Antigone By Sophocles ' Antigone

912 Words Aug 4th, 2015 4 Pages
In Sophocles, “Antigone” begins with the stages of grief as Antigone mourns the loss of her two brothers, Polyneikes and Eteokles, who die simultaneously in face-to-face combat in Thebes. Eteokles dies with honor fighting for the Thebesians and is honored with rituals and a proper burial. The body of Polyneikes, who attempted to burn the city of Thebes, is left for the dogs and birds to savage. Thesbesian’s law forbids anyone giving a traitor, like Polyneikes, a proper burial, for that itself is a crime punishable by death. Antigone is angered that Polyneikes is not going to receive a proper burial and is determined that she must honor him even if it means the end of her life. Antigone alone attempts to bury her brother, but is captured and imprisoned, at which point she decides to form a noose around her neck and end her life. Sophocles leaves the reader to question whether Antigone’s suicide is an act of heroism, a stand for the citizens of Thebes, or a selfish way of coping with personal trauma. Antigone sought assistance in burying her brother from her only family member alive, her sister, Ismene, who tries to reason with her. Ismene proclaims, “Remember, we’re women. How can we fight men? They’re stronger” (Sophocles 749). The physical statures of neither Polyneikes nor Antigone were not ever mentioned, but in general men typically weigh more and have a larger build than women. We have to assume that she doesn’t want to elicit help from others because the risk of…

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