Antigone Scene 3 (Lines 631-883): Summary & Analysis

Antigone Scene 3 (Lines 631-883): Summary & Analysis
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  • 0:03 Creon's Opinion of Antigone
  • 1:04 Haimon's Reasons With Creon
  • 1:42 Creon's Fury
  • 2:58 Creon's Attitudes About Women
  • 3:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Abigail Walker

Abigail has taught writing and literature at various universities. She has an M.A. In literature from American University and an M.F.A. in English from The University of Iowa.

The third scene of Sophocles' 'Antigone' centers on Creon and his son Haimon. Although his father plans to have his son's fiance Antigone killed, Haimon hopes to discuss the situation with Creon. During their conversation, Creon reveals his attitudes not only about Antigone but also about women in general and his own power as king.

Creon's Opinion of Antigone

When Haimon appears, the leader of the Chorus speculates that sorrow over Antigone's fate has brought the prince to see Creon. Although Creon imagines his son is now filled with hatred for him, Haimon explains that he still respects and deeply cares for Creon. Trying to further placate Creon, Haimon adds that his wise father matters more to him than his planned marriage to Antigone.

Delighted by his son's loyalty, Creon tells him that it is correct for a son always to submit to his father's wishes. He adds that Haimon is right not to let love weaken him. According to Creon, Antigone would soon become 'a hellcat in bed and elsewhere' - so it would be far better to let her seek a 'husband in Hell!'

A good man, the king tells his son, is strong and does not bend to a woman's will. Creon insists that he will not let Antigone find him weak. He views her as an anarchist, and he believes anarchy is the greatest crime. He will not be weakened by any anarchist - especially not by one who is a woman.

Haimon's Attempt to Reason with Creon

After once again assuring his father of his devotion, Haimon dares to tell his father that many of Creon's subjects are unhappy. Perhaps, Haimon suggests, Creon should consider their opinions. Not only are many deeply afraid of Creon, but they also are gossiping - saying that no woman has ever been punished for showing respect to the dead. In fact, many of Creon's subjects believe that Antigone should be celebrated for trying to bury her brother. Trying to soften his comments by again praising his father, Haimon suggests that doing something irreversible would be unreasonable. To emphasize his point, Haimon adds, 'It is not reason never to yield to reason!'

Creon's Fury

Although the leader of the Chorus urges Creon to listen to his son, Creon angrily retorts that he will not heed the advice of someone so young and that he will not spare the life of an anarchist. Haimon responds that his age does not matter because he is correct in his reasoning. When his father angrily protests that Haimon has 'sold out to a woman,' Haimon tells his father that even a king cannot disobey the laws of the gods.

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