An Analysis to the Antigone Chorus. Analyzes the four sections: Strophe I, Antistrophe I, Strophe II, Antistrophe II and their purposes in the play.

Essay by acychan86 December 2003

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Death is a conclusion that all men must reach. It is a fate that he cannot escape and an enemy he cannot defeat. In Sophocles' Antigone, the Chorus dedicates its first ode to man's victories and its supreme vulnerability: death. The choral ode is divided into four sections: Strophe I, Antistrophe I, Strophe II, Antistrophe II, each focusing on either man's strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, and consequences his actions yield. In Strophe II, the chorus elaborates on the triumphs man has achieved, but confesses that man has the inevitable destiny of death. In the five translations of the first choral ode composed by Fitts & Fitzgerald, Richard Emil Braun, H.D.F. Kitto, Elizabeth Wyckoff, and Paul Roche, there are nuances in such areas as format, language, and connotation in each of the translated Strophe IIs.

The formats each of the five translations vary from one another. The organization of the strophe differs visually as well conceptually.

In Fitts & Fitzgerald's translation, they chose to write the strophe in six lines. The first letter of each line is capitalized, and the lines can be divided into two parts; the first set consisting of four and half lines and the second set consisting of one and a half. In the first set it states that man has learned to put his thoughts into words to good use and can protect itself from the "arrows of snow, the spears of winter train." The second set starts from the last half of the fourth line and continues on to state that man has learned to protect himself from all types of wind except "the late wind of death." In Wyckoff's translation, she chooses to convey the trials and tribulations of man in seven lines. Unlike Fitts & Fitzgerald's translation, Wyckoff's strophe is written in...