Essay on Sophocles' Antigone


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Antigone was a selfless person with pride as a strong characteristic of her personality.  She possibly had feelings of loneliness and anger from the way society has looked upon her family from their past.  It took a strong willed person who has no fear of the repercussions to stand up to a king as she did.  To make everything all the worst she stood up to a king who was her Uncle and she being a female back in those time, standing up and speaking out for herself was not heard of.
Having already been through public disgrace, when her own father, Oedipus found out that he was to fulfill a prophecy; he would kill his father and marry his mother, and this caused Antigone to be full of resentment toward her city.  Both of her brothers die in a battle and, Creon, the king of Thebes forbids the burial of one of her brothers, Polynices.  This must have driven Antigone to follow her moral law.  Considering the love she had for her family as well as her God, she felt that you react upon morals not upon the laws of man.  That morale law was to honor her brother and give him the respectful and proper burial that he deserved just as her other brother was given.  The love she had for her family was the only thing she had left to honor.  Ismene, Antigone’s sister was more fearful of the king’s law then the way her heart was leading her.  Her values were slightly distorted.
         

Creon finds out that Polynices was buried and this disgusted him so much that his anger was probably bubbling up in the pit of his stomach as if he was on fire.  How could anyone defy him?  What happens with the respect he deserves from his kingdom?  He knew in his mind if something sever was not done about this; his kingdom would not look up to him as he should be looked up to.  Where would he stand in societies eye?  He sent an order to find this person and bring him or her back to face the penalty of death.
Antigone was caught and death was the price to pay as ordered by Creon, not to her surprise.  Death to Antigone seemed wanted, it was the only thing left as honor for her.  Haemon, the son of Creon and Antigone’s fiancé has enough respect for his father that he does not interfere with Creon's decision to put Antigone to death.

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  Instead, Haemon uses reverse psychology to get through to his father, that what he was doing was not looked upon as a proper punishment to the people.  Respect for the dead was deserved for anyone.   I was a bit surprised by one of Haemon's comments to Creon, “no marriage could ever mean more to me than you, whatever good direction you offer.”  I realized that he was just sweetening him up so that he could open his eyes and his mind to the truth of his heart.  This gives the reader a bit of sympathy for Creon because his eyes were closed to reality of life.
Finally when Creon realizes that he may possibly be wrong it was to late.  I think the fear overwhelmed him into his decision to change his punishment.  He was told of these horrible things that would happen to him if Antigone were to die.  By the time he had changed his mind it was a little to late Antigone had killed her self.  The pain she felt            
must have taken a great toll on her.  The thought that God would take her and clear her of all the disgrace she has felt through her life must have gave her a glimpse of hope in death.
Haemon killed himself when he found that Antigone was dead.  He probably could not live with out her or maybe could not bear to look to his father again for the pain he had put Antigone through.  He had lost his true love.  His mother Eurydice had over heard the discussion of her son’s death and this created a pain in her heart, as it would in any mothers’ heart.  Losing a son, how could she bear it?  She could not, so she ended her own life.
In the end, Creon has created a domino effect because he was too proud.  His pride took from him the important things in life; all he had left was a kingdom, which in return may never look up to him as a King.  He was brought down from the highest point in his life and he took everyone he loved with him.  He hit a harsh reality that a king does not own his kingdom but the kingdom keeps a king, a king.


 


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