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Antigone Quotes

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Antigone Quotes

Quote 1: "And now what is the proclamation that they tell of/made lately by the commander, publicly,/to all people? Do you know it? Have you heard it?/Don't you notice when evils due to enemies/are headed towards those we love?" Line 8-12

Quote 2: "Consider, sister, how our father died,/hated and infamous; how he brought to light/his own offenses.../Then, mother...did shame/violently on her life, with twisted cords [because she hung herself]/Third, our two brothers, on a single day.../Each killed the other, hand against brother's hand." Line 59-65

Quote 3: "Now there are only two of us, left behind,/and see how miserable our end shall be/if in the teeth of law we shall transgress/against the sovereign [ruler]'s decree and power. You ought to realize we are only women,/not meant to fight against men,/and that we are ruled by those who are stronger,/to obedience in this and even more painful matters." Line 64-73

Quote 4: "It is impossible to know any man--/I mean his soul, intelligence, and judgement--/until he shows his skill in rule and law./I think that a man [who is] supreme ruler of a whole city,/if he does not reach for the best counsel for her.../him I judge the worst of any [man].../and anyone thinking/another man more a friend than his own country,/I rate him nowhere." Line 195-204

Quote 5: "[Polyneices] sought to taste the blood he shared with us,/and lead the rest of us to slavery--/You shall leave him without burial; you shall watch him/chewed up by birds and dogs and violated.../But he that is loyal to the state/in death, in life alike, shall have my honor." Line 220-229

Quote 6: "It were best that he were found, but whether/the criminal is taken or he isn't--/for that chance will decide--one thing is certain,/you'll never see me coming here again./I never hoped to escape, never thought I could./But now I have come off safe, I thank God heartily." Line 362-367

Quote 7: "If he [man] honors the laws of earth,/and the justice of the gods he has confirmed by oath,/high is his city; no city/has he with whom dwells dishonor/prompted by recklessness./He who is so, may he never/share my hearth!/may he never think my thoughts!" Line 404-411

Quote 8: "[Antigone] was crying out with the shrill cry/of an embittered bird/that sees its nest robbed of its nestlings/and the bed empty. So, too, when she saw/the body stripped of its cover, she burst out in groans.../and with her hands immediately/brought thirsty dust to the body; from a shapely brazen/urn, held high over it, poured a triple stream/of funeral offerings; and crowned the corpse." Line 466-475

Quote 9: "I did not believe/your proclamation had such power to enable/one who will someday die to override/God's ordinances, unwritten and secure./They are not of today and yesterday;/they live forever; none knows when first they were./These are the laws whose penalties I would not/incur from the gods, through fear of any man's temper." Line 496-503

Quote 10: "Go then to the world below, yourself, if you/must love [your brothers]. Love them. When I am alive no woman shall rule." Line 577-578

Quote 11: "From this time forth,/these must be women, and not free to roam./For even the stout of heart shrink when they see/the approach of death close to their lives." Line 636-639

Quote 12: "With wisdom has someone declared/a word of distinction:/that evil seems good to one whose mind/the god leads to ruin,/and but for the briefest moment of time/is his life outside of calamity." Line 673-678

Quote 13: "Do not, my son, banish your good sense/through pleasure in a woman, since you know/that the embrace grows cold/when an evil woman shares your bed and home.../No. Spit on her, throw her out like an enemy,/this girl, to marry someone in Death's house./I caught her openly in disobedience/alone out of all in this city..." Line 702-710

Quote 14: "The man the city sets up in authority/must be obeyed in small things and in just.../There is nothing worse/than disobedience to authority./It destroys cities, it demolishes homes.../So we must stand by the side of what is orderly; we cannot give victory to a woman./If we accept defeat, let it be from a man;/we must not let people say that a woman beat us." Line 720-734

Quote 15: "[T]he city mourns for this girl; they think she is dying/most wrongly and undeservedly/of all womenkind, for the most glorious acts.../A man who thinks he alone is right.../when opened up, [is] seen/to be quite empty. For a man, though he be wise,/it is no shame to learn--learn many things,/and not maintain his views too rigidly." Line 747-767

Quote 16: "You see me, you people of my country/as I set out on my last road of all,/looking for the last time on this light of this sun.../though I have known nothing of marriage songs/nor chant that brings the bride to bed./My husband is to be the Lord of Death." Line 870-877

Quote 17: "My city! Rich citizens of my city.../I make my way to a prison sealed like a tomb./Pity me. Neither among the living not the dead/do I have a home in common--/neither with the living nor the dead." Line 900-907

Quote 18: "What law of God have I broken?/Why should I still look to the gods in my misery?/Whom should I summon as an ally? For indeed/because of piety I was called impious./If this proceeding is good in the gods' eyes/I shall know my sin, once I have suffered./But if Creon and his people are the wrongdoers/let their suffering be no worse than the injustice/ they are [giving] out to me." Line 978-986

Quote 19: "Yield to the dead man; do not stab him--/now he is gone--what bravery is this,/to inflict another death upon the dead?/I mean you well and speak well for your good./It is never sweeter to learn from a good counselor/than when he counsels to your benefit." Line 1086-1091

Quote 20: "[Y]ou [will] give in exchange/one of your own loins bred, a corpse for a corpse,/for you have thrust one that belongs above/below the earth, and bitterly dishonored/a living soul by lodging her in the grave;/while one that belonged to the underworld/gods you have kept on this earth without due share/of rites of burial." Line 1135-1141

Quote 21: "All the cities will stir in hatred/against you, because their sons in mangled shreds/received their burial rites from dogs, from wild beasts/or when some bird of the air brought a vile stink/to each city that contained the hearths of the dead." Line 1152-1156

Quote 22: "Once Creon was a man worthy of envy--/of my envy, at least. For he saved this city/of Thebes from her enemies, and attained/the throne of the land, with all a king's power./He guided it right. His race bloomed/with good children. But when a man forfeits joy/I do not count his life as life, but only/a life trapped within a corpse." Line 1233-1240

Quote 23: "There they lie,/the dead upon the dead. So he has won/the pitiful fulfillment of his marriage/within death's house. In this human world he has shown/how the wrong choice in plans is for a man/his greatest evil." Line 1316-1321

Quote 24: "The mistakes of a blinded man/are themselves rigid and laden with death./You look at us the killer and the killed/of the one blood./Oh the awful blindness/of those plans of mine./My son, you were so young,/so young to die. You were freed from the bonds of life/through no folly of your own--only through mine." Line 1340-1346

Quote 25: "O, let it come, let it come,/that best of fates that waits on my last day./Surely best fate of all. Let it come, let it come!/That I may never see one more day's light!" Line 1401-1404

Quote 26: "For what is destined/for us, men mortal, there is no escape." Line 1411-1412

Quote 27: "Wisdom is far the chief element in happiness/and, secondly, no irreverence towards the gods./But, great words of haughty men exact/in retribution blows as great/and in old age teach wisdom." Line 1420-1424

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