Antigone Summary for Readers

Antigone Summary for Readers
  • Date:
    Jun 04, 2019
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The Chorus in the play introduces the main characters. Antigone is the main character. Haemon is Antigone’s fiancé while Ismene is her sister. People thought that Haemon would propose to Ismene instead of Antigone. The king of Thebes is called Creon.

Oedipus, the father of Antigone and Ismene, bore two other sons. The first is called Eteocles and the other Polynices. When Oedipus dies, the agreement is that each of the sons would be in control of the throne successively every year. However, Eteocles rules for one year and refuses to give up leadership. Consequently, Polynices comes to attack with six princes from a foreign land. Polynices and the people he came with are defeated. The two brothers (Eteocles and Polynices) murder each other during the battle.

Consequently, Creon becomes king. Creon gives an order that Eteocles should be buried honorably. Polynices’s body is to rot.

It is morning, and people are still sleeping. Antigone mysteriously sneaks back. The Nurse makes an inquiry of where she is from. Ismene asks the same question. Antigone tells the Nurse to go for coffee. Ismene insists that they are not allowed to bury Polynices. Therefore, Antigone has to understand the intentions King Creon has. Antigone does not agree with Ismene’s words. When Haemon comes, Antigone wants him to hold her strongly. She discloses she cannot marry him. Haemon leaves overwhelmed with the news. Ismene comes back terrified with the feeling Antigone may try to bury Polynices. Antigone reports that she has already buried Polynices.

The guard reports to Creon that there is someone who may have attempted to cover the body of Polynices with at night. The King’s order is that the guards should uncover the body but make the issue secret. The Chorus announces the tragedy.

The guards come back holding Antigone. The original proposition is for them to have a celebration. Creon comes and is informed that Antigone was caught excavating e grave for Polynices using her bare hand during the day. Creon chases the guards to go out. When he is sure there is no one with information on Antigone’s arrest, he orders her to go to bed. Antigone should tell people that she is unwell. Creon inquires from Antigone if she thinks is related to Oedipus makes her more superior than the law. Just like Oedipus died, Antigone’s death should also be life’s “natural climax.” Creon main duty is to ensure the orders of the kingdom are adhered to. The Marriage of Antigone has more value to Thebes compared to her death.

Creon violently takes Antigone’s arm and painfully twists it. Antigone tells Creon that he is causing pain to her hand. However, it is not that painful. Creon leaves her arm. He sees the kingship as something that makes people hate him. However, he has to perform his duties. Antigone tells Creon that he should have refused to take over the throne. She insists that for her, she can object to anything that hurts her. Now, Creon has to give her a death sentence. Creon begs for forgiveness from Antigone when she is still alive. Antigone insists that she is not there to understand situations. Rather, the ultimate thing is to die.

Creon tries to make the last appeal to Antigone telling her to understand situations. He adds that when she was still young, she noticed that her brothers were never a source of joy to her parents. Polynices was known to be cruel. Since Oedipus did not want to imprison him, he was allowed to join the army. There was a time that Polynices wanted to kill Oedipus life. Eteocles also wanted overthrow Oedipus. The boys were generally rebellious. By the time Creon received their dead bodies, the body parts were dismantled. The one that looked better was brought in.

Feeling tired, Antigone goes to her room. Meanwhile, Creon encourages her to search for Haemon and arrange a quick marriage. There is no time to waste in pursuance of happiness. Antigone is someone that loathes man’s hope. Ismene quickly moves in, asking Antigone to forgive her. Antigone refuses as her apology her as they do not disserve to die together. Ismene swears to bury Polynices all by herself. Antigone tells Creon to give a directive for Ismene to be arrested as she believes Ismene’s disease is increasing. Creon refuses to spur protest from the protests. Haemon gets in and tries to beg his father to restrain the guards. The reply from Creon people already know the truth, and there is nothing that can be done

In the cell, Antigone looks at the first guard. This is likely to be the last human face she sees. At the time, this Guard complains about poor pay, low rations, and other professional issues. Antigone rudely interrupts the guard reminding him that her death is coming soon. She inquires about her mode of execution. Being immured is her fate. The Guard wants to make anything Antigone request. She request is to send someone a letter. Antigone offers her ring as payment. Fearing to lose his job, the Guard asks to write as she dictates. Antigone does not like the idea but accepts. The words in the letter read like “Forgive me, my darling. You would all have been so happy except for Antigone.” Soon after, Antigone is led out.

Chorus announces it is now time for Creon. A Messenger comes with the new that Antigone has already been immured. The crowd hears Haemon internal moans. It is discovered that Antigone hung herself. Haemon also stabbed himself after that lying by Antigone’s side covered in blood. When Eurydice hears Haemon is dead, she cuts her throat and dies. Creon is now all alone. The Chorus acknowledges that were it not for Antigone everything could have been peaceful. However, people have now died. Guards are the only people remaining. They are not bothered by the magnitude of the tragedy that has happened. That is how the piece by Sophocles ends.