philosophy, poetry, Greek classics, and other books of general knowledge.
Sophocles (495 - 406 BC), the most prolific of the Greek playwrights
whose works survive, wrote a number of plays about the family of
Oedipus, legendary king of Thebes. Of these plays, the two most popular
are Oedipus the King and Antigone. The former tells the tragic story of
Oedipus' search for the murderer of Laius, the previous king. His
investigation inexorably uncovers Oedipus' true identity, the discovery
of which is so horrific that Oedipus blinds himself and goes off into
The story of Antigone begins soon after Oedipus' downfall and the
ensuing quarrel between his two sons over who should rule Thebes, a
conflict which leads to a battle in which the two sons kill each other.
The new ruler, Creon, decrees that Polyneices, the son who brought a
foreign army against Thebes, will not be allowed a proper burial.
Antigone, Oedipus' daughter, believes the proclamation is contrary to
the rule of the gods and so takes it upon herself to bury her brother.
When Creon discovers what she has done, he orders her death. By the time
he is dissuaded of this action by a prophecy of doom should it be
carried out, Antigone has already accepted her fate and taken her own
life. Her lover, Haemon, who is Creon's son, finds her and in his grief
over her loss, takes his own life. Thus the prophecy is carried out
despite Creon's last minute attempts to change fate's decree.
This play can be previewed by following the link to the
preview page for this title.