Characters in Antigone

Antigone (an-TIG-oh-nee): The daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta; she wants to bury her brother Polynices, even through Creon says it’s against the law.

Ismene (iz-ME-nee): Antigone’s sister; she’d like to help her sister, but she thinks it’s too dangerous.

Creon (KREE-on): Jocasta’s brother (and thus Antigone and Ismene’s uncle). He’s the current king of Thebes, and he thinks that since Polynices fought against his own home town he shouldn’t be given a proper burial.

A Soldier: One of the soldiers guarding the body of Polynices.

Haimon (HAY-man): Creon’s son, who tries to convince his father to change his mind. Haimon is also Antigone’s fiance.

Teiresias (tie-REE-see-us): The blind seer of Thebes. He always knows and tells the truth, although sometimes he doesn’t like to give bad news. He tries to get Creon to change his mind, and tells him what will happen if he doesn’t.

Eurydice (you-RIH-dih-see): Creon’s wife and Haimon’s mother. She has already lost a son, and she doesn’t take new bad news very well.

Other names mentioned in the play:

Dionysus (die-oh-NIE-sus): The god of wine and theater, he’s the patron god of Thebes. He’s also a native, since his mother was the daughter of the city’s founder. His other names are Bacchus (BOCK-us) and Iacchus (YOCK-us).

Eteocles (eh-TEE-oh-kleze): Son of Oedipus and Jocasta, he took over the throne after Oedipus went into exile. He was supposed to share the throne with his brother Polynices, but he didn’t give up his turn.

Polynices (po-lee-NICE-eze): Son of Oedipus and Jocasta, he goes to another city (Argos), marries the daughter of the king, and brings back an army to dethrone his brother Eteocles, who refuses to share power after the exile of Oedipus. The two brothers, cursed by their father, end up killing one another in the ensuing battle.

Laius (LIE-us): Father of Oedipus, king of Thebes, and husband of Jocasta. Oedipus kills him without knowing it’s his father.

Oedipus (ED-ih-pus) and Jocasta (joe-KAS-tah): Abandoned as an infant, Oedipus grows up in Corinth. He comes to Thebes, having unknowingly killed his father, and solves the riddle of the Sphinx, who was terrorizing the city. He marries the queen, Jocasta, without knowing she’s his mother. They have four children (Polynices, Eteocles, Antigone, and Ismene) before they find out who Oedipus is. In shame and grief, Jocasta hangs herself, and Oedipus blinds himself and goes into exile. He dies near Athens.

Labdacus (LAB-da-kus): The father of Laius.

Megareus (meh-GAR-ee-us): Another son of Creon and Eurydice; he dies in the battle between Eteocles and Polynices.

Thebes (THEEBZ): About 30 miles north-west of Athens, Thebes was famous for its seven gates and for its founder Cadmus. Cadmus populated the new city with men born from the planted teeth of a dragon–Thebans were thus known as “Sown Men.” During the battle between Eteocles and Polynices, each brother posted a general at each of the seven gates, and so the event is commonly known as “The Seven against Thebes” (which is also the title of a tragedy on the subject by Aeschylus).