What are some words that would describe Haemon from "Antigone"?

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rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One can view Haemon, Creon's son and Antigone's fiance, in different ways. Indeed, he shows several contradictory traits in the play. At first when he appears, he seems submissive and conciliatory. He seems ready to back his father's decision simply because Creon is king. But as he continues talking, we perceive that he is being either diplomatic or duplicitous with his father. He begins trying to convince Creon to retract Antigone's sentence. He seems level-headed and deferential at first as he tries to be persuasive without angering his father. He points out several arguments that seem well-reasoned, including that the people will be pleased if Creon forgives Antigone and that flexibility is a sign of wisdom. In these speeches he seems wise beyond his years, wiser than his father. When his words don't have the desired effect on Creon, he begins to get snarky with him. This could be seen either as clever or disrespectful as he uses puns and irony to try to make his father see reason. As the conversation continues and Creon's anger rises, Haemon also becomes angry and bold. He grows frank at last, declaring that he agrees with Antigone that Creon is acting against the gods. Finally he shows that he is principled (or stubborn) as he refuses to back down in the confrontation with Creon. Either way, he is being loyal and loving toward his fiancee as he declares his intention to die with her.

Later, when Creon meets Haemon at the tomb, Haemon is grief-stricken as he hugs Antigone's dead body. When he sees his father, he is fierce and vengeful. He charges at him to kill him, and when he misses, he rashly kills himself.  

Haemon shows a wide variety of emotions and character traits within the play.

mstokes | Student

Haemon is Antigone's young fiancé and son to Creon. He appears only twice in the play. On  the first occassion, he is rejected by Antigone; in the second, he begs his father for Antigone's life. Haemon’s purpose in the play is to highlight the fact that Antigone has a life and a future outside her need to bury her brother. He also supports Antigone’s cause. "...I have heard them muttering and whispering in the dark about this girl. They say no woman has ever, so unreasonably, died so shameful a death for a generous act..."Haemon is loyal to  Creon, “you make things clear for me and I obey you” but disagrees with his father, and begs for Antigone’s life when he feels that his father is morally wrong. When Creon refuses his request he destroys any feelings of admiration and respect that Haemon has for him. He chooses to die rather than live without Antigone.

Words, therefore, that could be used to describe him are loyal, faithful, morally courageous and loving.