Throughout history the concept of love has been explored by philosophers, artists, musicians and writers. Among the literary love stories, many of them end up meeting a tragic ending. Yet, they show us love is stronger than anything in the world. When asked, many people would refer to Romeo and Juliet as an example of a tragic love story. The couple has become a synonym for love itself. Although, Antigone, is a story just as tragic that happened hundreds of years before their time. It is a play written by Sophocles, a fifth century Greek dramatist.
Sophocles’ writings are known for carrying strong literary themes. A major one appearing several times throughout the play is love as it has a vital role in the plot and characters. There are different types of love depicted in the play. Firstly, family love, which is specifically revealed as loyalty. Antigone, had true love for her family, making her a Storage, a Greek term for “the love of family.” She decided to go against the law, her uncle, Creon and society in order to give her brother, Polyneices a proper burial even if it means risking losing her own life.
“And if I have to die for this pure crime, / I am content, for I shall rest beside him; / His love will answer mine” (lines 72-74).
Along with showing the moral beliefs of Antigone, this acts displays the love she has for her brother. Besides, Ismene, the sister of Antigone, shows her love and trust for Antigone as she agrees to not inform anyone the burial plan.
On the other hand, there is a deep romantic love portrayed between Haemon for Antigone. Haemon chose his love for Antigone over his father. As Antigone commits suicide at the end of the play, Haemon could not stand living without his beloved. Hence, he took his own life as he has nothing to live for anymore, wishing he could be with Antigone instead. When the news of Haemon’s death reaches his mother, and she too kills herself.
Given these points, the characters in the play, Antigone show true love affection for their family and lovers and many will die for the people they love. Although, in this case love does not lead to happiness for the characters, but rather destruction.
Author: Israa Qeroof