2K1: The Tragedy Continues
Chorus 1: The
fighting has gone on for as long as anyone can remember.
Chorus 2: For
so long that no one even knows what the war is about anymore.
Chorus 3: Everybody
just keeps on taking care of business.
Chorus 1: If
someone gets you, you got to get them back.
Chorus 2: Whole
families come down on opposite sides.
Chorus 3: It's
brother against brother, sister against sister. One day there's
another killing and suddenly two best friends aren't speaking to
Chorus 1: See,
in this part of town we got to make our own rules.
Chorus 2: Seems
like them people downtown don't even know we exist.
Chorus 3: So
we take care of ourselves. If your kids are hungry, the church people
down the block'll bring them dinner.
Chorus 1: If
you need a ride to the store, one of the old guys will take you
Chorus 2: And
if you gotta beef, your dawgs will handle it for you.
Chorus 3: For
as long as it takes.
Chorus 1: Until
there's no dawgs left.
Chorus 2: Then
new ones come and take their places. It don't even matter what they're
beefing for. They just keep on beefing.
Chorus 3: That's
how Eteocles and Polyneices wound up on opposite sides of the war.
Chorus 1: They
were the sons of Oedipus, you know, Antigone's brothers.
Chorus 2: Looks
like the whole family was cursed by that Jerry Springer stuff with
Chorus 3: True
Chorus 1: So
with both brothers dead, and the war finally winding down, we are
just so relieved to have a little break for a minute.
Chorus 2: But
it turns out the new man in charge is Creon, from around the way.
Chorus 3: And
he was never the one to put a stop to trouble.
think we've suffered enough all these years, all the way back in
our family, all the way down to Georgia, but it's nowhere near over.
You hear what Creon's done?
I know's our brothers killed each other just last night. All I know's
that's why I wanted you to come out and meet me here. We gotta do
up with you?
listen. Creon's sending our older brother Eteocles' body back to
Maryland to be buried, and that's fine. He did most of his growing
up out there. They're gonna have a viewing, funeral, everybody eat
afterwards, everything. But Polyneices ain't so lucky. Creon's let
him stay in some lost alley somewhere with all the rats and roaches.
If anybody messes with his body, Creon will make them pay. That's
it, are you a true sister or a traitor to your own family?
you crazy? What can I do?
going to bury him.
can't do that! You just told me what'll happen to you if Creon finds
Ismene, I thought you were my sister, and you're just going to let
our brother lie on the ground suffering. We should bury him.
look how much danger you can put yourself in. I don't want you to
danger is what it takes, then I'm in it-- because I love my brother.
You may not, but I do.
if you go, I won't have a sibling left. All my closest family will
on you, you traitor. You're not the right sister for me. I thought
you loved our brother. Who cares about Creon? I'm doing what I feel
Ismene: If you
do, fine then-- your life will be a living hell, and I'm not saying
this to hurt your feelings, I just think you're going too far. It's
thin ice to always be risking something like you do. You always
fly off the handle like this.
can I be going too far? He's our brother! I mean, get real Ismene.
You're being stuck-up and stupid. I never thought I would say this,
but you're not my sister, I don't know who you are. You think what
you're saying is right, but girl, you need some wisdom and nerve.
You need me. Just as much as we need our brother.
Ismene: I just
don't want to stir things up any more than they already are. It'll
only lead to more tears. I'm afraid for you.
worry about me, you got yourself to worry for.
Ismene: I won't
tell anyone. I'll keep it quiet.
don't care who you tell! Tell anybody and they'll see you don't
love your family anyway!
up when you need to settle down, if you're doing what you say you're
doing what I got to.
do something if there's no point, if it's only destined for more
I have to. Get out of my face.
last we got our new king, and his name is Creon, Menoikeus' son.
we >bout to do this. I got the honor to let ya'll know that I
made a will. My will is I'm a player and I can play you if I want
to, and nobody better not bury Polyneices.
young, if that's your will you have a right to do it. You know we
all together here.
is my will, so do your part.
going to sit back and relax and let our younger people do that.
Creon: Man I
ain't mean like that. (Looks at his watch.) The sentries have been
what you want, Creon?
Creon: I don't
want you to help nobody if they break the law.
a crazy man likes death.
that's what they'll get, and then we'll really see that green.
(Creon and Choragos
start to leave, then Sentries come running behind them.)
Sentry 1: Creon,
Sentry 2: Hold
Sentry 1: (breathing
really hard) Hold up, I'm out of breath.
Sentry 2: I
got some bad news. I was just walking, smoking me a little something,
taking off the edge...
on, man. What you gotta say?
Sentry 1: Man,
I ain't did it--
Sentry 2: I
ain't see who did it either--
Sentry 1: And
you sure ain't goin' punish me for what someone else did.
Creon: It must
be bad, but I don't even know what it is: tell me.
Sentry 2: A
really terrible thing.
Sentry 1: I
don't even know how to put it.
just tell it.
Sentry 2: This
is what happened--
Sentry 1: Don't
you know that bad man, Polyneices?
Sentry 2: Somebody
gave the body a burial and left.
Creon: And who
Sentry 1: I
don't even know--
Sentry 2: But
it wasn't me.
Sentry 1: Look,
the ground won't even wet--
Sentry 2: I
didn't even see nobody digging, car tracks or footprints either.
Sentry 1: It
was when they released us this morning. The body was just mounded
over with light dust--
Sentry 2: Well,
he wasn't buried really; it was just enough for the ghost's peace--
Sentry 1: And
it wasn't no dogs or any animals that been there--
Sentry 2: We
was fussing and stuff, like we knew our lives was over--
been thinking King: Maybe the gods did this.
it! Are you wack? The gods! Is you goin' crazy, or is you thinking
wrong? Why? How did they help them? You know what? Just shut you
Sentry 1: A
yo King, can I say something?
voice is stressing me out.
Sentry 1: Is
that my voice?
Sentry 2: Maybe
it's your conscience.
Creon: Oh my
Lord, he wants to analyze me!
Sentry 2: It's
not what I say--
Sentry 1: It's
what will be done that will strike you.
Creon: You talk
too much stuff. Just shut it up.
Sentry 2: You
right: I ain't did nothing.
Creon: You sold
your soul for a little bit of that green.
Sentry 1: How
rude when somebody judges you--
Sentry 2: And
they so wrong.
who you talking to. All your lip might float you for now, but unless
you bring me that man, you gonna be cash in the end.
Sentry 1: ABring
me that man.@
Sentry 2: Ain't
that what I want to do, and save my skin?
Sentry 1: Catch
him or not though--
Sentry 2: I'm
Zero's the quotient
of the planet's diversity, but seven's more diverse than one man's
kiss and roll.
light's yellow yields to his yellow skin, the humongous stop sign.
Roll the number
seven times, the desecration of Babylon and Job.
3, 6, 5
3, 6, 5
cobwebbed minds, through booby-trapped minds.
Geminis about the valley's claim brown.
bliss during Spring, the reign of Persephone,
It's like Albuquerque
blackjack on a Sunday's peached sun.
You gotta be
quicker than the twitch even though it's biblically bad.
gust famed in the breeze's whisper
cannot be the political correction.
too much to indulge;
crossing over to darkness.
When the regulations
are defied, monarchist instincts leave you enchanted to death,
due to your
what are you trying to say? It's obvious women are supposed to be
princesses. How can you treat Antigone this way? Where is she going
to be taken?
this woman is the one who did it! All of us caught her with our
very own eyes. She was burying him. And where in the world is Creon?
out of the crowd) Creon is right here in front of you. Where in
the world have you been? Why haven't you come back sooner?
man you can never be too sure of anything. I woulda sworn you would
never see me here again after you scared me like that, and what
you said to me. But then how could I tell you I solved the case?
And faster than ever? No gambling this time, I was too excited not
to come. This is the one, the guilty one. (pushes Antigone forward)
We caught her trying to bury him again. Take her, question her,
put all the blame on her, and I'll be glad about it.
Hold on! Is this Antigone?What did you bring her back here for?
Sentry: I told
you once, and I'll tell you again: She was burying him, no lie.
is so cold. How can anyone be so evil?
can I say? I saw her with my own two eyes.
bring on the facts. And make it quick!
right, let me say it like this. After you got all mad and everything,
we went back and took the dust away from the body.
you were supposed to do.
I talk? Anyway, the flesh was all soft and nasty and it stunk, so
we sat as far away as we could and kept a look out to see if anyone
would come back.
tell it if you'd let me. So we stayed up all night watching and
nothing happened until the sun was starting to come up. And all
of a sudden, there she was, crying and calling out to the good Lord,
and all the time piling dust on top of her dead brother. Then she
sprinkled her forty on the sidewalk for him, and that's when we
jumped her. And she doesn't deny a thing. You can ask her yourself.
Creon: So what
do you say now Antigone? Is what the man says true?
word of it.
Creon: So tell
me, didn't you hear me say no one could touch him.
I heard you.
Creon: But you
went right on and did it anyway.
I did. You're not God, you know. My own brother's body was lying
there right out in the open, and all I did was cover him up. If
you want to kill me, go right ahead. I don't care anyway, now that
both of my brothers are dead and gone. If I had left him lying there,
that would hurt me, but you can't hurt me now. You might think I'm
stupid, but if you kill me for respecting my own family, who's stupid
father, like daughter: stubborn to the bone, and hard-headed too.
I might have known she wouldn't listen. Uh oh, here comes Ismene.
Creon: Oh no,
not you too. Another snake here in my own home. So you were in on
Ismene: If Antigone
lets me, you can put the blame on me.
way, sister. It's way too late for that. You wouldn't help me when
I asked you to, and you can't help me now.
now I understand. Just let me share the blame with you.
knows who did it, and it sure wasn't you.
I owe my brother something too? I just want to die with you.
won't make it any easier.
my whole family's gone now. Why would I want to live?
Creon. You always cared so much about what he had to say.
you want to carry me like that?
not trying to carry you, I just don't have anything else to say.
Ismene: So that's
go your way and I'll go mine.
Creon: Oh look
at these two girls. One just lost her mind and the other never had
one to begin with.
I lost my mind, King, or did you take it from me?
Creon: Oh, so
now it's my fault your sister messed up.
how am I supposed to live without her?
what you're doing now. She's as good as dead already.
your own son's in love with her.
plenty of other girls out there. My son will be fine.
this true? Are you really going to steal this girl from your son?
Creon: All right.
Everybody get out of here. I've had about enough of you all and
you're getting on my last nerve. (To the guards:) Take them away
and keep a good eye on them. They might be brave now, but they're
just girls, and even strong men run when they see death coming.
to snatch souls and cast them in rivers;
eclipsed the real broken commandments;
As evening splits
abyss in godly wraths
the repercussions of moral arrogance.
As the slaying
of the firstborn moon slashed ashes among children,
who pollute the world with their innocence--
offspring of Oedipus, who, as the sun whispered tans on their faces,
Made them clueless
with irridescent days, making their youth stop bringing truth to
There was no
Zeus or raging God whose heart throbbed his temporal arteries in
fazed when celestial rebellion swarmed their immortality.
rich and money-filth mansions swept in gold tooth smiles,
Be costing more
than what lies above Olympus,
amidst that sweet yellow that looms above the echoes of the clouds.
slowly down the aisle to the stage, where Creon is sitting)
Decide anything on that girl? You come here after me, or with the
proper respect that I deserve in all things?
your son. You got all the years on me. You point things out, and
I take note of them. No marriage means more than your mind.
Creon: All right.
(Chorus applauds) That's the way to be, you've come to your senses.
Father knows best! What I say goes, and it goes good! This makes
me proud--to have such a smart, mature son. You respect my friends
when they come over, and you hate my enemies, even if you've never
met them, and only know what I tell you about them. When a man can't
raise his son up right, he only makes it harder on himself. People
laughin' at me, shakin' their heads...
you know your people give you much respect.
her, to Haimon) So you're doin' the right thing being cool about
this girl. You'd get tired of her, she'd turn into a nag...
at Eurydice, then back at Haimon) Lord knows that's what happens
with all women. That's the way they are, boring, nag, boring, nag.
Out of everybody in these parts, Antigone's the only one wouldn't
take my word! I can't let her carry me like that, and I can't change
my mind. They'll think I'm weak, and I'll have all kinda trouble
Haimon: I can
see what she was feeling, though--
Haimon, to Creon) You say all women are what?
Creon: (to Haimon)
Yeah, she'll probably cry AIt's my brother!@ and all that, and she
can just go on with that kind of mess. I don't let you get away
with nothing just because you're my son, do I? People got no respect
for their elders, for those in authority. If you don't know how
to listen, you don't know how to lead. How do these people think
they can live their lives right if they're just floundering around
with no history, no guidance from leaders? Can't happen. It's anarchy,
disorder, nothin' worse than that. That's why there's so much bad
goin' on. Men can't take care of their homes right. Lettin' a woman--like
Antigone!--lead them any which way she wants. We can't let a woman
butt in like that, boy.
reason is what sets us apart from rats, and I'm glad to have you
warn me against losing mine. You always mean well, but there's other
opinions to listen to. Just like you say, why not listen to what
others have to say about all this?
keep talking, child, but he ain't listening.
hard, cuz they're all afraid of you, and won't say their hearts
to your face; they'll just nod and smile and agree and walk off.
I've heard them talking, and they feel for her. They say there wasn't
nothing wrong with what she did, that anybody with a good conscience
and deep love for their own blood would have done the exact same
thing. They say it's noble what she did, that she's just being an
honest human being.
did hear some talk over at the laundromat.
Haimon: I want
you to be happy. Every father and son should care about how each
other's doing, and watch out for each other. But when one of them's
losing it, the other should call him on it.
can't think you're the only one in the world who can be right. Why
don't you listen to yourself, to what you said a minute ago, and
listen to me?
the hurricanes come through in August, we don't shut up the windows
tight--the whole house would bust in. No, we leave a window at each
end of the house cracked, to let a little air through, so nothin'
shatters. Right now, you just got all your windows shut tight and
it's gonna be broken glass all over the floor before long, if you
don't open up.
boy's pretty sharp, man. If he's right, you might wanna give it
some more thought. Haimon, you should listen too. Same talent. Spitting
Creon: At my
age I'm gonna learn from a boy?
Haimon: If I'm
wrong, then I'm wrong. But so what if I'm young and right, as long
as I've got a good point? What's my age got to do with it?
backing some troublemaking anarchist?
Haimon: I got
no love for trouble.
Creon: And she's
not making trouble right now?
neighborhood doesn't see it as trouble.
Creon: So the
neighbors wanna tell me how to run this block?
Creon: I own
this place. I run this place.
no place for people if just one of them's calling the shots.
a pause): Your mind's all turned around about this girl, ain't it?
Haimon: My mind's
thinking about you.
Creon: How is
your little mind thinking about me, when your mouth is arguing with
me! Defying me! You don't speak that way to your father. You don't
pay no bills around here.
don't speak that way to what's right. You don't pay no mind, let
I do is within the law and what's right.
laws? Which right? Sometimes there's a difference.
you saying is to stick with her. Everything is for her.
you. And me. And for the gods.
Creon: You ain't
marrying that girl while she's alive, I'll tell you that right now.
but an eye for an eye.
Creon: You threatening
Haimon: No threat
gonna go down hard for talking down to me like this. You're the
Haimon: If you
weren't my father, I'd smack you all over this yard.
I brought you in this world, I'll take you out. You gonna watch
that sweet little girl of yours suffer, too. I'm gonna make a call
and she ain't gonna be around too long.
it--last time you're seeing this face as your son's. Keep on hollering
if anybody'll listen to it. That's all you want.
good having a young'n all riled up and running about like he is.
Creon: Let him
do what he's gonna do. Won't make no difference.
are you going to do with Antigone?
Creon: I got
an old little house a few blocks away where nobody's lived for a
while. I'm gonna lock her in the basement. Nobody'll hear her, or
know to look for her there. She'll fade.
garbage disposer of milk and honey,
of traffic rays and running red lights with chariots
In the carress-worthy
female sea serpent of the swamp.
Even the knaves
of immorality cannot flee from her;
And one breathing,
thuggish ruggish bone,
In his one 24-hour
her brittle essence.
Surely you sway
The prissy Mohican's
As in the very
spot he has made luminous anger,
between sperm donor and offspring
And none has
slayed love with irridescent words.
A girl's gaze
laboring the biblical laws falling from celestial paradise,
to her in seclusion
Who mocks us,
is how the blind man comes. Here I come and here I am.
up with you Teiresias?
up, Creon. I've come to tell you something.
Creon: I always
listen to what you got to say.
you've done the right thing, King. You've been pretty smart, up
tell me what you have to say. I ain't got time for all this talk.
I'll tell you right away. I see that you're setting yourself up
for some serious trouble.
Creon: How do
you know? You're blind.
you know that I can see the future.
I was just kicked back watching the NBA playoffs, drinkin' me a
Bud and hearing the sounds of the kids playing out back, the way
they always are. Suddenly I heard the voices get louder. There was
screaming and yelling. A dog started to bark like it was going crazy.
I could tell it was a bad fight, not the usual kid stuff. I heard
the sound of glass breaking, and some loud pops-- either firecrackers
or gunshots, I'm not sure which. I ran to call 911, but it rang
and rang and no one answered. I'm telling you, it was a sign. I
had my boy look out the window for me, but he couldn't see too much
for all the smoke-- just a bunch of strangers, all dressed in black.
Creon: And what
do you think it means?
telling you Creon, it means you're about to put all of us into a
world of trouble. You're staining us all with the blood of Oedipus'
son and nothing will ever wash this place clean again. You know,
everyone makes mistakes, but a smart king admits it when he's wrong.
but I'm not wrong.
only real crime is too much pride. Why can't you just give in? You
can't win when you're fighting a dead man. How can you kill a man
who's already dead? Enough already. Let Antigone go.
Creon: It seems
like everyone knows what's best for me. All my life I've heard predictions
from fortune tellers and the guys out in front of Saint Elizabeth's.
No Teiresias, let the dead man rot. I'm not afraid of your strangers
in black or your broken glass. I'm not afraid of gunshots either.
I know every man has his price, but I never thought you would sell
out so cheap.
what are you saying?
Creon: I know
you didn't make up this story just for fun. Someone must be paying
sick Creon. You're making me sick, too.
It's no crime to want the good things in life. I just never figured
you for a sellout. I guess cash has more power than any king.
your power could be gone awfully quick.
who you're talking to, Teiresias. I still have plenty of power right
where you are because of me.
been right before, but you're wrong now.
no use trying to be nice. This is what's about to happen. Go ahead
and kill Antigone. You'll feel really strong for about a minute.
Then you'll realize what you've done. One child dead with no grave,
the other one buried before her time. It's wrong, Creon. There are
higher powers than yours.
Creon: Not in
him) Soon your own house will be full of moaning and crying. Too
many bodies are rotting, Creon. And too many of the living will
wind up dead.
Creon: All right,
now you've got my attention. But I'm not sure what to do.
told you. Free Antigone. Just let her go and forget about it.
Men of Southeast, all y'all near the water, near St. Elizabeth's,
I ain't about to say AThis is for sure, that's for sure, this is
all good, that's all bad.@ Good things happen to bad people, and
the other way around, and you never know when something's gonna
jump out and take you down or raise you up. Just ain't no tellin,
and that's how we gotta live with it.
Like Creon--it looked like he was happy once. Wasn't nobody could
take him down or would even try. He practically owned these parts,
he had so much power. And a few fine, healthy kids were born to
him. But now it's all gone. Nobody's happy when their joy disappears.
He's walking, but he's not really there.
sounds bad--what's your news?
They're gone--you can ask the one still here all about it.
Haimon is dead. His own hand's what took him.
father's hand or his own own hand?
His own. But the murder his daddy'd done, that's what drove him
Teiresias, he saw this miles away.
That's our news; take what you can from it.
Lord, here comes Eurydice, Creon's woman. Did she hear us?
was walkin over to my aunt's house cuz I needed to talk, I needed
her help, and I heard some neighbors on the porch talking up some
new pain. I fainted, and don't really remember what I heard. The
neighbors helped me up, but wouldn't say what was up, so tell me
now. Whatever it is, I can take it; my heart and soul have their
share of scars.
to audience]: This is hard. [back to Eurydice] You ain't gonna like
this, but we'll tell you straight as we can. [to Messenger 2] Go
ahead, you start man.
Creon took us with him to finally go bury Polyneices. We found him
in that same ally, and he wasn't looking good, but we took him out
into the woods, wrapped him up, and put him in the ground. Creon
didn't say much, but asked me to say a few quick words. After I
did, he looked a little bit better.
he was finally trying to change his ways? Do something to make up
for his hard head?
Better late than never, I guess, but just hold up, there's more.
Then we went on over to the house to get Antigone out of the basement.
We were right out front and could hear some of the guys arguing
inside, but when we hit the front door it sounded like they were
crying. Creon started running for the basement. He was about to
open it and head downstairs, but he stopped and it looked like he
was bout to cry.
ain't never seen that man cry in his life, that fool--
He says, AThat sounds like my boy but I can't go down there just
yet. Y'all go down and look,@ so we did what he asked. We went down
them rickety old steps and there she was on the ground, with her
wrists wide open, blood was...dark all over the floor...seen a couple
broken bottles so we guessed that's what she did it with...
my Lord...oh my Lord...but she was strong, I thought she was strong,
I liked her! I didn't think she'd take all this so far...
And Haimon was right there, down on the ground, in all that blood
and dust, his arms around his girl dead in the cellar, crying out
his father'd took her away from him.
grown almost completely silent, hardly blinking)
Creon came down the steps kinda wobbly, and his eyes were wet, and
he called to him, AWhat's goin on man? Talk to me. What's happening
in your head that makes your eyes look at me so different? I'm begging
you son, I'm on my knees right here in front of you...@
And Haimon spit in his face. He didn't say nothin, just starin at
his dad, when he picked up on of the broken bottles and went after
him. Creon dodged him, and Haimon got this crazy look in his eye--I
haven't seen that look in nobody's eye but once or twice--and dug
into his own wrists with the bottle, probably the same as Antigone,
and laid back down beside her, put his arms back around her, and...just...closed
me [walks off].
don't look good--she alright? This don't look good...
I ain't exactly at peace neither, but maybe she just needs to be
alone. She's right about those scars she's got.
Sometimes you gotta be alone to let yourself hurt the right way.
but this just ain't good, this is it, this is the hardest walk yet...
I'll go check on her.
with some of his gang, who are carrying Haimon's body.]
told you all--here's Creon now. It's like how Marvin Gaye was killed
by his father, but Creon's hurt bad inside. He knows it and he's
you say can touch me anymore. My own blindness has led me down the
stairsteps of agony. Here we are: murdering father, murdered son.
All my puffed-up pride...
the truth. If only you'd seen it sooner.
Creon: The truth
is like a mountain of broken glass raining down on me. Some part
of me wanted to be like a god--I wanted to be such a big, important
man...but I'm just a stubborn brute, destroying what should be most
[returning from inside] You got it bad, man. But I'm afraid it's
not over. There is more pain in your house.
could be worse than what I see right now: the boy I wanted to raise,
to truly raise...down dead on the ground before me. Tell me what's
Your wife is dead.
a silence, slowly dropping to his knees]: It doesn't end. It doesn't
end! Doesn't this world ever let up on me? I have felt like I was
fading away burying Polyneices, then I knew I was dead in the cellar
with Haimon, and now...every death brings another death, every word
I hear is death...is this for real?
Look for yourself. [Eurydice's body is dragged out]
Creon: I can't
take all this truth--it's tearing me apart. My son's girl...my son...my
She sat down in front of y'all's fireplace, facing it, with her
back to me, and took something--I couldn't tell what it was. She
cursed you quietly in a way I can't repeat. Then she just got still.
finish off all this death with myself. Ain't there no gun round
All this death is the cause of the curse. The length of the curse
is till you fade away with age.
is me. This is me. It's all on me, I got no surface or substance,
so just take me inside.
to just bear it.
Creon: I don't
care how long I live, I'm not leaving this house again. Lord have
mercy, I'll stay in it like a cave, till the sky is ready for me.
count on none of that, the way your math has added up.
Creon: I meant
that prayer as deep as I could!
you're prayer's done. The sky ain't hearing you.
Creon: I killed
them. The only people I could draw comfort from lay dead, all over
these parts. All this pride and hunger's devoured all I loved in
the world. Now that it's done with them, it turns its mouth on me.
(Creon is led
into the house and the chorus steps up to speak directly to the
there is no listening there is no wisdom.
is no wisdom there is no peace.
is no peace there is no life.
to student work