Antigone Play Summary Page 2

Updated: Mar 31

Page 1


Speaking of Haimon, he comes. The chorus and Creon are eager to know whether he is here with reverence to his King and Father’s Law or is to speak him out of punishing Antigone. Haimon says that he is Creon’s son and no relationship or marriage is important to him when compared to his relationship with his father. Yet he states what the public speaks of. He states that the public rumours about the incident that Antigone has done no harm to punish her with death. She has done this act out of her overwhelming love for her brother. With these statements, Haimon tries to convince Creon that sometimes it is good to not strongly stand by the decision and listen to wise advice. Initially, Haimon was praised, later he was scorned to a high extent. He even calls his son that “he has sold out to a woman”. Creon does not want to cave for three main reasons. One is that he is the King and superior and he is the one who makes the decisions and all should obey it blindly. Two is that he does not want to cave to a small boy. Third, it is that Antigone is a WOMAN and he does not want to appear failed in front of her.


Creon threatens Haimon that he cannot marry her when she is alive. Haimon in turn threatens that then there will be another death following her death. Creon does not consider them and summons the guards to take Antigone to a vault of stone among the dead and make her remain there till she dies. The chorus here and there keeps on narrating equivalent happenings from the past and philosophical comments all through the play.


Antigone is now taken to the stone tomb. She speaks to people stating that she is not worried about her death as she has faced enough and as usual any happenings in her life are related to the curse of her father, Oedipus who has married his own mother. She says that she will win death by killing herself. She also says that she will find peace through death and if she is not a sinner by God’s laws well then Creon has to be equally punished as her. Antigone’s final words are “Thebes, and you my fathers’ gods, And rulers of Thebes, you see me now, the last Unhappy daughter of a line of kings, Your kings, led away to death. You will remember, What things I suffer, and at what men’s hands, Because I would not transgress the laws of heaven.” with this, she gets closed inside a tomb. {Irony is that a living is treated as a dead and a dead is treated as a living. These unnatural behaviors do not end well for Creon.}


The blind foreteller Teiresias appears to the court with the help of a boy. He comes from the temple to meet Creon. He accuses Creon that he has brought a curse on the city by his actions. When he was in the temple he saw (by this he mean the boy helped to know what is happening around) the shredded pieces of Polyneices’ dead body spread all over by birds and animal. This has made the whole place unholy and the gods stopped responding to his prayers. Teiresias says that it is no glory to kill the dead. Creon again stubbornly says that Teiresias has also been corrupted which is why he is here to speak against his own king. They both get into a heated argument. With continuous humiliation, Teiresias gets provoked and he curses Creon. He says that it is not too far to repay for his actions and that he would repay death with death. His exact words are "The time is not far off when you shall pay back Corpse for corpse, the flesh of your own flesh. You have thrust the child of this world into living night, You have kept from the gods below the child that is theirs: The one on a grave before her death, the other, Dead, denied the grave. This is your crime: And the Furies and the dark gods of Hell Are swift with terrible punishment for you” with this Teiresias leaves the court with the guidance of the boy.


Creon is now scared of the prophecy. He gets advice from the leader of the Chorus. He makes the guards bring all the pieces of Polyneices and made them wash and do all the rituals to burn him. Then they rush to Antigone’s tomb. At this place, a Messenger comes with news to the chorus that when the guards try to open the tomb they found Antigone hanged herself with fine linen, and Haimon who was crying by holding her waist took his sword and killed himself in front of Creon.


The Messenger then goes to inform Eurydice. She after listening to this finds out that her second remaining son has also died. With this news, she goes inside in silence. This silence initially threatens the Chorus to which Messenger comforts them by saying that she might not wish to lament in public as this is too much pain to express. Yet with suspect, he gets in and gets out with the news that she also killed herself with a sword. Creon with at most pain cries for death to come to take him. In the end, the leader of the Chorus speaks to the audience, “There is no happiness where there is no wisdom; No wisdom but in submission to the gods. Big words are always punished, And proud men in old age learn to be wise.”

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