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To Dishonour Another Is To Doom Yourself

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To Dishonour Another Is To Doom Yourself Messenger ...I followed your husband to the plain's far edge, Where Polyneices' corpse was lying still Unpitied. The dogs had torn him all apart. We prayed the goddess of all journeyings, and Pluto, that they turn their wrath to kindness, We gave the final purifying bath, Then burned the poor remains on new-cut boughs, And heaped a high mound of his native earth. Then turned we to the maiden's rocky bed, Death's hollow marriage-chamber. But, still far off, one of us heard a voice In keen lament by that unblest abode. He ran and told the master. As Creon came He heard confusion crying. He groaned and spoke: "Am I a prophet now, and do I tread the saddest of all roads I ever trod? My son's voice crying! Servants, run up close, Stand by the tomb and look, push through the crevice Where we built the pile of rock, right to the entry. Find out if that is Haemon's voice I hear Or if the gods are tricking me indeed." We obeyed the order of our mournful master. In the far corner of the tomb we saw Her, hanging by the neck, caught in a noose Of her own linen veiling. Haemon embraced her as she hung, and mourned His bride's destruction, dead and gone below, His father's actions, the unfated marriage. ...read more.


Thus, it is the greatest punishment that could be handed to him. Creon has dishonoured Polyneices, and because of this, he must now live with the weight of his family's death on his shoulders. According to the Greeks, this is fate: the justice from the gods. Powerful imagery is used to increase the audience's sympathy for Antigone and Haemon, and their distaste for Creon. Since the Greeks did not employ the use of intricate props, words had to suffice. Sophocles uses "rocky bed" to describe Antigone's grave, where later, the maiden is found "...hanging by the neck, caught in a noose/Of her own linen veiling." (l.1221-1222). These words are filled with strong connotations of cold, emptiness and despair. These are not the emotions one wishes to associate with the death of a young heroic girl. These shocking images would have outraged the audience. This brave woman has risked her life to honor her brother, an honorable gesture according to the Greeks, only to be buried alive by Creon. Live burial was reserved for criminals, murderers, and traitors. In the eyes of the Greek crowd, this would have been an extremely harsh and undeserved punishment for a girl who believed she was carrying out the wishes of her gods. Now, not only did Creon dishonour Polyneices, but he has also disgraced an innocent girl, the bride of his beloved son. ...read more.


Creon has disobeyed the will of the Olympians and thus, every crushing blow that Creon receives becomes part of an expected pattern of events. Although one may expect Creon himself to foresee Haemon's suicide, I do not believe that Creon was aware of what was in store for him. There is a slight doubt about this when Creon is about to witness his son's passing, and he proclaims: "Am I a prophet now, and do I tread/the saddest of all roads I ever trod?" (l.1212-1213). However, this doubt is quickly extinguished when Creon questions Haemon: "What sort of suffering is killing you?" (l. 1228) which is ironic considering that Creon is the cause of Haemon's suffering, and ultimately, his death. It is clear that Creon did not anticipate such a shocking response from his son, judging from Creon's later reaction to this tragedy. However, although Creon is unaware of his fate, his unintentional comments accurately predict future events. This, combined with the context of this passage makes the ending predictable to the spectators. Through religious connotations, vivid imagery, and foreshadowing, Sophocles reinforces the audience's belief in fate and the gods of Olympus. Antigone may serve as a lesson to those who may attempt to follow in Creon's footsteps: dishonour one, and you will ruin yourself. Containing vital morals to be learned, Antigone sits on a pedestal among the great heritage of the ancient Greek theatre and drama. To Dishonor Another Is To Doom Yourself Juliya Iosfin Mar. 20, 2002 Block H ...read more.

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