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What happens to all the characters in Antigone?  

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What happens to all the characters in Antigone?

 

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slchanmo1885's profile pic

Posted (Answer #1)

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This play isn't called a tragedy for nothing. At the end of the play, Antigone commits suicide, hanging herself. Haemon, upon finding out about Antigone's death, attempts to stab his father, and unable to do so, stabs himself, thereby committing suicide. When Creon's wife Eurydice finds out about their deaths, she also commits suicide, leaving Creon alone, ranting and raving.

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Antigone commits suicide soon after she is put in a cave to die. Haemon, distressed over her death, also commits suicide in front of his father. Eurycide, Creon's wife, also commits suicide after she hears about the death of her son and dies bringing down curses her husband. Creon goes into exile after learning he has lost everything he has loved. Ismene's fate is not directly stated but it can be assumed that she continued living after her sister's death, the only surviving child of Oedipus. Teiresias also continues to live. The chorus and choral leader, who have been observers of the play, are assumed to have survived to comment another day.

e-martin's profile pic

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Like Shakespeare's Hamlet, a tragedy of a later age that nonetheless resonates with the themes and conflicts of its Greek antecedent, we can summarize the conclusion of Antigone with the familiar pithy line - "everyone dies at the end." 

Of course, this is not entirely true. Creon lives, but, as the other posts here have made clear, the other major figures die by suicide. 

Perhaps the irony of the play's conclusion is found in the fact that the one figure that refused to obey the dictates of the gods is the only person left alive.

"[Creon] has a regard for the external forms of religion but no understanding of its essential meaning" (eNotes).

His life becomes one of suffering, as Creon loses his wife, his son and his rule in Thebes - all because he puts his self-interest above the gods interests.

Creon's transgression, ultimately, can be seen as the animating force behind Antigone's death. If she had been allowed to do her god-mandated duty and bury her brother, tragedy may have been avoided. 

Antigone proclaims her innocence in this regard, saying, "You will remember what things I suffer, and at what men's hands, because I would not transgress the laws of heaven." The play ends with a statement from the chorus pointing blame directly at Creon, the sole survivor of the tragic events:

"There is no happiness where there is no wisdom; 

No wisdom but in submission to the gods."

With Antigone, Haemon and Eurydice all dead by suicide, Creon is left alive to lament his folly and suffer his hard-earned wisdom. 

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