Antigone: Movie vs Book

Antigone: Movie vs Book

The play Antigone was written by Sophocles in about 442 B. C. Now back in his day, there were kings, queens, and kingdoms. But things have changed since then and by the time the year got to be 1970, most of that was gone. I’m sure it was hard for the director of the 1970’s version of Antigone to write a script based on a concept most living people have never seen before. So that is probably the reason why the book and the movie are so different. In the book, there are little breaks from the story where the chorus steps in and talks about what is going on, what the gods would say and other things like that.

But in the movie, they have a narrator that can talk to the audience and the people in the play. In the beginning of the movie, the narrator starts talking to the audience about the lonely girl sitting on the stairs, Antigone. He gives us some insight into her past, present, and her future. Then later he has a conversation with the Messenger asking “What business do you have with the queen? ” After that, he tells Creon that the queen killed herself because she heard about Haemon and Antigone’s suicides.

Also, in the movie there is a scene where Antigone and the guard take an elevator and a car to get to a cave where she will be trapped in for burying Polynices. Since this book was written in about 442 B. C, Sophocles would not even know what and elevator or a car was let alone put the both in his book. Back in his day they would have walked to wherever they were going and definitely not to an elevator. Little details like that are what make the book and movie so different. Like the way they talk, dress, and the things that they have in their house is definitely more updated than what Sophocles had in mind.

Both in the book and the movie, Antigone asks Haemon to come over but does not tell him why. She does not want him to know that she buried Polynices and was going to be put to death. She talks to him about the fight they had the night before to be sure that he forgave her because she does not want to die with him angry at her. Then she starts asking him if he is sure that she is the one he loves and not Ismene. He assures her that he is in love with her and he wants no one else. She then tells him to “hold me with all your strength” and he does, but seems a little confused.

She then tells him to leave and never come back to which he reluctantly does. The movie does have the major concepts though. Like when Antigone gets caught burying Polynices body she does not deny it and she confesses to all the charges. While she is getting charged, Ismene walks in and decides that she wants to take the blame even though she has done nothing wrong. She decided that she cannot live without Antigone so she will die with her. And how Haemon, Antigone, and Eurodice, the three people that Creon cared most about, end up all committing suicide in the end.

There are some little details that are similar too. In both the movie and the book Antigone is a stubborn girl who fights for what she believes in whether it be wrong or right, Ismene is a beautiful girl who is also coward but then later becomes brave when Antigone gets caught, Creon is a proud king who loves his power, and Haemon is engaged to Antigone and he loves her very much. Eurodice really does not play much of a part in the book or the movie, but she does play a bigger role in the book. In the movie she does not even have any lines, while in the book she has a few.