A Controversy In Philosophical Beliefs In Play Antigone
‘Antigone’, the play begins along with a time of catastrophe and dilemma in the city of Therbes and its ruling family. A clash between brothers ends with the death of the young king, Eteocles, by the hands of his very own brother, Polyneices, the person who stood at the head of the attacking army. Presently, after the death of Eteocles, Creon, the uncle of said late brothers, takes the throne and becomes king. As he also announces that Eteolces will be buried with honor and dignity, contrary to Polyneices who will be left unburied outside the city, as traitors deserve nothing more than that. These brothers have two sisters, Antigone and Ismene, who are the result of the incestuous marriage of Oedipus and Jocasta, who both take their own lives. Antigone is portrayed as a strong, hardheaded idealist. She has already reached a decision, to defy the order and proclamation of the King. Death doesn’t come near frightening her, as she is ready to die on her legs with honor and dignity rather than live on her knees in dishonor and immorality. For she sees it as a religious duty, corresponding to the unwritten laws of the gods, to bury her brother. She relentlessly and incessantly claims that she must work to appease ‘those that are dead'(Sophocles,31).
Deeply engrossed and committed to her religious duties and beliefs, Antigone loses all that she actually entrusts in her life. She lives in her own house in the city, all by herself, with seemingly no future, without an ounce of pleasure or happiness in her life, mourning and deep in sorrow; she loses all power to support herself against the barriers and the challenges she faces in life. She is shown as a teenager with a lack of experience in said worldly matters.
Sometime later, it is revealed by a soldier that Polyneices’ corpse has been given a meaningful burial, as in covered by dust. The same soldier comes back with Antigone who is defiant and still on the same road as before. She’s utterly committed to the hopeless family members and the calling of the gods, rather than being committed to the living and breathing. Her fiancé, Haemon, supports and helps Antigone in her devotion to her late brother. A new series of events take place where her fiancé pleads with his dad to change his decision regarding Antigone’s obstinance and rule defiance. The argument between the king and his son, develops into a full-blown fight, where the king finally tells Haemon him marrying Antigone is impossible, to which Haemon replies:’ Then she must die-and dying destroys another.'(Sophocles,41). The youthful man retreats off the stage while shrieking that he will never look at his father ever again.
Antigone’s act of committing suicide is explained by the messenger who witnessed her hanging from a silk noose made from her own clothes. In this turn of events, Antigone was imprisoned in this dungeon, as Creon ordered, where she was meant to starve until meeting her death. Here her suicide just speeded the inevitable fate. Although, from the start, Antigone makes her willingness and acceptance of death obvious, the same as with her desire to be with her dead family members, unraveling willingness and excitement towards the prospect. While Haemon’s effect and place in Antigone’s life is minimal, further proving her emptiness in showing emotions and ties. Whereas Haeomon’s suicide has a much more emotional impact aligned with violence and impulse. Haemon arrives at the cave and hugs Antogone’s body. Creon walks in and it is said that ‘Then, the poor boy in his anger they himself guided the sword, leaned on it and thrust it in his ribs….he pulled the maiden on his deadly embrace.'(Sophocles,58).In Haemon’s final appearance and clashing with his father, the tension of many battling emotions is clearly shown and felt, perhaps providing a liberal invitation to end his life.
The suicide of Haemon’s mother, Eurydice, appears to be just as tragic, if not more. After hearing of the doom of both Antigone and Haemon, she quietly leaves the stage. Just then Creon appears with the corpse of his very own son in his arms when yet another messenger breaks the news to the king; that Eurydice took her own life. He explains how she was standing at the altar while stabbing herself in the stomach. He also explains her last words and how they spoke of the deaths of her two sons, (Megareus, her older son who gave his life away protecting the city), as she cusses Creon out for being the very reason for both their deaths.
Antigone, Haemon, and Eurydice’s suicides in this play take place in a single set of events but each for numeral causes. Antigone could have been a victim of depression, ‘ My soul has been dead a long time”(Sophocles,34). Where she might have allocated herself as a victim to an arranged matrimony, as though a sheer object. The other cases of suicide coincide with emotions of anger, rage, mourning, and grief, as well as guilt and self-punishment.
A controversy in the Greek beliefs between Antigone and the king, Creon, enriched a war of philosophical beliefs, that states that each one’s actions were pillars of what they think is right and wrong. The clashing is apparent when the beliefs that justified their actions clashed together, turning it into a contradictory set of morals and beliefs. Antigone’s perspective implored a greater emotional impact, opposed to that of Creon’s mediocre path of choice-making. Antigone feels as though Creon is going against the laws of the gods through his proclamations and actions. After she is caught and is taken to Creon, she directs these words to him: ‘I do not think your edicts are strong enough to overrule the unwritten unalterable laws of God and heaven, you being only a man.’ Antigone’s deeply-rooted opinion supports the gods and the laws set by the heavens. Her actions are done on the basis that if one is not buried properly, one would not be accepted into the gates of heaven. Antigone appeared to be very religiously influenced, and the acceptance of her brother into heaven meant a lot to her. She thought that ‘It is against you and me he has made this order. Yes, against me.’
The story of “Antigone” begins after the death of Eteocles and Polynices, Antigone’s two brothers. Their father, Oedipus, had left the throne to Polynices, but Eteocles took the throne for himself and exiled his brother which resulted in a war that killed them both. Because Eteocles died as King of Thebes, Creon, their uncle and now the king, ordered for him to be buried but Polynices’s body was ordered to be left unburied because he was seen as a traitor....
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