The three major themes are love, loyalty, and irony; the most major themebeing irony.
Antigone’s love for her brother, Polyneices, was so strong, she died forhim. Haemon’s love for Antigone was so strong, he died with her death.
Eurydice’s love for her son, Haemon, was so strong, she died with his death.
Creon’s guilt and love for his wife and son was so strong, he felt he should notgo on living after their death. “. . . I speak for you, for me, and for the spirits ofthe dead. . . The dead? Precisely–you’ll never marry her alive. . .Well then,dead–one death beckoning to another. . . ” This is part of a conversationbetween Creon and Haemon while Haemon is standing up for Antigone. Love isconstantly being shown through the book. Another quote from the book is saidby the Strophe I: “. . . Love, unquelled in battle, Love making nonsense ofwealth, Pillowed all night on the cheek of a girl, You roam seas, pervade thewilds, And in a Shepherd’s hut you lie. Shadowing immotal gods, You dogephemeral man–Madness your possession. . . “Another theme is loyalty, which is mostly the same as the theme of love.
By loving someone, therefore you are also loyal to them. It follows the samecronilogical order as the theme of love: Polyneices’ death brings out Antigone’sloyalty, which brings upon her death, which then brings out Haemon’s loyalty toAntigone, which brings upon his death, which shows Eurydice’s loyalty to herson, which brings about her death, then finally the guilt and grief of Creon.
Also, Antigone had to choose which family member to stay loyal to: Creon, heruncle, or Polyneices, her brother.
The major theme of the story is irony. Irony is when the meaning of thespeakers words are opposite of his actions, which is exactly what is portrayed inthis story. To further explain the theme, I will take quotes from the book, andexplain them as I go along. The first quote is from Creon. “. . . You wait andsee! The toughest will is the first to break: like the hard untempered steel whichsnaps and shivers at a touch when hot from off the forge. . . She and her sisterwill not now escape the utmost penalty. . .” There he is contradicting himself bysaying people should bend and be lenient, but he won’t even give his niece herlife. Her sister and future husband, which is Creon’s son, all try to convince himto let her go, but he won’t bend. The second quote is from Haemon. “. . . But awise man is flexible, has much to learn without loss of dignity. See the tree infloodtime, how they bend along the torrent’s course, and how their twigs andbranches so not snap, but stubborn trees are torn up roots and all. In sailing too,when fresh weather blows, a skipper who will not slaken sail, turns turtle,finishes his voyage beam-ends up. . .” His words are trying to tell his father thathe must bend the rules, and let Antigone go free, and hinting at someconsequenses.