Antigone and Haemon's Consummation

The climax of Sophocles’ play Antigone details the father Creon confronting his emotionally distraught son after discovering the dead body of his fiancée Antigone (Sophocles 54-55). Haemon strikes out against his father with his sword, but failing to damage him in anyway turns the blade on himself mortally wounding himself. He then embraces his dead beloved before expiring himself. Taking a very simple view one could objectively observe that this was the suicide of a young, emotional boy who felt betrayed by his father. However, when utilizing the theories of Sigmund Freud this scene is far deeper. Freud asserts in his lectures on psychoanalysis that normal objects have sexual meaning inherently tied to them (Freud 190-192). In addition, Freud created the Oedipal Complex in which a boy experiences a sexual competition against the father for the affection of the mother. Analyzing the scene from Antigone with these Freudian concepts uncovers a consummation between Antigone and Haemon in addition to a sexual rebellion against his father Creon. 

The art presented here depicts the importance of sex and wealth against the prospect of death. It is interesting how sex and death have an almost symbiotic relationship here and is similar to the interaction that occurs between Antigone and Haemon. Although the scene is a double suicide there is something oddly sexual to the situation.
After Creon walks in on Haemon grieving Antigone’s corpse the young boy draws his sword and strikes at his father (Sophocles 55). Freud describes objects that represent penises as any “sharp weapons of every kind, knives, daggers, spears, sabers… (Freud 190).” Haemon, using his sword to assault his father, is symbolically attacking Creon with his penis. Haemon is expressing his sexual frustrations against his father, similar to an Oedipal complex, and his failure to touch his father with his sword is reflective of his inability to consummate a marriage to Antigone. The image here depicts a father and son in strife similar to Haemon and Creon’s debacle.
The painting Lucretia is characterized by a woman committing suicide via a dagger through her chest. Despite being gruesome this image has subtle sexual undertones. Haemon, drowning in grief, “… took his blade and leaned on it, drove it half through his lung (Sophocles 55).” Having already established that Haemon’s blade is a symbol for his penis by stabbing himself he creates the penetration that is necessary for intercourse. Despite Antigone’s death Haemon’s following actions would solidify a symbolic sexual union.
Haemon follows his auto-penetration by lying next to his dead fiancée and pulling her into his “sagging embrace (Sophocles 55).” Such contact is followed and/or representative of sexual relationships. The artwork displayed shows how such an embrace can be saturated in sexual tension. Having already provided the penetration, Haemon takes it one step further by producing the motion and positon that intercourse is performed in.
The piece Death and Life is the most representative of the exchange that occurs between Haemon and Antigone preluding Haemon’s own death. A dead figure embraces a woman while one side is illustrated with images of semen. Intercourse concludes with ejaculation and Haemon symbolically ejaculates to finish his consummation with Antigone. Prior to his final death Haemon project blood from his mouth onto Antigone and it is described as “a spurt of scarlet (Sophocles 55).” This description bares striking similarity to the ejaculation of semen only to be replaced with blood as a substitute. Having symbolically performed all the actions of sex according to Freud Haemon is able to successfully consummate his marriage with the dead Antigone.
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