Students act out powerful moments from The Burial at Thebes

By Emma Melling

Emma is a senior staff writer and editor-in-chief of the Talon. She is passionate about journalism, writing, literature, and French. Emma plans to attend Bethel University in the fall and double major in English and Journalism. She enjoys writing features on arts and human interest topics and loves listening to people's stories. Her hobbies include reading, hiking and spending time with family.

Posted: November 6, 2015

Today, students in Honors English 10 chose a meaningful scene from The Burial at Thebes, a version of Sophocles’ Antigone, and practiced it for classroom presentations which will take place at the end of next week. The plot of this story revolves around a man’s defiled, disrespected, unburied body and one young woman’s attempt to give him a proper burial and allow his soul to go to the underworld as the ancient Greeks believed. Students took on roles of a variety of characters, including Antigone and Ismene, sisters who urgently discuss whether or not to risk going against the king’s order by burying the man’s body, who is a traitor, their brother Polyneices.

Performances from Creon and Haemon, father and son who argue over the punishment of Antigone, also took place. The conversations, fights, and debates acted out also involved characters such as the blind elder Tiresias and the Chorus of Thebes. The sophomores have been in The Burial at Thebes unit for a few weeks, reading Seamus Heaney’s version of the play, writing essays to analyze literary elements and currently, working on dramatic reenactments of unique scenes.

Antigone, sister of the traitor Polyneices, is willing to defy her uncle, King Creon, in order to bury her brother's body.

Antigone, sister of the traitor Polyneices, is willing to defy her uncle, King Creon, in order to bury her brother’s body. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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