Antigone- Theme of Family Loyalty

1484 Words Mar 15th, 2007 6 Pages
Betrayal of Family Loyalty In the play Antigone, written by Greek playwright Sophocles, loyalty to family seems to be a recurring theme. We first see it when Antigone defies King Creon's order to keep her brother, Polynices, unburied as a punishment for his betrayal of their country Thebes. We also see how Antigone's sister, Ismene, accepts partial blame for the burial (even though she refused to actually do it) in an affectionate, loyal act. Creon is also family (their father's brother), but he, however, betrays this family trust and loyalty when he sentences Antigone to death for disobeying his law. There are, however, repercussions for this death sentence, that prove that there are two central tragic heroes in this play. She is …show more content…
That is backed up by Antigone saying, "Never, I tell you, if I had been the mother of children or if my husband died, exposed and rotting—I'd never have taken this ordeal upon myself, never defied our people's will. What law, you ask, do I satisfy with what I say? A husband dead, there might have been another. A child by another too, if I had lost the first. But mother and father both lost in the halls of Death, no brother could ever spring to light again"(Fagles1471). This statement proves the real reason Antigone chose to go through with this act, and that is that she could never have another brother. This adds a more human-like quality to Antigone, who before seemed almost godly, because she was unafraid of everything. We can now sympathize more with her. Her fear of death is even more apparent when she says, "I go to them now, [her dead family] cursed, unwed, to share their home—I am a stranger! O dear brother, doomed in your marriage—your marriage murders mine, your dying drags me down to death alive!"(Fagles1469-70). We can see that she is scared, now that death is approaching her more closely, and that remark almost seems as if she is resentful that she had to carry out this duty. Earlier, when her sister Ismene, admitted to helping with the burial, Antigone became furious, saying, "Never share my dying, don't lay
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