What Is the Purpose of the Chorus in Antigone?

The Chorus appears in the play between the scenes for a reason. All the background details they reveal about Antigone‘s characters help the audience understand the events better. They also present some myths that are related to the scenes, which serve as some kind of comments on the main themes. 

The Chorus is presented as a group of the senior citizens of Thebes. They sing songs and chant in between the main scenes of Antigone. Their perspective seems to shift throughout the play. In the beginning, the Chorus takes Creon’s side and warns the audience about the consequences of breaking the laws. However, they see how much Antigone suffers and see that the decision to punish her was not fair. After several people come to the king to change his mind, the Chorus finally advises Creon to back off.  

In general, the main role and purpose of the Chorus are to fill in the pauses in between the scenes with useful information. There are some mentions of Greek mythology that somehow appears to be related to the current theme or question of the play. Sometimes, they give background to the events. For example, the Chorus presents the details about the Theban war at the beginning. Besides, the singers also give comments about the situation, which also helps to develop the main ideas. Therefore, it may be safe to say that the Chorus is present in the play as some kind of a narrator. They help the audience to follow the lead of the author and stay on track of the central issues. 

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