Antigone Summary Part 4
Scene 5 Summary
Jonas enters with Antigone. She tries to make small talk with him, talking about his family and his ranks and career in the guard. The guard lets on that Antigone will likely be buried alive in the cave of Hades. Antigone bribes him with a ring to take down a letter for her. It is a letter to Haemon, apologizing for leaving him like she did, and confessing that she has now lost sight of what it is she was fighting dying for. Now at the precipice of death does she see Creon’s point, how easy it would have been to live and try to be happy. But she decides she doesn’t want to tell so much. In the end, the letter reads, “I’m sorry, my darling. It would have been nice and peaceful for you all without me. I love you” (133). Suddenly, the guards enter and Jonas stops writing. They exit, to Antigone’s execution.
Scene 6 Summary
The Chorus enters, and suddenly the Messenger runs onstage. He tells the story of how, as they were putting the last of the stones in place in front of the cave, they heard voices inside. Creon ordered them to dig them out again, and there he saw Haemon cradling Antigone in his arms, having hung herself. Creon went to try and console Haemon and take him out of the cave, but Haemon simply stood, spat in Creon’s face, and killed himself with his sword while looking Creon dead in the eye. Creon enters, a defeated man. He thinks it is over, but the messenger has more to tell. When Eurydice heard the news, she cut her own throat and is now dead. Creon is now completely alone. He calmly, if not happily, accepts this as the mechanics of fate and the burden for responsible adults to bear. “It’s best never to grow up” (136) he laments.
The Chorus comes forward, and tells how the tragedy is complete. Things in Thebes are finally at peace, as if none of the troubled, worrisome characters had never existed to begin with. Those who remembered them are beginning to forget, and it all becomes immaterial. The guards, who had no interest in the story all along, go back to their games and their duties.