Eurydice in Antigone | Character Analysis

Eurydice in Antigone | Character Analysis

Eurydice Antigone

Eurydice, the wife of Creon, appeared towards the close of the tragedy. More a mother than a queen, she never shared the glory of the throne. She chose to remain behind the veil. And as she appeared in the last scene, she was the symbol of tragedy whose anguish was too deep for tears. Kitto poses a pertinent question:

“Why dose Sophocles keep her in reserve like this? The effect of his contrivance is plain enough: She is a second Haemon, one whom Creon’s inhumanity has tortured to point beyond what humanity can endure, and her death is the climax of Creon’s own ruin.”

Eurydice was given the shortest speech, and yet that is highly revealing. She was on her way to the temple of Pallas Athene to saw her prayers. We need not be too imaginative to realize that she wanted to pray as much for her son as her husband. It was then that she overheard the talk of the Messenger that the worst had happened. She asked the Messenger to tell her the whole story, since, as she said:

“I am not unacquainted with grief, and I can bear it.”

Haemon and Eurydice were the unfortunate victims of the conflict-the clash of wills between Creon and Antigone. Her son Megareus was already killed. And Haemon followed him. She had nothing else to look forward to. She stood petrified for a while, and then rushed into the place without a word of lamentation. She committed suicide. The messenger said:

“There, of the altar, self stabbed with a keen knife, she suffered her darkening eyes to close, when she had wailed for the noble fate of Megareus who died before, and then for his fate who lies there, and when, with her last breath, she had invoked evil fortunes upon thee, the slayer of thy sons.”

The death of Haemon and Eurydice has a dramatic importance. It was for the punishment of Creon. Condelia’s death we know, is Lear’s punishment. Creon was thoroughly humanized. He exclaimed in deep agony:

“Woe! Woe! I thrill with dread. Is there none to strike me to the heart with two edged sword?-O miserable that I am, and steeped in miserable anguish!”

Leave a Comment