THE SEVEN AGAINST THEBES

This article was originally published in A Short History of the Drama. Martha Fletcher Bellinger. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1927. p. 29.

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A single incident connected with the Oedipus legend is made the basis of this play, whose underlying theme is the fulfilment of a curse. Of the two sons of Oedipus, Eteocles and Polynices, the prophecy had been made: "They shall divide their inheritance with the sword in such a manner as to obtain equal shares." When the play begins, Eteocles is in possession of the city, while Polynices with an army of Argive soldiers advances to attack it. In the battle which follows by the walls of Thebes, both brothers are killed. Their "equal share" is a grave. Antigone, the sister, here appears for a moment, announcing her determination to give her rebel brother the decent burial which had been denied him.

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