Themes The three major themes are love, loyalty, and irony; the most major theme being irony. 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 consequenses.