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In Greek mythology, Antigone [1] is the daughter of Oedipus and his mother, Jocasta. The myth tells of a strong-willed and determined young woman who defies the edict of her king and buries her brother, Polyneices, who had died on the battlefield.

Over the years the myth of Antigone has been the subject of many books, plays, operas and other works, with the most famous play text possibly being the Greek version by Sophocles, though there have been many others.

International versions: Texts, translations and adaptations

Among the many stage plays based on the Antigone myth are the following.

Plays for which there are entries in ESAT appear in blue as they serve as a link to the entry about the work. So, to see details of South African productions of the various versions, click on the the relevant name to go to the entry.):

Antigone (by Sophocles)

Antigone (by Euripides)[2]

Antigone (by Jean Cocteau)

Antigone (by Jean Anouilh)

Antigona Furiosa (by Griselda Gambaro)

Antigona (by Salvador Espriu)

Antigone (by José Watanabe)

Antigone (by Mac Wellman)

Antígona Vélez (by Leopoldo Marechal)

Antigone (by Bertolt Brecht)

Antigone (by Antonio D'Alfonso)

Antigone (by Don Taylor)

Antigone (by Eamon Flack)

Tegonni, an African Antigone (by Femi Osofisan)

South African versions of the tale

Besides simple direct translations of the various texts into South African languages (see the entries under the various texts), there are also a few original plays (or significant adaptations) created and/or written by a South African playwright and/or director. Unless they are totally original texts, they are usually discussed under the title of the original text that had been adapted (e.g. Antigone (by Sophocles) or Antigone (by Jean Anouilh):

Antigone, a politicised South African version (possibly based on the Anouilh version) was produced by the Durban Theatre Association in the 1950s. (See the entry on the Durban Theatre Association)

Antigonesiklus (or Die Antigone Siklus in some sources, i.e. "(the) Antigone cycle") - a compilation of the versions of the myth by Sophocles, Anouilh and Brecht, created and performed for production by the Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch.

The Island, a workshopped play by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona contains at its core a dramatised "performance" of excerpts from the Sophocles's play.

#Antigone (by Watson and Sutherland) is a 21st-century adaptation of Sophocles's play.

Igazi Lam ("My Blood") by Peter Se-Puma is a Zulu adaptation of Sophocles's play.

Antigone (not quite/quiet), subtitled Ninganiki Okungcwele Ezinjeni ("Give not unto dogs sacred things" in isiXhosa), a workshopped adaptation by Mark Fleishman and cast.


"Antigone" theatre programme, 1952.

"Antigone" in Wikipedia[3]

E. F. Taiwo. 2014. "Deconstructing the 'Fourth Wall': Metatheatricality in Plautus' Miles Gloriosus and Osofisan's Tegonni" in Canadian Social Science, 10(5), 146-152.[4]

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