Antigone Interpretive essay
Thebes plays written by this author. Although it was the first written, Antigen is the third in the series coming after the plays Oedipus Rexes and Oedipus at Colon’s. This play follows the story of a girl, Antigen; and the king of the city of Thebes, Croon, who both have different beliefs about Antigen’s dead brother Polynesia. Croon makes a rule that no one can bury Policies because he was a traitor to the city and attacked it with an enemy army.
So as an insult to him, he will not permit his burial. Antigen, on the other hand, believes that even though what he did is wrong, that family Is family and she has a right to bury him. She does so, defying Screen’s law, but gets caught in the act and Croon sentences her to death. With this decision, he refuses to let go of, we see Screen’s contradictory opinions: on loyalty, by wanting what is best for the city yet he kills their princess, he kills his own son’s bride to be; he pays more attention to himself and what he says Is best for the city, rather than his win family, especially his wife.
The first example of Screen’s contradictory pollens Is his belief that everything he does is for the best of the city. As this quote from Croon states, “l say to you at the very outset that I have nothing but contempt for the kind of governor that is afraid, for whatever reason, to follow the course that Is best for the state; and as for the man who sets private friendship above the public welfare- I have no use for him, either. ” (1/20-24/1027) he states his belief in the safety of the city and its people, no matter what the cost is.
So once Croon becomes aware of what Antigen has done, he stands by his word and orders her killed, thinking that If he lets her go the people will see him as weak and breaking his word, saying the good of the people comes first, above all else. What he doesn’t realize is that the opposite is true. The people become outraged with him because they feel that Antigen had a right to bury her brother as family, and because she is their princess. Nevertheless, Croon doesn’t listen to anyone, and has his guards lock her In a stone vault, with mom food, so as to say he did not kill her but she died of starvation.
From this act, this is the beginning of his spiral downward, and loss of respect from his own family. Soon after hearing what his father has done to his bride to be, Hammond, Screen’s son, rushes to the castle, to try to persuade his father to spare her life. He feels she has really done no wrong. As usual, though, Croon does not listen to reason, even by his own son, as seen in this quote, “l will carry her far away, out there in the wilderness, and lock her living in a vault of stone. She shall have food, as the custom is, to absolver the state of her death.
And there let her pray to the gods of hell: they are her only gods” (3/142-146/1045). After the argument with his father, Hammond flees the castle and isn’t seen until much later. Close to the end of the play, Croon finally realizes his wrongs only to find out it was too late. He goes to the tomb of Antigen to free her, only to find she hanged herself and Hammond at her feet crying. When Croon tries to apologize for his wrongs, now that he knows what he has done, Hammond, In a age, ignores his father’s plea and takes his sword and strikes his father.
Croon manages to narrowly escape the blade, which causes Hammond to become so enraged, en takes his sword and ends his own elite in trot tot his tamer, and en dies there Witt Antigen. The third and final thing to happen to Croon, because of his opinions on loyalty, is that he neglects his own wife. While Croon is away trying to right his wrongs, his wife returns home to the castle, where she is informed by the messenger of what Croon has done. The messenger tells her how he sentenced Antigen to death, how Hammond tried to reason him but he didn’t listen.
And worst of all, how their own child swung at Croon and then took his own life. All of this news is too much of a shock for her, so she leaves to her quarters without a word, which the messenger finds a bit suspicious, so he follows to make sure she is k. At this time, Croon returns with the body of his son in arms, and talks with the chorus about all the grief he has gone through in this day. Then, suddenly the messenger returns tit even worse news, which Croon doesn’t believe could be worse than what has already happened.
The messengers tells him that his own wife took her life, “She stood before the altar, and her heart welcomed the knife her own hand guided, and a great cry burst from her lips for Messages dead, and for Hammond dead, her sons; and her last breath was a curse for their father, the murderer of her sons. And she fell, and the dark flowed in through her closing eyes. ” (Exodus/112-117/1060). From this, Croon cannot bear it any longer and asks if everyone else is dead, where his death is, UT he is doomed to live with all he has done, still as king of the city.
From all that Croon has learned in this play, from losing respect from the people, to being cursed by his closet family, we can learn that sometime what we think is best, may not be right, or may not be the best for everyone, or even yourself. I believe the message Sophocles was trying to convey to us, is that we must all learn to care for the well- being of everyone by listening to advice offered, and listening to the opinions of those you are trying so hard to protect.