Treme and Antigone: Mourning, music and resistance | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1466-0407
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9118



David Simon regularly says that the origins of The Wire can be traced to Greek tragedy. My contention here is that Simon’s engagement with Greek literature persists in his New Orleans drama, Treme. For instance, through the story of LaDonna Batiste-Williams, a woman desperately trying to locate and bury the body of her brother, Simon reimagines and adapts Sophocles’ Antigone for a twenty-first-century urban context. Both Sophocles and Simon use the image of the unburied corpse to demonstrate the injustices of ancient tyrannies and modern capitalist bureaucracies, respectively. However, Treme also depicts (and perhaps even models) alternative modes of being, ways of life organized around art and beauty. This article contends that these alternative ways of life are offered as potential antidotes to the political absurdities of post-Katrina New Orleans.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Antigone; David Simon; Greek tragedy; mourning; New Orleans; Treme
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