As a classicist, I am a big fan of Greek myth retellings, and I am happy for every chance I get to read them. In I, Antigone, Carlo Gébler paints a beautiful picture of a world filled with Kings and Queens of the ages, and brings a new twist to one of the oldest stories in the world, the story of Thebes. If you thought you knew the whole story, think again.
Antigone is a tragedy by Sophocles written in or before 441 BC. Of the three Theban plays, Antigone is the third in order of the events depicted in the plays, but it is the first that was written. The play expands on the Theban legend that predates it, and I, Antigone is written in the same spirit for a modern audience.
Most modern myths have many versions and variations, and will pull from various sources like Ovid, Homer, Hesiod, Sophocles. I was interested to see which myths Carlo Gébler would include in Antigone’s world. I was excited to find the author took inspiration from various sources and included many gods and goddesses into the story, all while giving them a modern spin.
With this books we get many stories in one. Many myths make up the grander tale of the Greek king, Oedipus. Within the story of Oedipus, we also get the stories of Europa and the bull; their children Minos and Adamanthus; Cadmus’ search for his sister Europa, and his founding the founding of the great city Thebes; how Cadmus’ great-grandson Laius became king at Thebes, and how he brought a great curse upon his line.
Retellings of the Greek myths and legends are really popular right now, and I, Antigone is a great read for fans of Madeline Miller and Scarlett St. Claire.
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