Suffering in Antigone
Uploaded by somethingsotrue on Feb 07, 2006
Nothing of magnitude comes into the life of mortals without suffering and disaster.” This deeply pessimistic statement by Charles Segal sums up the theme of tragedy in “Antigone”. This play is truly the example that “nothing comes into the life of mortals without suffering and disaster”; there are many significant events occurring, none of which stem from prosperity or success. All of the characters are affected by these tragic events, because agony, adversity, and distress are conditions of humanity. It is evident that the characters of “Antigone” have accepted the facts in the quote as made by Charles Segal.
Many important events took place in the play: the burial and law to illegalize burial of two brothers, the death of Antigone, implied death of Ismene and Haemon, and the death of Eurydice. These tragic events also led to the change of perspective on behalf of Creon. Obviously, his sizable change and realizations could not have been attained without all of this disaster. At the end, it can be assumed that Creon will change his hurtful ways, as he says, “That have unwittingly killed my son, my wife. I know not where I should turn, where look for help. My hands have done amiss, my head is bowed with fate too heavy for me” (162). Creon has realized the error of his ways, affected only by the extreme tragedy that he had caused within his family. If there had not been the suffering and disaster, Creon never would have changed.
The main character, Antigone seems to cause much of the action and reaction of this play. She decides to bury her brother Polynices because she has accepted her fate. She realizes that this burial is very important to her, and that if she wishes to bury him and also effect change in others, she must suffer and ultimately die for her cause. As Creon states that he wishes to kill her, Antigone states, “Why then delay? There is nothing more that you can say that I should wish to hear, as nothing I say can weigh you. I have given my brother burial. What greater could I wish?”(139). Here, she have come to terms with the fact the Creon will not change his mind and that she must die in order to uphold the honor of her beliefs. Her great decision to do as she believes is right not only affected her future...