Antigone – 12
As Ismene I believe that Antigone was the last person to have a chance to prevent her death. Antigone broke a law knowing the penalty was death and then she hung herself. Antigone was well aware of the consequences that would ensue after her actions and she still persisted, she is responsible for the way everything ended. She compared herself to the Gods and considered herself a martyr. Antigone is the only one that could have prevented the tragic way the play ended. Antigone knew that she would die for her actions and she had no remorse.
On page 363 Antigone said, ” I will bury him myself. And even if I die in the act, that death will be a glory. ” Antigone was begged to not to bury Polynices and she refused to listen to reason. She was stubborn and did not care if she died. She was too set in her ways to care enough about anyone else to try and spare their feelings. She only saw her pain for losing a brother. She did not stop to think that Ismene had also lost two brothers. Creon had lost a son, Haemon lost a brother, and Eurydice lost a son. Antigone only saw her own pain and how it affected her own life.
She never considered how her actions would impact the lives of so many others. Antigone not only tried to glorify her death but she tried to gain sympathy for it. On page 386 the chorus tells Antigone, “Reverence asks some reverence in return- but attacks on power never go unchecked, not by the man who holds the reins of power. Your own blind will, your passion has destroyed you. ” The Chorus of elders has now told Antigone that her death is her own fault. They tell her that she should have known that breaking a law never goes unpunished; Creon would not let anyone get away with this.
Antigone ignores what the Chorus tells her and responds with “No one to weep for me, my friends, no wedding-song — they take me away in all my pain ? the road lies open, waiting. Never again, the law forbids me to see the sacred eye of day. I am agony! No tears for the destiny that’s mine, no loved one mourns my death. ” Antigone completely ignores what the Chorus tells her and tries to get sympathy for her death. She also manages to leave out the fact that Haemon and Ismene will be mourning her death. Antigone never once even mentions Haemon and yet Haemon is so distraught over Antigone’s death he kills himself.
Antigone completely disregards other people and their feelings, even when they care deeply about her. Antigone also tries to exalt her actions by comparing her story to that of a god’s. On page 385 Antigone speaks of Niobe, a goddess, and compares her story to Niobe’s. Niobe offended another God and therefore all of her children were killed. Zeus then turned the town of Thebes to stone for ten days so no one could bury the children. Niobe is said to still be in the same spot as stone and she still weeps for her children.
Antigone tries to glorify her death by telling people that she will live on the way Niobe has lived on. Antigone believes that her death is an honorable one and tries to persuade others by equivocating herself with a goddess. The last chance Antigone is given to stop her death is when Creon decides to seal her in a tomb and provide her with food but she proceeds to hang herself. Antigone was the one who actually killed herself. Creon claimed that he would kill her but instead he put her in a vault that she could have lived in at least temporarily.
If she hadn’t killed herself then Haemon wouldn’t have found her dead and killed himself. In turn Eurydice wouldn’t hate her husband Creon for the deaths of both of their sons and she wouldn’t have killed herself. Creon eventually changed his mind and tried to save Antigone but he was too late. If Antigone hadn’t killed herself she would have lived, along with Haemon and Eurydice. Antigone was the only one that could have prevented her death. She was the one that killed herself, no one else. From the beginning of the play it seemed like Antigone was a very determined person.
At first I believed that was admirable. However, by the end of the play it seemed like Antigone was determined to die. Antigone made up in her mind that dying because of her duty to bury her brother was a noble cause and she would be glorified and she would be loved for it. Antigone alone was responsible for her actions and she could have easily prevented her own death. The simple fact is that Antigone is child-like. She only cared about her and her own fate. She made up her mind and she became determined to follow through.