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MonkeyNotes-Antigone by Jean Anouilh
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Creon tries to explain his decision to side with Eteocles, the brother who has been honored as a hero. In the civil war between the two brothers, he simply had to take one side. "Both sides couldn't be wrong; that would be too much," Creon ironically remarks. It is obvious that there is no clear moral basis for Creon's edict; neither brother deserves to be honored.

Creon tells Antigone to forget her brother and marry Haemon. He then gives a grand romantic speech on human happiness, telling Antigone about the joys of youth that she will miss. He begs her, "Hold onto life, for it flows like water, it is a tool you grip in your hand. . .Life is nothing more than the happiness that you get out of it". Antigone listens, but is not convinced. She does not want to sell her soul for the king's idea of happiness. She has a completely different concept of what brings joy; it involves having freedom of thought and action. She mocks Creon and says, "I spit on your happiness'! I spit on your idea of life that must go on, come what may". Antigone claims that she is the daughter of Oedipus, who she believes was uncompromising in the matter of truth and justice. Although her father was tainted, he became beautiful, by making amends for his sins by putting out his eyes and becoming a wandering beggar. She knows that Creon is incapable of such noble action and accuses him of being driven by pettiness.


Ismene comes rushing in, and Antigone tells her to stay out of the debate. Ismene threatens Creon that she will die, too. Antigone tells her to stop blubbering, for Ismene has already chosen life and will not die. To the very end, Antigone is in perfect control of the situation and in command of herself. She calmly accepts her tragic end. When Antigone again tells Creon to go forward with his "duty", he calls the guards to take her away.

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