Although the three plays by Sophocles are usually published as a trilogy, they are, in fact individual plays from three different trilogies taken from the Theban Cycle. The was produced around 441 B.C., (or ) may have first been performed around 430 B.C., and (which you will not be assigned) was probably produced in 401 B.C. Since they were produced as parts of three different trilogies, a pervasive and contiguous theme is absent from the plays. But, from our point of view xand contain themes that fit well with our exploration of the tension between the values of the hero (or individual), the , and the state ().
was probably the first of thethree Theban plays that Sophocles wrote, although the events dramatizedin it happen last. Antigone is one of the first heroines in literature,a woman who fights against a male power structure, exhibiting greaterbravery than any of the men who scorn her. isnot only a feminist play but a radical one as well, making rebellionagainst authority appear splendid and noble. If we think of assomething merely ancient, we make the same error as the Nazi censorswho allowed Jean Anouilh’s adaptation of tobe performed, mistaking one of the most powerful texts of the FrenchResistance for something harmlessly academic.