A/N: This is just an English Project I did that was on the topic of rewriting the play Antigone from the Guard who turned Antigone in for her crimes against Creon. It wasn't the best but it got me an A. :)
Antigone: It's a Guard's Life
I was bored while idly poking at the dead Polyneices' body with my sword; when I caught wind of a voice calling out to me. It was Lady Antigone motioning for me to speak with her. She told me of my General who had asked for me to speak of a promotion. So I went on my way to see about this promotion. When I got to the General's office, he started yelling at me for leaving my post. I suppose there was no promotion for me after all; so I left and went back to my post.
Polyneices' body was gone, and I had my suspicions about who had done it. Now what I should have done was report my suspicions right away, but finding out who did it first would save me from being held as lazy and a liar. But first I had to find the body. Well, I found the body near a tree under some dirt. The other guards were nearby looking around for the corpse too. When we came to form a circle around the dead Polyneices, we came to an agreement. Mind you; it was after a LOT of fighting. We decided warning Creon would be the best until we could decide how to handle the situation. So I was sent to report to Creon after drawing straws. And when I returned, we started planning what to do about Polyneices.
We decided to take the dirt off of the corpse first; leaving behind an unfinished burial. What was made final was the agreement to wait for whoever had tried to bury Polyneices to return to finish what he had started. Since the whole lot of us were kind of happy someone had tried to bury Polyneices, letting the culprit finish the job seemed suitable, so none of us would have a foolish reason to die. That whole time, I was thinking: What kind of man would be foolish enough to die to bury someone who was already dead? We decided to wait and leave the body right where we had found it. Until the man behind it came back. The still quiet made for some peaceful rest, so a few of us at a time took a break while others kept an eye open. I guess I dozed off for quite some time.
That's when I heard a faint cry as if someone was mourning while waking from my sleep. No one else seemed to be awake, so I suppose I was lucky to have heard the crying, and cursing it seemed too. So I followed that sound until I came upon Lady Antigone holding a large bronze jug in the air about to dump the liquid on the corpse of Polyneices. I swiftly ran towards her and grabbed her arms. I could tell she wasn't afraid of me or what I had to do; she knew the consequences of her actions. My suspicions were satisfied, and I had a story of which would save me from suffering as she would have to. I must say that I was quite impressed that it was a woman who defied Creon, irony showing to us guards who assumed it was a man that whole time. Either way, I took Antigone to pay a visit to Creon, just as I said I would do when the culprit arose.
After going to see Creon, he didn't quite let me off the hook. I wasn't going to be killed or anything. But since he believed my story of a 'god sent dust storm' that covered the sound of Lady Antigone going to finish giving Polyneices' burial rites, I was only charged a fine. A little white lie was a lot better than paying with my life for letting Lady Antigone tell me to leave my post, and then sleeping on the job and almost letting her escape.
In all honesty, Lady Antigone's bravery should have had some limits. What kind of person wouldn't be afraid of Hades coming to snatch your life, when your time was not yet at its end? Even we guards didn't want to face such a hideous end. So what was I to think of myself, giving up a young lady to Hades to take when she shouldn't yet even know his presence? Creon seemed to think that I was bribed by Lady Antigone, to let her complete her task of giving burial rites to Polyneices. In a way, I suppose I was. If Lady Antigone didn't bury Polyneices properly, somebody else would have to eventually do the job. And if I let Lady Antigone get away and leave us guards to look guilty, we would all be killed. So Lady Antigone's choice to suffer the consequences of her poorly decided actions was enough to call it bribery to save myself. There was no gold or silver involved besides what I had to pay for my punishment.
It wasn't until I had heard news about Lady Antigone's change from stoning to starving in a walled up cave that I felt a real pang of guilt. Had she had a quick death, as selfish and despicable it sounds, I would have felt less sorrow for turning her in to begin with. But now she was going to a dark cave to wait to see Hades face to face. Waiting to die was a lot more horrid than knowing your death will arrive in a few minutes. It is especially more horrid when you have provisions to lengthen the whole ordeal. I didn't know exactly what to feel. Should I have let her escape and just say I didn't see anything? I was the only one awake, with no one to speak against my word. But I would have been seen as a traitor, who had been bribed by the culprit. It is true, accepting a bribe results in more of a loss than a real gain. What did I gain by turning in Lady Antigone? I got a guilty weight on my shoulders and the unspoken reputation of a coward. I didn't want to suffer, but it was a lady I sent to her marriage bed of death.
I had heard Teiresias the prophet told Creon that unfortunate events were upon him. Maybe it would be the gods smiting Creon for his decision of illegalizing burial rites for Polyneices. Haemon, son of Creon, had told him this would all end horribly if he didn't listen to his people. Sure he has the power to make anything he wants a law; it doesn't mean his laws are always the right thing to do.
I began to think that I should have just let her get away with her deeds. But then, who was she to me? I didn't know her personally, so why would I have to die for her doings? It was different for Antigone, I guess, being related to Polyneices and all. If it was my family, I would have done the same thing. I was torn between guilt and pitilessness. Zeus, high above us all, proclaimed that everyone was equal in death; so who was Creon to try overthrowing those divine laws? How did he think everyone would react to stripping Polyneices' right to a proper burial? I was full of questions with no real answers. I just knew I did not feel good for turning Lady Antigone in for a crime that shouldn't have been a crime to begin with.
While pondering past actions, and an uneasy rest, I woke up to Avery's voice. He was one that too was guarding Polyneices' corpse. He told me some bad news that involved Lady Antigone, her groom-to-be Haemon, and Queen Eurydice. I guess Lady Antigone couldn't handle waiting for death and made it come to her more quickly in the form of a crudely tied noose. Haemon had not reacted as well as one would hope. He took a sword to his own belly, ending his anger at his father. Queen Eurydice caught wind of this news and took her life too, by the end of a sharp sword as well. Three lives lost, because I turned Lady Antigone in. All I could hope by then was that Creon had learned his lesson in defying the gods themselves. Avery continued, telling me the state Thebes was stuck in.
Maybe the death of one insignificant guard who failed to do his job properly would have been better than the death of a Prince and his Princess, the Queen and the abandonment of the King. If anything, all of Thebes would be quarrelling amongst themselves on how to reorganize our city affairs. Maybe Lady Ismene would take over. Chaos, panic and disorder are rewarded to those who claim their word is law and disregarding moral. Not to mention that people are angry at Creon for his choice in unfair laws.
I was starting to realize answering to a higher power would only get me into more trouble than what I would face being on my own. Creon's unfair law tore his family apart and aided in ruining his empire. After I had helped cause all these problems by turning in Lady Antigone, with the help of Creon's undignified law, I realized the people of Thebes were also holding me accountable for this, alongside with Creon. Realizing this made me realize how I disliked being a guard. Listening to orders without questioning them didn't seem so hard until having to obey Creon's god-defying restriction; arrest and turn in the culprit trying to respect the dead Polyneices.
I was tired of answering to Creon or any other force. I decided I could make better choices for myself if I was free from the burden of oppression. Earlier on in life I had a real talent, painting, so I decided to pursue my talent and become a painter, rather a mindless guard that could not act on his own will unless allowed to. Now that I had found what I wanted to do, I had to decide where I would go. As I was playing with my helmet, I was trying to figure out where it was made, it looked Spartan, I would move to Sparta. The first step I had to take was dismounting me of responsibilities, so I marched straight to my general's office, and took off my cape that identified me as a royal guard, and my golden helmet. I laid the two at his feet and walked away without a word, determined to make a new life for myself.
End Note: Yeah, this was a little weird, but now that's it's posted, I won't regret what I did. I guess you just have to review now :3