A monologue from the play "Antigone" by Sophocles
About this Monologue
- Character: Haemon
- Gender: Male
- Age Range(s): Young Adult (20-35)
- Type of monologue / Character is: Persuasive
- Type: Dramatic
- Period: Ancient Greek
- Genre: Tragedy, Drama
- Description: Haemon tries to persuade his father not to execute Antigone
- Location: Middle of play
Antigone, the sister of the two dead brothers, decides to defy Creon's decree and bury her brother. When Creon finds out he sentences her to death, even if she is his son's (Haemon) fianceÂ´. Haemon tries to persuade him to change his mind to no avail. Antigone is buried alive in a cave.
Written by Administrator
Father, the gods implant reason in men, the highest of all things that we call our own. Not mine the skill-far from me be the quest!-to say wherein thou speakest not aright; and yet another man, too, might have some useful thought. At least, it is my natural office to watch, on thy behalf, all that men say, or do, or find to blame. For the dread of thy frown forbids the citizen to speak such words as would offend thine ear; but can hear these murmurs in the dark, these moanings of the city for this maiden; 'no woman,' they say, 'ever merited her doom less,-none ever was to die so shamefully for deeds so glorious as hers; who, when her own brother had fallen in bloody strife, would not leave him unburied, to be devoured by carrion dogs, or by any bird:-deserves not she the meed of golden honour?'
Such is the darkling rumour that spreads in secret. For me, my father, no treasure is so precious as thy welfare. What, indeed, is a nobler ornament for children than a prospering sire's fair fame, or for sire than son's? Wear not, then, one mood only in thyself; think not that thy word, and thine alone, must be right. For if any man thinks that he alone is wise,-that in speech, or in mind, he hath no peer,-such a soul, when laid open, is ever found empty.
No, though a man be wise, 'tis no shame for him to learn many things, and to bend in season. Seest thou, beside the wintry torrent's course, how the trees that yield to it save every twig, while the stiff-necked perish root and branch? And even thus he who keeps the sheet of his sail taut, and never slackens it, upsets his boat, and finishes his voyage with keel uppermost.
Nay, forego thy wrath; permit thyself to change. For if I, a younger man, may offer my thought, it were far best, I ween, that men should be all-wise by nature; but, otherwise-and oft the scale inclines not so-'tis good also to learn from those who speak aright.