Essay: Antigone’s Death Penalty
In ancient Greece, it was a common practice to stone a person to death for a crime he or she might have committed. Yet the severity of the crime committed did not always merit the level of brutality of the punishment. Antigone, the heroine of the play, unfortunately suffered an intense penalty for a crime of little offence. She performed a proper burial service for her dead brother Polyneices, regardless of King Creon’s order not to bury the traitor. Despite the threat of getting stoned to death, Antigone proceeded to follow the divine law and refused to comply with the social law. In Antigone, Sophocles condemns the punishment of minor crimes by death penalty in a democratic state of Thebes through the explanation of the crime’s irreversibility.
Antigone’s death penalty remains a controversial incident that requires to be evaluated much in detail due to the circumstances surrounding her death penalty. Considering the fact the leader was a dictator, while Antigone is a religious sister to Polyneices, it is imperative to consider the justification for their actions that made Antigone commit suicide.
Antigone is caught and is sentenced by Creon to be buried alive in a tomb, “I will bury her alive in a chamber of rock” (Sophocles 723). After the girl’s burial an old Theban seer, Teiresias, appears in front Creon and proclaims him to have acted wrongly against the gods for which he will be inflicted by death in his own house. Creon tries to save Antigone, but it is too late for she hangs herself. Antigone’s death leads to the death of his wife and his son Haemon.