Saturday 17th October: I finished my 52nd book of the 2015 Reading Challenge, and with it my Goodreads reading target of the year! The book that got me to that particular milestone: “Antigone” by Sophocles (#23 A book more than 100 years old). Whilst I’ve yet to complete the Reading Challenge itself, I am proud that I’ve read more than one book a week since the beginning of the year – I’ve still got to read fourteen books to complete the challenge though. I hope I can do it.
My Goodreads Review
“‘Antigone’ is a Greek play, written in approximately 441BC (so almost 2,500 years ago!) focusing on the themes of love, honour, courage and sacrifice (à la ‘The Hunger Games’). The play commences following the brutal deaths of two brothers, the king, Eteocles, and his brother Polyneices, who killed each other in a battle for the throne. Eteocles is afforded an honourable funeral, whilst the new king, Creon, the brothers uncle, rules that Polyneices will be left to rot for treason.
The protagonist and sister to the dead men, Antigone, declares to her sister that she will honour Polyneices by burying him, even if by doing so she must be put to death. Antigone makes good on her promise, and is promptly arrested. The play progresses with the introduction of Creon’s son, Haemon (Antigone’s betrothed) who warns his father that if Antigone is killed another will die. Creon ignores his son, and the views of the Gods, and proceeds with his own version of justice.
The play comes to a quick and bloody climax, which was shocking to read. It is an emotive play, with relatively dark themes and outcomes, which would undoubtedly have as profound an effect on modern audiences, as an ancient Greek audience.”
I think I smashed it in terms of meeting the 100 year old criteria with this particular book! I really enjoyed parts of the play, most notably the interaction between Antigone and her sister, the mythology filled chorus odes, and the dramatic conclusion – which was brutal. I also really liked the characters of Antigone and Haemon, who were both loyal to what they believed in, and I enjoyed Creon’s defiant nature (and latterly his realisation of his mistakes).
#23 A book more than 100 years old – Antigone by Sophocles (6/10)
Thirty-seven down, thirteen to go. (Fifty-two read)
My journey will also be instagrammed frequently on @charlottebibliophile