After the victory over the Argosians, the Thebans held a lavish funeral Eteoklu and all the fallen soldiers, and Polyline solved Creon and the Thebans deprive of burial as having led a foreign army against Thebes. His corpse lay near the city walls in a field, left to be torn to pieces by predatory animals and birds. The soul of Polynices was doomed to eternal wandering, she could not find peace in the realm of the souls of the dead.
The noble, self-sacrificing daughter of Oedipus suffered, Antigone, seeing the dishonor to which her brother was doomed. In spite of everything, she decided to bury the body of Polynices herself. The death that Creon threatened to anyone who dared to bury Polynices, having performed all the funeral rites, did not frighten her. Antigone called her sister to go with her Ismenu , but the timid sister did not dare to help her sister, fearing the wrath of Creon. She even tried to persuade Antigone not to go against the will of the king of Thebes, she reminded her of the fate that befell their mother and brothers. Does Antigone really want to ruin herself and her? Antigone did not listen to Ismena: she is ready to fulfill her duty to her brother alone, she is ready to endure everything without a murmur, so long as Polynices does not remain unburied. And Antigone fulfilled her decision.
Soon Creon found out that his command had been violated. One of the guards told him that someone had secretly come to the corpse of Polynices and, having covered it with earth from above, performed a funeral rite. Creon became terribly angry, he threatened the guard with terrible tortures if he and his comrades did not find the one who performed the funeral rite over the corpse of Polynices; he swore by himself Zeus to fulfill his threat.
The guard went to where the corpse of Polynices lay. The guards threw the earth off the corpse and sat down not far away on a hill so that the stench from the decomposing corpse would not reach her. Suddenly at noon a storm arose, a whirlwind whirled clouds of dust all over the field; when the storm passed, the guard saw a girl bending over the corpse, who was mourning for Polynices, and her mournful voice sounded like the mournful cry of a bird who saw that someone's evil hand had stolen her chicks. The girl was already making libations in honor of the underground gods, when the guards grabbed her and led her to Creon. This girl was Antigone.
With angry words, Creon met Antigone and demanded that she confess to the crime. Antigone did not even think of denying her guilt. She violated the command of Creon, but she fulfilled the law and the will of the gods. Antigone fulfilled her duty to her brother by burying his corpse. Death does not frighten her, she longs for death, since her life is full of only sorrow. In a terrible rage, Creon threatens to execute not only Antigone, but also Ismena, who, as he is sure, was Antigone's assistant.Hearing that Creon also wanted to put Ismena to death, Antigone shuddered with horror. Would she really have to be the culprit of her sister's death? The servants followed Ismena. Here she appeared on the threshold of the palace. Tears of grief for her sister are rolling from Ismena's eyes.
To Creon's question, the always timid Ismena, having learned that her sister was in danger of death, found the courage to share her fate with Antigone. She firmly answers Creon that she also took part in the funeral rites over the corpse of Polynices.Antigone does not want the innocent Ismena to suffer with her. Ismena pleads in vain:
- 0, sister, do not reject me, do not say that I am not worthy to die with you! Does life make sense to me without you? Don't insult me!
But Antigone answers her sister:
- No, you don't have to die with me! You should not call your own the act that you did not commit! My death alone will be enough! You chose life, and I chose death!
Ismena begs Creon to spare Antigone, she begs him to think that he is condemning his son's fiancee to death. But Creon is not moved by Ismena's pleas. He replies that he will not allow his son Gemon to marry a criminal. No, Antigone must die, death will separate her from Hemon. Creon orders his servants to take Antigone and Ismena to the palace and guard them there so that they do not try to escape. The servants took the daughters of Oedipus away. Citizens stood silently. They sympathized with Antigone, they realized that she had accomplished a feat. Antigone was right when she told Creon that she would not have blamed her people for the burial of Polynices if fear of the power-hungry Creon had not bound his lips.
The son of Creon, the young Gemon, having learned what fate threatens his bride, comes to his father and asks him to pardon Antigone. Gemon knows that the whole nation pities the innocent Antigone, that he grumbles at the fact that death threatens her for a pious feat. Gemon asks his father not to persist and admit his mistake.
- Everyone in Thebes considers Antigone innocent! - Gemon boldly says to Creon. - Father, I see that you are prone to untruth! You have violated the very law of the gods!
Creon grows more and more angry; he thinks that only love for Antigone makes Hemon so protect her. In anger he shouts at his son:
- Oh, you think like a despicable slave of women!
- No, - says Gemon, - but you will never see me sympathize with an evil cause. I stood up for you!
But Creon no longer hears the words of Hemon, he says that he has firmly decided to execute Antigone. Hearing this decision of his father, Gemon says:
- If she dies, it will entail the death of another.
But Creon no longer knows the limit of his anger. He tells the soldiers to bring Antigone and kill her here, in front of Gemon.
- No, she will not die before my eyes! Gemon exclaims. - You will never see me again, Father! You can go wild alone among your flattering friends!
With these words, Gemon left. In vain the citizens warned Creon that only the anger in which Hemon left him promises trouble - Creon is adamant.
Here they are already leading Antigone to a terrible execution. Creon decided to bury her alive in the tomb of the Labdakids. Antigone goes on her last journey, goes to the shores of Acheron. She will be immured alive in a tomb; she will not be among people, but among the dead, she will not belong to either life or death. Her friends do not accompany her; without mourning, they take her to her death. She will never see the clear light again.
Antigone has just been taken away, when, led by a boy, a blind soothsayer comes to Creon Tiresias. Ominous signs were given to him by the gods during the sacrifices. The gods are angry that the corpse of the murdered man is not buried, that birds and dogs carry pieces of the decomposing corpse everywhere. Creon, in his insane stubbornness, does not even listen to Tiresias, who advises him to bury the corpse of Polynices. He says that even if the eagle of Zeus himself brings a piece of the body to the very throne of the thunderer, then the corpse of Polynices will remain unburied. Creon accuses Tiresias of being bribed, that he gives him advice out of greed. The enraged Tiresias menacingly tells Creon that only he is to blame for everything: he insulted the gods by imprisoning Antigone alive in a tomb, dishonored the corpse of Polynices, violated the laws of the gods. The gods will punish him for this. The whole house of Creon will be plunged into sadness, punishment will befall the one who is dearer to Creon than all. Erinia, who knows no mercy, will take revenge on Creon. Nothing will save him from a terrible revenge.
Creon was frightened by the words of the prophetic Tiresias. He revoked his order not to bury the corpse of Polynices. Creon himself hurries to the field and performs funeral rites and prays Aida and Hecate is not angry with him and Thebes. Having completed the burial, Creon goes with his retinue to the tomb of the Labdakids to bring Antigone out of there. It's too late! Having twisted a noose out of her clothes, Antigone hanged herself. Creon finds Hemon crying over the corpse of the bride in the tomb. In vain Creon begs his son to come out of the tomb. Gemon pierces his chest with a sword in front of his father; dead, he falls on the corpse of the bride. Creon is in despair - he has lost his last son. He cries bitterly over his corpse.Meanwhile, a messenger brought the news of the death of Hemon to Creon's wife, Eurydice. Eurydice listened to him in silence and went to the inner chambers of the palace. There she killed herself, piercing, like Gemon, her chest with a sword. As soon as Eurydice committed suicide, Creon comes to the palace. He has his son's corpse in his arms. Here, at the palace, a new terrible grief awaits him - he learns about the death of his wife. The proud, power-hungry spirit of Creon is broken. In despair, he calls for death, so that at least she would stop his suffering. Creon lost everyone he loved.