50) This image reminded me of the contrasting fates of the corpses of the embattled Theban royal twins Eteocles
and Polyneices at the start of Sophocles' Antigone, where Eteocles
is given burial rights, but Polyneices is left to rot.
Right at the outset, Eteocles wishes that Zeus the Defender [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (6) might uphold his name [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]--by securing his city's victory and rescue (8-9).
Yet, once the focus has shifted to the imminent combat between Polynices and Eteocles, the relevant references come to highlight the brothers' shared nature, as allegedly manifested through both their conduct in battle and in each one's very name.
At first, attention is drawn to the names of two of Thebes' enemies (those of Parthenopaeus and Polynices), as viewed and interpreted by the male Theban community (that is, Eteocles and the Scout).
Polynices' fitting name, on the other hand, is reinforced by both Eteocles (once he learns of his brother's positioning at the seventh gate) And--reportedly--the seer Amphiaraus.
For one thing, the Euripidean heroes, and especially Eteocles and Jocasta, utilise the meaning and power of names in ways that roughly echo the Aeschylean treatment of the story; such cases concern the use of personal names, which are occasionally perceived and spoken of as tokens of their bearers' traits.
The idea about the bestial nature of both Eteocles and Polynices, insinuated at various points in the drama (263, 420, 455-56, 699, 1169), will culminate in the Chorus' characterisation of them as [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], 'twin beasts of prey' (1296)--following their mutual killing.
The story of Antigone's brothers, Polynices and Eteocles
, motivates the theme of brotherhood emblematized in the relationship between John and Winston, brothers united in the struggle against apartheid oppression:
10) Other histrionic invocations include Giton casting Encolpius and himself as Socrates and Alcibiades in Plato's Symposium: non tam intactus Alcibiades in praeceptoris sui lectulo iacuit (128,7); Giton equaling his friend Ascyltos with Lucretia and himself posing as Tarquin (9,5); Giton hiding, like Ulysses in Homer's Odyssey, under a mattress/ram (9798); Eteocles
and Polynices fighting over Thebes (80,3); Cleopatra being delivered to Ceasar in a carpet (102,10-11).
At the beginning of the tragedy we see that Antigone's two brothers, Eteocles
and Polyneices, have died fighting each other for the throne.