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“Antigone” as a Continuation of “Seven Against Thebes” by Aeschylus: Similarities and Differences

The play “Seven against Thebes” by Aeschylus centers around the battle between an Argive army led by Polynices and the army of Thebes led by Eteocles. Polynices and Eteocles are two brothers who had agreed to rule the kingdom alternately. Still, later Eteocles decided to continue his rule, as a result of which Polynices raised an army to fight for his rights. There is little action in the plot, mainly consisting of dialogues depicting Eteocles‘ cruel and treacherous character. At the end of the play, Eteocles meets his brother at the seventh gate; they fight and kill each other; the chorus morns them.

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In the original play by Aeschylus, Antigone appears only briefly. However, after Aeschylus’ death, the ending of “Seven Against Thebes” was rewritten to include the episode where a mandate not to bury Polynices’ body is announced, and Antigone swears to defy it. In a way, Sophocles’ play is a continuation of “Seven Against Thebes” by Aeschylus, since it picks up where the other play ended, namely at the death of two brothers. However, looking in-depth, Sophocles’ play is entirely different. While Aeschylus’ play centers around evil and ruthless ruler Eteocles, depicting his character through dialogs, Sophocles’ play shows merciful and compassionate Antigone ready to defy the king’s edict to do godly bidding in burying her brother.

The main idea pronounced through “Seven Against Thebes” is that brothers are wrong to go against each other. This idea is supported by the chorus and lamentations of women within the city walls. In Eteocles’ “Antigone,” the idea is different; the author portrays merciful and tender-hearted Antigone to say that people should remain people in any circumstances, and the idea of doing evil for evil is not always right.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, October 30). “Antigone” as a Continuation of “Seven Against Thebes” by Aeschylus: Similarities and Differences. https://studycorgi.com/antigone-as-a-continuation-of-seven-against-thebes-by-aeschylus-similarities-and-differences/

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StudyCorgi. "“Antigone” as a Continuation of “Seven Against Thebes” by Aeschylus: Similarities and Differences." October 30, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/antigone-as-a-continuation-of-seven-against-thebes-by-aeschylus-similarities-and-differences/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "“Antigone” as a Continuation of “Seven Against Thebes” by Aeschylus: Similarities and Differences." October 30, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/antigone-as-a-continuation-of-seven-against-thebes-by-aeschylus-similarities-and-differences/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) '“Antigone” as a Continuation of “Seven Against Thebes” by Aeschylus: Similarities and Differences'. 30 October.

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