“Antigone” and the Necessity of Political Prudence

By |2021-03-29T16:14:07-05:00March 29th, 2021|Categories: Antigone, Government, Great Books, Politics, Religion, Sophocles|

A key lesson of Sophocles’ “Antigone” is that fanaticism results when public actors fail to practice the one virtue capable of moderating the excesses of human nature: political prudence. In an insightful essay (“Idolatry in Lockdown,” Law and Liberty, January 28, 2021), Spencer Klavan reflects on the contemporary significance of the conflict at the heart [...]

Antigone and Me

By |2019-06-19T14:42:28-05:00June 19th, 2019|Categories: Antigone, Christine Norvell, Great Books, Sophocles|

Antigone was verbally attacked by Creon for her choice, for her womanhood, and for her independent actions. Being able to withstand a barrage of abuse made Antigone’s resilience clear. My life is in no way a parallel of Antigone’s, yet thousands of years later, the virtues that rise within us by God’s grace and by [...]

Fit for the World

By |2020-12-04T10:19:35-06:00May 5th, 2019|Categories: Antigone, Apology, Christopher B. Nelson, Essential, Great Books, Humanities, Liberal Learning, Plato, Socrates, St. John's College|

The mysteries of the human heart, and of the soul within you, are every bit as wondrous as the mysteries of the political and the natural worlds. And so you have asked questions of the world, in part because it is your nature to wish to know, in part because you wish to know your [...]

Sophocles on Character

By |2020-11-15T16:04:47-06:00March 19th, 2019|Categories: Antigone, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Sophocles|

On this earth, there is nothing more firm, more noble, more intransigent than the heroic character. I encourage you, children of the twenty-first century, to respect such heroes, even as you fear them and pray that your fate will not be like theirs. Author’s Introduction: Imagine if Homer, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, and the other great [...]

Welcome to Colonus: The Theban Plays of Sophocles

By |2021-02-23T15:31:55-06:00August 13th, 2018|Categories: Antigone, Books, Classics, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, Liberal Learning, St. John's College, Tradition|

I’m uncertain of the joy of reading the Theban plays of Sophocles—the story is just too monstrous—but in accord with the awe. This translation conveys it. Sophocles: The Theban Plays, translated by David R. Slavitt (256 pages, Yale University Press, 2009) This is the most stripped-down version of the three Theban plays of Sophocles that [...]

Fit for the World

By |2019-04-30T14:51:00-05:00May 22nd, 2017|Categories: Antigone, Apology, Christopher B. Nelson, Great Books, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Plato, Socrates, St. John's College|

Your world needs you; it needs your desire to understand it, your openness to what it has to teach you, your acceptance of its imperfections, and your sincere wish and best efforts to be useful to it because you care for it as it has cared for you, however unconscious that care may have been… [...]

The Enduring Legend of “Antigone”

By |2021-02-11T16:31:13-06:00February 15th, 2016|Categories: Antigone, Books, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, Sophocles, St. John's College|

Antigones, by George Steiner (Clarendon Press, 1984; Oxford Paperback, 1986) Anyone who has reread the Antigone about as often as is profitable for the time being might consider turning to this book. The curious plural of its title is glossed on the cover of the paperback: “How the Antigone legend has endured in Western literature and thought.” While [...]

Welcome to Colonus: The Theban Plays of Sophocles

By |2021-02-11T15:50:00-06:00June 28th, 2012|Categories: Antigone, Books, Classics, E.B., Eva Brann, Sophocles, St. John's College|

Sophocles: The Theban Plays, translated by David R. Slavitt This is the most stripped-down version of the three Theban plays of Sophocles that I have read. As I write, I am surrounded by more than 15 translations retrieved from my shelves and the college library. David Slavitt’s book is by far the shortest and the [...]

Russell Kirk, Antigone, and the Moral Imagination

By |2014-01-17T14:01:04-06:00December 14th, 2011|Categories: Antigone, Bradley J. Birzer, Literature, Russell Kirk|

In a generation like ours, which has forgotten the natural law and has knelt to Leviathan, Antigone takes on a meaning little understood during the nineteenth century. . . . There exist in human nature, common to the Greeks of the fifth century and to us, certain constant qualities.  Of these qualities, among the rising [...]

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