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UBC Publications

The Antigone May 3, 1915

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McGill University College
Under   the Auspices   of the Alma   Mater   Society and the   Patronage  of the
Governors and Faculty
iNlendelssohn s Complete   V ocal
ana Orchestral Score
\ ■
MAY   3 .   4   ana   5,   1915   . CAST
Antigone   Miss  Viva Martin
Ismene  Miss Zella Hawe
Eurydice  Miss Jessie Anderson
Haemon Mr. Roland Miller
Guard Mr. Byron Rogers
Teiresias, the Prophet Mr.  Peter  Celle
First Messenger Mr.  Gordon  Fraser
Second Messenger Miss Vera Muddell
Prophet's Boy Miss Nellie Ballentine
— and —
 Miss Bonnie Clement
 Miss. MaTry McDonald
 Miss Iona Griffiths
 Miss Georgia Paterson
I Mr. John Anderson
Attendants on Creon....     ,vMr- Murray Meekison
j Mr. Morrison M.cTavish
[ Mr. Percy Southcott
(    Mr. L. T. Baker
n„Q,.H. 1     Mr- John Third
Uruaras—      j     Mr  A  j   An(jerson
(.    Mr. Paul Whitley
Flute   Player , Miss   Violet   Walsh
Chorus  Leader : Mr.  John Ewing
Leader of Strophe Mr. Wm.  C. Wilson
Leader of Antistrophe Miss Kathleen Peck
Mr. John Allardyce Miss Evelyn Story
Mr. H. Miller Miss May McCrimmon
Mr. Ian Shaw Miss Jean Abernethy
Mr. M, D. Bayly Miss Hazel Wilband
Mr. N. D. Patterson Miss May Vermilyea
Mr. J. L. Hughes Miss Irene Vermilyea   •
Miss Helen White Miss Burnie Bain
Miss Florence Chapin Miss Lena Bodie
Miss Evelyn Lipsett Miss Marjorie Fallows
Miss V. Muddell Miss Isobel Harvey
The play is produced under the stage direction ■ of HAROLD
NELSON SHAW, B.A., Instructor in Oral Expression at McGill
University College.
Director of Orchestra:    MISS MARGARET C. McCRANEY.
Costumes furnished by Parisian Costume Company.
Orb of Helios, thou whose light
Over Thebes' seven-gated walls.
Never shone so intensely bright,
All hail, eye of the golden day,
Hail!   sublimely thou soarest;
O'er Dirce's current thy beam thou pourest.
Thy power smote his bright silver shields,
Who left Argos in proud array.
Back, with keen urging lash,
Thou didst his war dash,
'Twas he Polynices won to his cause,
Who flew with his Eagles over the land.
All screaming and eagerly swooping for prey,
They gap'd for our blood; while with wing-fans aloft,
They shone like the snow, with their mane-crested helms,
Their breast-plates, their bucklers and lances. ANTISTROPHE   1.
He, surrounded with eager spears,
Gasping o'er our seven portals hung.
Ere his gorge with our blood was filled,
He fled—crest-fallen fled abased.
From the heights with his hostiile array,
The craven, dismayed, retreated
Ere Hephsestos could fire our towers,
On his rear the tempest of war
Rushing resistless, drove him afar,
Scared him, urged by the Dragon !*
For mighty Jove despises the man
Inflated with pride; the boaster he hates.
Hosts he saw, shining in gold, rolling along,
Like the stormy foaming waves of the deep.
He strikes—hits the man with his fire-flashing bolt,
Who, mounting our walls, triumphantly shouted
"We conquer!"
Death-struck, he lies on the earth) in an instant down-dash'd;
Dark is the torch that he flourished in hostile frenzy.
He rushed, snorting with rage,
Pressing onward first to engage:
Scaled the wall,
But to fall.
AH, soon or late,
Bow to their fate.
Over the strife Arest presiding,
Guided the right wing.
' Every gate of the city a leader besieged,
Man fighting his man, for victory strove;
Their bright brazen arms were the trophies of Jove.
But the two, who enraged
With each other, engaged;
From one mother they came,
Their sire was the same;
With their blood-thirsty spears contended.
They thrust, down they fell!
Thus their death-struggle ended.
* Emblem  of  The  Thebans.
t Mars.
Then came the fame-giving Nice, the Queen of Victory,
Bearing the palm for the car-celebrated Thebe.
The dread strife now is o'er,
Discord ceases, war is no more!
Let the night-revel ring,
Music awaking;
In the temples dance, and sing
Praises to Bacchus,
Thebes all shaking!
But see! the son of Mencetius comes,
Creon, who sways our regal sceptre,
Assigned by Olympus and Fate
To govern our state.
We now may learn what design in his breast
Hath moved him to call our Sages united,
To hear and heed his high behest,
By  herald-summons  invited.
Wonders in nature we see and scan,
But the chief of them all is man.
O'er the awful abyss of the deep
He fearlessly dares to sweep,
And through its terrible stormy spray,
He shapes his trackless way.
Tellus conforms to his desires,
Yields him her treasures abundant,
And never tires.
Yoking his plough to the steer,
He, from year to year,
Makes the barren soil redundant. ANTISTROPHE   1.
Feather-clad creatures that flutter in space,
All the wandering woodland race,
All that glide in the billowy tide,
He entices, entoils, and snares
In woven meshes his hand prepares:
By skill, he works his will.
O'er hills and wilds he tracks his game,
Renders the savage creature tame.
See the steed with the long flowing mane
With the curb and the rein
He rides him!
See the stubborn bull, he guides him!
strophe 2.
And the word that embodies the thought,
To the child by the parent is taught.
The politic laws he indites,
With the hand-guided feather he writes;
When Jove hurls the storm,
He is sheltered and warm!'
By the past, he beholds
What the undrawn veil of Time enfolds!
Death lays him low;
To the grave he must go:
When death assails him,
Pain-healing knowledge fails him.
He is versed in the arts ; he designs ;
He skilfully plans and combines:
He leans now to good, then to evil draws;
Loves his country, bows to her laws.
Who fears the vow sworn to heaven,
Honour be given!
Cursed be the man, may he never smile,
Who dares to protect the vile.
Never shall my hearth or banquet cheer him,
Never may his country's councils hear him!
Amazement!   Do the powers of Olympus
Deceive my senses?    I know,
Yet fain would deny, that I now
Behold Antigone here!
Miserable child of a wretched father—
(Edipus :   What means this ?
Say, can it be, thou hast dared to infringe thus
The monarch's command?
Can it be, that thou art the offender?
Dialogue.—Creon, Antigone, Ismene, and Watchman.
How happy they who, blest by Fate, ne'er tasted evil!
He, whose house our Gods shake, is tottering;
Curses hang impending,—
Wrath divine on his line descending.
As when the Thracian tempest urges
The ocean-swelling surges;
Boiling up from the depths of the deep,
The black sands leap,
And onward with the foaming billows sweep;
They dash and lash the passive shore,
That trembling shudders' at their horrid roar!
I still see o'er Labdacus' house heaven's curse impending;
111 on ill behold on his race fast descending.
With the life each father imparts to his son,
The curse first entailed descends on all for one.
Now the last faint ray that is gleaming on us,
In her of the house of (Edipus;—
Behold Life's mower standing o'er her!
See him waiting, scythe in hand!
Her frenzied pride will soon provoke the Fates' command. STROPHE   2.
Who can brave or assail thee, Jove ?
Who dare spurn at thy power almighty?
Thine eye never closed, nor for a moment slumbered,
Moons never yet thy ages numbered.
Thy day rolls onward, never wasting,
In Olympian light thou dwellest for everlasting;
Never-ending ages blending,
The past and the future thou canst see!
Thy dread will hath ordained this decree,—
"Joy shall be blent with sorrow."
Deem not, Hope, when she waves her wings,
Sheddeth blessings on all who trust her.
She dazzles the foolish with illusive lustre.
Shows them the good she never brings;
And they slumber till disappointment wakes them.
Ancient sages wisely said—
"Fools misconstrue evil."
Thus the Gods, by Hope's illusion,
Beguile, but to lead the vile
Onward to dire confusion.
They prosper awhile,
Then sorrow overtakes them.
See, Hsemon appears!
The last verdant shoot
That sprang from thy root:
Shedding bitter tears,
He laments his betrothed Antigone.
Ah! is she fated by destiny
Ne'er to crown his affection?
O Eros !   all-conquering power;
Inflamer, dread tamer of madness!
At night, the young maiden dreaming,
Sees thee in the vision gleaming.
Thy sway extends over the sea,
Over the land, none are free;
The gods of Olympus bow to thee;
Thine eye-piercing dart
Inflameth the heart
With desire consuming!
Allured by thee, swayed by thy might,
The noblest heart shrinks from its duty;
And virtue yieldeth to beauty.
Friends are parted, and foes united:
The cherished wish guardedly sealed,
Sacred desires the lip ne'er revealed;
The downcast eye, and the long-drawn sigh,
The deep-blushing cheek,
Ah!   these all bespeak
Thee triumphant, Eros!
O, heart-rending sight, what emotions rise!
My sorrow is greater than words can relate:
It flows from my bosom in streams to my eyes,
Thus beholding the fair Antigone's fate,
Urge her on to the doom of all mortals!
Dialogue.—ANTIGONE. 10
But worthy of praise, and with honour arrayed,
Death carries thee, a blooming bride to his bed:
Unchill'd by disease, unscathed by decay,
Unsmote by the sword in hostile affray,
Unfettered by will, thy choice uncontroll'd,
Thou'rt betrothed to the monarch of Hades.
Her sons were Gods, a Goddess was she;
Our fathers were mortal, mortal are we;—
Remember, how gloriously great it will be,
To share the fate of Immortals!
Urged to thy fate by thy will alone,
Thou hast scorn'd the law of Thebes' throne.
In this we see the doom, unhappy one,
Pronounced against thy father.
Honour the dead:   'tis good and wise.
Honour the law:  who dares despise
Its decrees, when fatal, justly dies.
Thine own proud will this doom hath chosen.
Dialogue.—creon and antigone.
Royal Danae long lived in a tower,
Day's bright ray never darted
Through its brass-girted walls ;
'Twas to her a cell of death,
Thus from mankind was she parted.
Yet, what Destiny will'd, soon was accomplished by Love;
When he of Olympus, mighty Jove, came from above,
Descended on the tower,
In a golden shower.
What can oppose thy power, O Fate?
Can gold, the shield, the ship, the gate?
Ah, no !  o'er all thou art triumphant!
Dryas' impious son, monarch of Thrace,
Tore the wine-giving Thyrsus,
And its orgies denied.
Dionysos, defied,
Fettered him fast in a mountain.
He, whose impious proud soul desecrated the rod,
Which charmeth existence; by the vengeance of its God
Atoned thus for presuming to defy its power.
Awed by this wretch, the mystic throng
Forebore the dance, refrained the song,
The pipe was mute, the torch was extinguished.
Know ye the rocks of the deep,
Where Cyanse's billows sweep;
Where the confluent Bosphorous roars
On the rugged Thracian shores;
Where Ares,* adored,
Sways o'er each horde?
There, Phineas' two sons—their step-mother, jealous-
Unjustly charged with crime, condemned and blinded.
Their lucid orbs no noble weapon extinguished;
* Mars. 12
No! the deed was done
By her alone;
With her web-entwining shuttle's point she pierced
Plunged in affliction, the wretched sons
Bewailed their fate;
Objects of pity and ruthless hate,
They sprang from a mother's hapless union;
Whose blood, free from stain,
First flowed in each vein
Of the ancient Erecthidae.
In distant cells, her parents' winds rocked and taught her
To bound along with their steed-excelling speed:
(God-like Boreas begat this daughter:)
Yet the doom which Fate had decreed
She could not escape:—it caught her.
Fair Semele's high-born son,
Thou many-named one,
Thou who callest thy father the thunderer Jove:
Object of beautiful Italia's love;
Thou, who crownest what Ceres bestoweth on all,
To thee now we call;
Hear us, Bacchus! in Thebe^ thy Bacchante's home,
Where the bright Ismenus rolling her waters,
Unites the Dragon's sons and daughters!
' On thy mount's double-crested heights,
Thy votive flames ascending,
With Corycian nymphs attending,
Grace thy mystic rites;
While pure Castalia laves the ground,
Thy lofty Nysian summit sings, ivy-crown'd,
Thy praise!
Vine and tree warble to thee!
Thy votive trains chant thy lays,
Thy sacred chorus raises,
And Thebes' fanes resound thy praises;
Hear us, Bacchus!
strophe 2.
Above all the rest,
Thebes thou hast guarded and blest.
She Was its pride
Who, clasping the Thunderer, died.
And now, seeking its lost repose,
We pray thee to come and heal its woes!
O, hither bend!
From thy Parnassean heights descend,
Or from over,Euboea's billows!
Thou, whose power inspires
All our torch-lit, star-vieing choirs,
Guide our dance, and lead our song,
Son of Jove, for ever young!
Come with mirth and revelry,
Bring thy Naxian nymphs with thee;
Come, and let them, bounding before us,
Chime and time the tip-toe chorus,
To praise thee, adore thee, great Iacchus!
Hear us, Bacchus.
Dialogue.—messengers,    creon.    eurydice.
Our monarch appears;
See the burthen he bears!
In his arms he enfolds Death's fatal token,
The corse of his son.
The deed is his own,
If freely the truth may be spoken.
Alas!   thou seest too late.
That Justice guideth Fate!
Thine eyes will tell thee!    Yonder, see the lifeless corse.
Thou hast succeeded, if thine aim was sorrow's gain:
But wisely 'tis ordained that time soothes mental pain.
The future for the future:  what the present needs
Must be provided for, and met by present deeds.
Desire avails not;  what the Fates ordain will be:
Prayer nor advances nor retards their stern decree.
'Tis wisdom that sees,
The way to be blest:
To revere the decrees
Ordained by the Deities,
Ever is best.
All the strokes of injustice
Most justly rebound;
Recoiling, they wound.
When erring men, corrected, grow sage;
Their wisdom crowns their age.
No curtain was used in the Greek theatre at this period.
The theatre being in the open air, the audience assembled
in the semi-darkness, just before dawn.
The drama was a religious ceremonial, the Priestesses
lighting the altar at the break of day.
The city was always at the actors' left, the open country
at the actors' right.
The chorus acted as interpreters to the audience, representing by their pantomime, events preceding and pertaining
to the drama or manifesting the ethical purpose of the scene.
They move to the right on the Strophe; to the left, on the
Antistrophe. The various figures or groupings were elliptical,
manifesting the dealings of the gods with mankind.
No deed of violence could take place before the eyes of
the audience. These were always reported by the messengers.
The acting was of the declamatory and representative type.
No attempt has been made in this production to use the
masks and buskins worn by the actors of the Greek stage.
Black and yellow, worn by Antigone and Ismene are the colors
of Greek mourning; the red of Creon, the symbol of power.
The white and silver is the dress of the Queen sacrificing to
the gods. The watchman is a rustic; a shepherd rather than
a soldier.   The netted lace of the Prophet denotes mysticism. ARGUMENT
Laius, King of Thebes, had been warned against marriage, but rashly and recklessly he disregarded the warning.
The son born to him, CEdipus, was taken away to a foreign
land and adopted by its king and queen for their own son.
Being warned that he was fated to kill his father and marry
his mother, he endeavored to avert this doom, but from a like
rashness, in his haste to prove the warning false, he left his
supposed parents, came unwittingly to his former home, killed
Laius in a random quarrel, and married Jocasta, his mother,
before enquiring whether his reputed parents were his real
parents or npt. The same fault of blind recklessness destroys
his sons, Eteocles and Polynices, who quarrel about the succession to the throne, and fall by each other's hands in battle.
From the same fault Antigone hastened to bury Polynices'
body, without seeking to win thereto the consent of the king,
her uncle Creon, who had forbidden the burial, because Polynices had fallen while leading an invading host against his
country. From the same fault Creon, blind to everything
except the obligation to punish disloyalty, persists in refusing
burial to Polynices, and in condemning Antigone (when she
attempts to bury her brother), to death by starvation. Antigone in her haste at once commits suicide. Creon, after his
first passion has spent itself, is frightened by the blind prophet
Teiresias into relenting. But his relenting is too late to save
her, and meanwhile her death destroys Creon's son, her lover
and cousin Harmon/who kills himself over her body. His
death ,in turn is a fatal blow to his. mother, the Queen Eury-
dice, who has lately lost in war her only other son, Megareus,
and a third suicide follows. Creon is left childless and wifeless; he has learnt the lesson that prudence is the.larger part
of happiness, but he has learnt too late, and the curse of
rashness has destroyed the whole royal house in both its lines.


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