Like most ancient Greek literary writings, especially Greek tragedy, Sophocles’ Antigone is based primarily on the literary works of Homer. Homer is considered the forefather of mythological poems. Although the question of whether he is the author of the works attributed to him, the Iliad and the Odyssey, is still unsettled among scholars, they are often considered to be the foundation for the cultural development of the Western World. Even the doubts as to whether a person by the name of Homer has ever actually existed, or whether he lived at the estimated time, do not diminish the power of the writings.
The two epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey, provide the most extensive collection of mythical stories. Many authors, including Sophocles, used them as inspiration. However, they do not simply take over the content, but rather continue, change, and enrich it.
In the eleventh book of the Odyssey, Homer depicts Oedipus simply in the context of patricide and the incestuous relationship with his mother. She takes her own life and dies without children, while Oedipus continues to rule over Thebes.
Sophocles’ trilogy includes Antigone, Oedipus Rex, and Oedipus at Colonus and is part of his p...