Antigone’s Innocence

Antigone’s Innocence

The line between right and wrong is a thin one; however, in Antigone’s case, there’s absolutely no question about her innocence in her situation with her uncle, and King, Creon. After manipulating Antigone’s two brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices, into killing one another, Creon had become the new King of Thebes. With his new power, he proclaimed a law that if anyone were to bury or even mourn the death of the traitor Polyneices’ death, they were to be sentenced to their own fatality by stoning. So, how can Creon get away with something so cruel as to deny the burial of Antigone’s own brother?

Simple: he’s the King, and Kings are never questioned; men are never questioned by women. Such an act would be deemed as an anomally and would be unacceptable in such a society. Antigone, with the simple desire to bury her brother, stands up and defies King Creon. Not for the sake of defying him, but for the sake of Polyneices. A selfless, and loving act on her part, yet she is still condemned as though she were a murderer. “And if this hurries me to death before my time, why, such a death is gain… Therefore, I can go to meet my end without a trace of pain… ad I left the body of my mother’s son unburied… ah, that would hurt! For this, I feel no twinges of regret” (Sophocles 210).

While Creon imposed such a unconscionable law and death sentence upon Antigone, Haemon, Creons son and fiance to Antigone, and the people of Thebes believed that she had been right and selfless in her actions. “But I from the shadows hear them: hear a city’s sympathy for this girl, because no woman ever faced so unreasonable, so cruel a death, for such a generous cause… ‘Should not her name be writ in gold? they say and so the whisper grows” (Sophocles 222).

After Haemon attempts to reason with his egocentric father in vain, the two argue and call each other names. Creon, who thinks Haemon only wishes to disrespect him, decides to make Antigone die slowly in a cave; spiting Haemon and attempting to sooth the conscience of Thebes’ citizens. “I’ll take her down a path untrod by man. I’ll hide her living in a rock-hewn vault. With ritual food enough to clear the taint of murder from the City’s name” (Sophocles 226).

Though it seems as though Haemon will not alow for something as cruel as that. Antigone has gone through many ordeals. Her kind heart not allowing her to even think selfishly. Since she was young, she only wished to take care of her father until he died. Then to bury her brother who had been killed, only to be denied. So why must she now be doomed to die for being so caring? Creon is so set in this edict, so sure of himself, that he’s willing to make even the most innocent person miserable to have his way.