Antigone is a play written by Sophocles that became a classic due to its controversial content. In this play, the Greek dramatist reflected mainly on Civil Disobedience. Antigone believes in the individual rights over the state rights. Creon, however, strongly believes in putting state over religion. The play does not only revolve on the political and religious issue, but also deals with the battle of the sexes.
The play is about a strong-willed woman defying the laws of a proud king. Antigone is torn between her devotion to the gods and her loyalty to the king. Creon, ruler of Thebes, issued the order to leave the traitor Polynices’ body ‘ to be left unburied, his corpse carrion for the birds and dogs to tear, an obscenity for the citizens to behold!’; Antigone was not about to simply obey this absurd decree. She felt that her personal responsibility lies to the gods and her family rather than the king. She then asked Ismene, her sister, to assist her with the burial, but was denied of any help. She was disappointed at first, but later on decided that she will do this with or without Ismene’s help. Creon was warned about this and later found the culprit. He issued the death sentence for Antigone’s action. Creon informed his son, Haemon, of his fiancee’s deceit. Haemon, however, defended his beloved. He told his father that the whole city was on her side, but were afraid to say anything. He was instead accused of ‘being a woman’s accomplice’;, ‘fighting on her side, the woman’s side.’; Creon continued to threaten him with witnessing the execution of Antione. She was to ‘die, now here, in front of his eyes, beside her groom!’; Haemon countered him with a threat of his own that he will never set eyes on him again if he continues this violence. Crion was apalled with his son. For that, Antigone was to die a very agonizing death. she was to be taken ‘down to some wild desolate path never trod by men, and wall her up alive in a rocky vault, and set out short rations, just the measure piety demands’;.
The prophet Tiresias warned Crion of the consequences if he does not release Antigone soon. He told him of his dreams that he would lose the people he loves if he continues to be stubborn and stupid. Creon admitted that the prophesies troubled him greatly. He ordered the release of Antigone, but was too late. He found her ‘hanged by the neck in a fine noose, strangled in her veils- and the boy, his hands slung around her waist;#8230;.’;. Haemon attacked him, but missed and instead drove his sword to his own heart. Creon witnessed all this an d realized that he brought it on himself. Back at the palace, his wife Eurydice heard the news and ended up killing hersilf. Creon begged to be free of this guilt by demanding his own death. he finally admitted to being a ‘rash, indiscriminate fool!’;.
Antigone possesses the qualities everyone admires. She is defiant, strong-willed, rebellious, brave, loyal, and stubborn. Creon matches these strong qualities with cruelty, authoritativeness, one-sidedness and stubbornness. Stubbornness became their downfall. Antigone believed that the laws of the gods were of greater importance than the rules of the state. Creon, however, believed that since he’s the king, his word is the law and no one should dare defy him. Besidesthe political and religious content, Antigone deals with the battle of the sexes as well. Creon continually brings up that woman are subservient to all men. he advised his son of ‘never letting some woman triumph over us. Better to fall from power, if fall we must, at the hands of a man- never be rated inferior to a woman, never.’; Both were so proud that it cost their own lives and their loved one’s death.
I found this play very interesting. Even though this was produced centuries ago, we could still easily relate with the themes it depicted. It encourages people of the modern world to stand for what they believe in. it teaches us to be more open-minded. We learn that there are no set rules. We do not always have to do what we are told. We just have to be aware of the consequences of our actions. Antigone also emphasizes on being proud. It is important to have pride for the reason of restoring one’s own self-esteem, however, having too much of it can lead to destruction. Admitting you are wrong is not so bad.