“This is not a pleasant play. In fact, sometimes I think it is a re-run of a Jerry Springer Show tape.
But the liberties that Heaney takes in presenting an updated, spirited and lively play actually work. It could have been really be close to being a disastrous farce. The secret lies in Heaney's having the time-honored text to start with--how could he go wrong?
I really like this play because I see it as a literary antidote to oppressive governments and tyrannical authorities. Within the covers of this book have been provided the answers to these questions: How does the individual resist an oppressive government? When does the individual have more power than the State? When is it ever acceptable to die for a cause? What gives the State authority to rule? How does one persuade a stubborn dictator?
Tough questions there. The answers to them can be found in Heaney's re-working of Antigone. ”