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50 Antigone Quotes from the Famous Greek Tragedy

Enjoy the words and story of a play thousands of years old with these Antigone quotes.

Antigone is one of the surviving and “stand-the-test-of-time” works of the Greek tragedian, Sophocles. While he wrote over 100 plays, there are seven that have survived to the current day and Antigone is one of them.

Antigone is a character that appears throughout several plays that are also known as the Theban plays. The plays were written for competitions in festivals but are now often published together.

Antigone’s main storyline is that she has to choose whether to pursue burying and grieving her brother even though it has been forbidden by the law of her main adversary (who also happens to be the father of the man she loves) or leave her brother unburied and dishonored.

Her decision to pursue burying him leads ultimately to her death and the suicide of her love and his mother. Remember, it’s a classic Greek tragedy.

Don’t forget to also check out these Medusa quotes about the unique guardian from Greek mythology.

Antigone Quotes about Pain and Learning

1. “All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.” – Sophocles, Antigone

2. “A man, though wise, should never be ashamed of learning more, and must unbend his mind.” – Sophocles, Antigone

3. “Grief teaches the steadiest minds to waver.” – Sophocles, Antigone

4. “When I have tried and failed, I shall have failed.” – Sophocles, Antigone

5. “Leave me to my own absurdity.” – Sophocles, Antigone

6. “Great words of prideful men are ever punished with great blows, and, in old age, teach the chastened to be wise.” – Sophocles, Antigone

7. “Tell me the news, again, whatever it is… sorrow and I are hardly strangers. I can bear the worst.” – Sophocles, Antigone

8. “When misfortune comes, the wisest even lose their mother wit.” – Sophocles, Antigone

9. “True, as unwisdom is the worst of ills.” – Sophocles, Antigone

Antigone Quotes about Love and Friendship

10. “Go then if you must, but remember, no matter how foolish your deeds, those who love you will love you still.” – Sophocles, Antigone

11. “I was born to join in love, not hate – that is my nature.” – Sophocles, Antigone

12. “No one loves the messenger who brings bad news.” – Sophocles, Antigone

13. “I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.” – Sophocles, Antigone

14. “A friend in word is never friend of mine.” – Sophocles, Antigone

15. “Love resistless in fight, all yield at a glance of thine eye.” – Sophocles, Antigone

16. “Know’st not whate’er we do is done in love?” – Sophocles, Antigone

Antigone Quotes about Politics and Society

17. “There’s nothing in the world so demoralizing as money.” – Sophocles, Antigone

18. “A city which belongs to just one man is no true city.” – Sophocles, Antigone

19. “I have been a stranger here in my own land: All my life.” – Sophocles, Antigone

20. “Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law.” – Sophocles, Antigone

21. “Numberless are the world’s wonders, but none more wonderful than man.” – Sophocles, Antigone

22. “Oh it’s terrible when the one who does the judging judges things all wrong.” – Sophocles, Antigone

23. “I have nothing but contempt for the kind of governor who is afraid, for whatever reason, to follow the course that he knows is best for the State.” – Sophocles, Antigone

24. “The blind man cannot move without a guide.” – Sophocles, Antigone

25. “What a splendid king you’d make of a desert island – you and you alone.” – Sophocles, Antigone

26. “I didn’t say yes. I can say no to anything I say vile, and I don’t have to count the cost. But because you said yes, all that you can do, for all your crown and your trappings, and your guards—all that you can do is to have me killed.” – Sophocles, Antigone

27. “The dead clay makes no protest.” – Sophocles, Antigone

Antigone Quotes about Hope and Wisdom

28. “Tomorrow is tomorrow. Future cares have future cures, And we must mind today.” – Sophocles, Antigone

29. “There is no greater evil than men’s failure to consult and to consider.” – Sophocles, Antigone

30. “There is no happiness where there is no wisdom…” – Sophocles, Antigone

31. “Reason is God’s crowning gift to a man…” – Sophocles, Antigone

32. “My nails are broken, my fingers are bleeding, my arms are covered with the welts left by the paws of your guards—but I am a queen!” – Sophocles, Antigone

33. “One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.” – Sophocles, Antigone

34. “Good advice, if there’s any good in suffering. Quickest is best when trouble blocks the way.” – Sophocles, Antigone

35. “Chastisement for errors past, wisdom brings to age at last.” – Sophocles, Antigone

36. “But if I am young, thou shouldest look to my merits, not to my years.” – Sophocles, Antigone

37. “That will come when it comes; we must deal with all that lies before us. The future rests with the ones who tend the future.” – Sophocles, Antigone

38. “Of happiness, the chiefest part is a wise heart.” – Sophocles, Antigone

Antigone Quotes about Life and Death

39. “We have only a little time to please the living. But all eternity to love the dead.” – Sophocles, Antigone

40. “It is not right if I am wrong. But if I am young and right, what does my age matter?” – Sophocles, Antigone

41. “Do not fear for me. Make straight your own path to destiny.” – Sophocles, Antigone

42. “All men make mistakes, it is only human.” – Sophocles, Antigone

43. “What do I care for life when you are dead?” – Sophocles, Antigone

44. “Goodbye to the sun that shines for me no longer.” – Sophocles, Antigone

45. “Only a fool could be in love with death.” – Sophocles, Antigone

46. “You’re in love with impossibility.” – Sophocles, Antigone

47. “It is the dead, not the living, who make the longest demands.” – Sophocles, Antigone

48. “I will suffer nothing as great as death without glory.” – Sophocles, Antigone

49. “Unnatural silence signifies no good.” – Sophocles, Antigone

50. “For death is gain to him whose life, like mine, is full of misery.” – Sophocles, Antigone

51. “No yield to the dead! Never stab the fighter when he’s down. Where’s the glory, killing the dead twice over?” – Sophocles, Antigone

Which of these Antigone quotes is your favorite?

The success of the story of Antigone continues to last into the modern-day. There have been many adaptions of the story. Pieces of the legend are brought into other stories as well. For example, there is a story that intercedes with that of Heracles.

In recent years, the story was brought into a short film which had very mixed reviews. Some people enjoyed the modern-day twist on the story while others found that the modern changes left important pieces out of the story and failed to properly give credit to the strength of the original story. If you’re interested in learning more about the story, you can check out the version to see what you think.

Did you enjoy reading these Antigone quotes and lines? Which of the quotes is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below.

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