John and Winston are cellmates in an unnamed prison based on the one where Nelson Mandela was held. They spend their days doing back-breaking labor, and their nights rehearsing Sophocles' Antigone to present to their fellow inmates. When John learns his sentence is being reduced, the men's friendship is tested. Fugard parallels Antigone's fight against political and patriarchal boundaries with the imprisoned men's fight for their dignity. The Island is a testament to the resiliency of the human heart.