Themes Essay, Research Paper
The three major themes are love, loyalty, and irony; the most major theme
Antigone’s love for her brother, Polyneices, was so strong, she died for
him. Haemon’s love for Antigone was so strong, he died with her death.
Eurydice’s love for her son, Haemon, was so strong, she died with his death.
Creon’s guilt and love for his wife and son was so strong, he felt he should not
go on living after their death. “. . . I speak for you, for me, and for the spirits of
the dead. . . The dead? Precisely–you’ll never marry her alive. . .Well then,
dead–one death beckoning to another. . . ” This is part of a conversation
between Creon and Haemon while Haemon is standing up for Antigone. Love is
constantly being shown through the book. Another quote from the book is said
by the Strophe I: “. . . Love, unquelled in battle, Love making nonsense of
wealth, Pillowed all night on the cheek of a girl, You roam seas, pervade the
wilds, And in a Shepherd’s hut you lie. Shadowing immotal gods, You dog
ephemeral man–Madness your possession. . . ”
Another theme is loyalty, which is mostly the same as the theme of love.
By loving someone, therefore you are also loyal to them. It follows the same
cronilogical order as the theme of love: Polyneices’ death brings out Antigone’s
loyalty, which brings upon her death, which then brings out Haemon’s loyalty to
Antigone, which brings upon his death, which shows Eurydice’s loyalty to her
son, which brings about her death, then finally the guilt and grief of Creon.
Also, Antigone had to choose which family member to stay loyal to: Creon, her
uncle, or Polyneices, her brother.
The major theme of the story is irony. Irony is when the meaning of the
speakers words are opposite of his actions, which is exactly what is portrayed in
this story. To further explain the theme, I will take quotes from the book, and
explain them as I go along. The first quote is from Creon. “. . . You wait and
see! The toughest will is the first to break: like the hard untempered steel which
snaps and shivers at a touch when hot from off the forge. . . She and her sister
will not now escape the utmost penalty. . .” There he is contradicting himself by
saying people should bend and be lenient, but he won’t even give his niece her
life. Her sister and future husband, which is Creon’s son, all try to convince him
to let her go, but he won’t bend. The second quote is from Haemon. “. . . But a
wise man is flexible, has much to learn without loss of dignity. See the tree in
floodtime, how they bend along the torrent’s course, and how their twigs and
branches so not snap, but stubborn trees are torn up roots and all. In sailing too,
when fresh weather blows, a skipper who will not slaken sail, turns turtle,
finishes his voyage beam-ends up. . .” His words are trying to tell his father that
he must bend the rules, and let Antigone go free, and hinting at some
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