4 March 2013
The Burial at Thebes
The play Burial at Thebes is a modern translation of Antigone by Sophocles and Seamus Heaney is credited for this recent translation. The plot structure used in Heaney’s work can be described as episodic. This play stands out as episodic because of its early point of attack. For example, at the start of the opening scene Antigone approaches her sister Ismene with news that King Creon has issued a proclamation that their brothers body should not receive a proper burial, and that anyone trying to bury him will be stoned to death. She intends to resist the law and bury Polynecies but, Ismene refuses to assist Antigone. Therefore, Antigone disowns Ismene and pledges never to accept her aid. Another example of episodic play structure in The Burial at Thebes when Eurydice hears from the messengers the death of her son she leaves in silence and King Creon returns with his dead son Haemon in his arms. The messengers approach King Creon with grievous news that his wife Eurydice has taken her life. These examples prove that Seamus Heaney’s work is episodic because after one incident another incident approaches. The protagonist can be defined as the central character in a play or the person who the story is about and experiences the most changes. In Seamus Heaney’s play there are two possible protagonists Antigone and Ismene. Antigone can be considered a protagonist because the play revolves around her rebelling against the King and his resolution to not bury her brother’s body. Another protagonist is Ismene because during the opening scene she tells Antigone that she will not assist her in burying her brother. As the course of the play continues Ismene realizes what is right and defends her sister against King Creon by saying that she will die along with her sister. Ismene also tries to convince King Creon to not take her sisters life by asking him whether he would kill the bride of his son since...
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