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Gay Quaker Parrots
Literary Slash
Antigone by Sophocles 
23rd-Jul-2005 10:50 am
Mad Eye Max Dee Leit
Am I the only person who finds this to be a lesbian play? I mean the very first line is:

ANTIGONE: Ismene, sister, mine own dear sister, knowest thou what ill there is, of all bequeathed by Oedipus, that Zeus fulfils not for us twain while we live? Nothing painful is there, nothing fraught with ruin, no shame, no dishonour, that I have not seen in thy woes and mine.

right, so blah blah blah Cren's gonna kill Antigone and then this exchange occours:
ISMENE: Nay, sister, reject me not, but let me die with thee, and duly honour the dead.

ANTIGONE: Share not thou my death, nor claim deeds to which thou hast not put thy hand: my death will suffice.

ISMENE: And what life is dear to me, bereft of thee?

ANTIGONE: Ask Creon; all thy care is for him. jeaaalloussss!

ISMENE: Why vex me thus, when it avails thee nought?

ANTIGONE Indeed, if I mock, 'tis with pain that I mock thee.

ISMENE Tell me,-how can I serve thee, even now?

ANTIGONE: Save thyself: I grudge not thy escape.

ISMENE: Ah, woe is me! And shall I have no share in thy fate?

ANTIGONE: Thy choice was to live; mine, to die.

ISMENE: At least thy choice was not made without my protest.

ANTIGONE: One world approved thy wisdom; another, mine.

ISMENE: Howbeit, the offence is the same for both of us.

ANTIGONE: Be of good cheer; thou livest; but my life hath long been given to death, that so I might serve the dead.

~~~~ So, ok, I know that Antigone blathers on and on about weak-a$$ Heamon an she and Ismene are supposed to be "sisters", but.. well... I'm a slasher, this is what I do ~~~~
23rd-Jul-2005 06:07 pm (UTC)
"How can I serve thee, even now?" Oh yes? Honestly, whatever is sisterly love coming to these days? Or possibly I'm just corrupt because my best friend's school motto was "Serve and obey", and we grew up mocking it. (Mine was "We work in hope", which is nicely flexible e.g.

Mrs S: Am I ever going to get a Catullus translation out of you lot?
Class: We work in hope, Mrs S.)

Though if you read "serve" that way, then A's last line adds necrophilia to incest, and I'm not quite sure I'm up to that this evening.

I think you get a prize for the most concise plot summary of Antigone. The translation looks rather archaic (nowt wrong with archaic lesbianism), all those thee's and thou's, who's it by?
23rd-Jul-2005 06:52 pm (UTC)
By "concise plot summary" do you mean "Blah blah blah, Creon's gonna kill Antigone?" lol.

....I have no idea what my school motto was. That makes me sad, maybe I should find out so I can make fun of it :)

Also, I found this transaltion at: http://classics.mit.edu/Sophocles/antigone.html
23rd-Jul-2005 07:01 pm (UTC)
Translated by R.C. Jebb, whoever he was, but he's coming up on Google for 1901 and 1873, so evidently around that time. I think one problem with translations is that the newer ones have copyright issues and aren't usually available as e-texts, which is presumably how you ended up with one this age? I couldn't find a translation at all for Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Cheers for the link, anyway. I rather enjoy the antiquated translations, the early modern ones can be seriously fun.

And now I should get back to reading blood and gore in Seneca. Apparently there's a bit where Oedipus tells someone to step over the body of his mother. Riiiight.
23rd-Jul-2005 07:34 pm (UTC)
You did so much research! I just saw it was MIT so decided to trust the translation. Blindly. *shrugs* I'm too lazy.

So I must admit that (*shame*) I didn't even notice the thee's and thou's at all until you mentioned them. Probably that's because when I skim speed read I actually read early modern English as if it is modern English because I went to University in a town that hosts the Shakespeare Festival and was a Theatre Major. (meaning: I've read too much Shakespeare to fumble over thee and thou's)

So.... yeah, I'm crazy. Hi. *waves from the loony bin*
23rd-Jul-2005 07:53 pm (UTC)
Since when is late nineteenth-century "early modern"??


I did about five minutes' research, actually, I just looked at the link and then put his name through Google.

Seriously, though, at what point is this sort of thing sisterly devotion and at what point does it cross over into incest? Does anyone know anything about the Greek model for sibling relationships, how this would have been read? If it was between friends I'd be fairly suspicious, but between sisters? I don't know. After all, Antigone is risking her life in this enterprise, it's hardly a fuss over nothing. On the other hand, these two are from the family who really put incest onto the literary map.
23rd-Jul-2005 08:30 pm (UTC)
My school motto was Non scholae sed vitae discimus (with possible spelling errors, having never had the chance to do Latin) which means, more or less, For Life Not School We Learn.

I mean, honestly. Life doesn't give you detention if you don't hand your homework in, does it? A noble principle, but it wasn't very convincing at the time....
25th-Jul-2005 05:24 pm (UTC)
Nor does Life give you Latin vocab tests, more specifically vocab that's applicable largely to epic poetry (oh the months of slogging through Aeneid IV). Let alone the more entertaining vocab lists I accumulated in the sixth form [when I was 17, for the benefits of those who don't know the English school system]. By this point we'd learnt the standard Latin vocab. We'd learnt the military vocab. We'd learnt the legal vocab (don't remind me of translating Cicero, I'll get nightmares). We'd learnt the "and then [hero of choice] came down from the mountain looking like Apollo when he strides around with his arrows in his quiver" epic similes vocab.

What we hadn't learnt, especially since my school was prudish and didn't let us get to the dirtier bits of literature until we were over 16, was the earthier vocab. And we were studying Juvenal. So my vocab lists when I was 17 were comprised of umpteen words for prostitute, brothel, genitalia and so on - hell, we even learnt where the sex workers of different nationalities hung out in Rome - plus words such as frying pan, radish, mullet. I deliberately left this list lying around in public after the exams, I was in the mood for Corrupting Youth.
25th-Jul-2005 07:58 pm (UTC)
umpteen words for prostitute, brothel, genitalia and so on - hell, we even learnt where the sex workers of different nationalities hung out in Rome

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