charant Sophocles' Antigone Essays: The Character of Antigone


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Antigone  


 In the story of Antigone, two very headstrong people's beliefs are matched up against each other. Creon, the king, made it law that no traitor to the Kingdom shall have a proper burial, instead they will be left laying on the ground to rot and to be eaten by the animals.

This was the case of Antigone's brother, Polyneices. Antigone's love for her brother was so great that she went against the law, even though she knew Creon's punishment for breaking the law was public stoning, which ultimately resulted in death. Creon, who had an equal amount of determination, refused to back down from his law for his own reasons even after Antigone ignored it. He could not submit himself to the will of a woman. At that time, women were looked at as being in the same class as slaves. If he did, it would have showed weakness in him and the people would have overthrown him for letting a woman have that effect on him. So instead of the public stoning, Creon sentenced Antigone to die in a cave where she could starve to death. Instead of dying a slow miserable death, she committed suicide by hanging herself. As it turns out, this set off a string of events for the king that he could have never saw coming. The first of the tragic events that would unfold was the death of his son. Haemon was Creon and Eurydice's son and was next in line to the throne with Antigone as his wife. Creon's son was set to be married to Antigone, but after Creon sentenced her to death, Haemon turned on his father. He was outraged that Creon had taken away his future wife, in which he was very much in love with. He was so outraged, that he would even break the unique and special bond between father and son. Haemon felt incomplete without Antigone and could not stand being apart from her. He found away to solve his problem and get revenge on his father at the same time. He had taken his own life and at the same time killed the future of the family's place in the throne. Creon was crushed at what his son did, especially hearing it from someone else. After hearing of Haemon's death, Eurydice was completely devastated and felt somewhat violated. She felt Creon was responsible for the death of not only Haemon, but for Megareus who was killed some years before.

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Haemon was the only son left for Eurydice and the last only one left to inherit the throne. Eurydice's life had gone from having a picture book ending to becoming a true, old-fashioned tragedy. Her last remaining son was a short time away from marrying a beautiful young woman and starting their lives together, it’s every mothers wish for their son. First her son's fiancée dies by suicide and then her son is torn from her life in an instant. It was too much to happen to one person in such a short amount of time. Not too many people can handle events like that, including Eurydice. She also found the same solution as her son. She did not want to live with such great sadness and could not live with Creon anymore. After all he had been responsible for the two deaths that greatly affected her life. Things could not possibly be worse for Creon, his son and his wife are dead, and there's no one to inherit the throne in his family. He knows that he was the cause of all this misery that surrounds him. He was now paying the price for such an unfair judgment against Antigone. If he had a second chance to do things over, he surely would have done things much differently. He realized that his ruling was not worth all the pain, guilt, and suffering he caused. It would not have been so bad if they had not committed suicide, but Haemon killed himself holding Antigone, his love, and his mother killed herself violently with a sword. Creon's head fills with suicidal thoughts and begins to break down. In the end, he does almost nothing but pray for death. Although the story ends with him leaving with these types of thoughts, one can only imagine he met the same fate as his son and wife.

In conclusion, it is obvious to see the repercussions of Creon's faithfulness to his beliefs. He had basically lost everything, his wife and son were gone, he would not be able to maintain his position as king, and he had lost all self-control. The people would have overthrown him if he continued. This was all due to the fact that he made one really wrong ruling. Too much power and control cause an increase in arrogance and can cause some people to make totally irrational thoughts. If Creon had continued to rule, these events hopefully would have taught him to consider what happens to the people with such harsh laws. Creon could have easily avoided all this if he had actually thought about what might happen if one of the lawbreakers was some one in his own family.


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