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by Sophocles

Analysis: Three Act Plot Analysis

For a three-act plot analysis, put on your screenwriter’s hat. Moviemakers know the formula well: at the end of Act One, the main character is drawn in completely to a conflict. During Act Two, she is farthest away from her goals. At the end of Act Three, the story is resolved.

Act I

Antigone learns that her brothers are dead and that Polyneices is unburied. She asks Ismene to break the law with her and bury him. When Ismene refuses, she goes it alone.

Act II

Antigone successfully buries her brother but is caught. Antigone refuses to allow Ismene to accept any blame for the crime she did not commit. Antigone challenges Creon’s moral authority and he sentences her to death.


Antigone is locked away. Haemon, Teiresias, and the Chorus plead with Creon to spare her. Creon grudgingly agrees to let her off, but discovers that she has killed herself. Her fiancé (Haemon) and Creon’s wife commit suicide as well. Creon is in despair—sucks to be Creon.

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