Antigone

Let me tell you of a tale.

Once, in the city of Thebes, raged a war. As many do, this war opposed brothers. However, most brothers are unwilling to spill the blood of their kin. No comradery inhabited the thoughts of Oedipus’ sons when they clashed weapons and their murderous will to overthrow each other caused their demise. The fratricide was unholy, and as Eteocles received the rites for his safe journey to the Kingdom of Hades on a pyre in the walls of Thebes, Polynices laid in unsightly death at the entrance of the city, forsaken by all.

The power for which they strived was then entrusted to Creon, that deemed Polynices’ deeds as cowardice and forbid the citizens to bury his nephew’s corpse.

In voiceless indignation, Polynices’ sister Antigone, confided in Ismene of her plan to defy Creon and his decree. Antigone, fair child of Oedipus’ incestuous love, in disregard of her uncle’s words, went and embraced Polynices, as the carrion birds croaked their discontentment, and their indignation only grew when the child plunged her unmarred arms in the soiled earth.

You could wonder for long, attempting to discover the source of her despair. None other than Oedipus’ last born had dared ventured farther than Thebes’ doors. In spite of the decree, she dug, with the haste of a cornered prey, although it was not the fear of being caught that animated her. Had the corpse not been Polynices remains, would she have hurried all the same?

As she laid her brother’s head on the ground, those were not tears of farewell that soaked her juvenile face.

When she was brought before Creon, the old King’s eyes held no animosity towards his niece. His decree had been violated by his own blood yet, as he spoke, he held no grudge. Albeit in utter defiance of his authority, Antigone stood firm, blood dripping from her frail arms, as he uttered words she no longer reckoned as threats. Sentenced to death, as should be any trespasser of the human law established by her uncle, she was led to the outskirts of the city, unwielding all the while.

As the stones piled up, Antigone hung high over the wall, a collar of hemp tightly around her neck, her head raised in insurrection.

Creon’s son, Haemon, as he learned of Antigone’s fate, hung himself next to his betrothed’s cadaver. This time, no one rose against Creon’s order and the lone silhouettes of the insurgents remained undisturbed in the shade of their mausoleum’s crumbling walls.