From the very first scene opening with Antigone sharing her intentions with Ismene, Antigone is introduced with these good virtues: “Death so we meet, were honor; and for that capital crime or piety, loving and loved, I will lie by his side. Far longer is there need I satisfy those nether powers, than power on earth” (Sophocles 3). Antigone proclaims her willingness to die by her brother in order for him to be buried with honor and for him to have died loved, for it is what the gods desire and she has an obligation to them as she will need to satisfy them longer. During the same exchange, Antigone invited Ismene to join her in burying their brother: “Though you desire, shall you, with my good will, share what I do” (Sophocles 3). Antigone is allowing Ismene to join her in her admirable and noble mission to honor their brother and appease the gods so that Ismene has a chance to prove herself to the gods and to their family as
Antigone believed that the actions she took were done for the right reason, because they adhere to the law of the Gods. In opposition to that, Creon believes that the actions he had taken were in fact the right ones, because he believed that Polyneices was a traitor to the land, and that anyone who should give him a proper burial would suffer the penalty of death. So, the actions that were taken by both of them individually were the right ones, in their own minds at least.<br><br>Antigone, in her plan to give her brother Polyneices a proper burial, kept in mind the consequences that she would suffer for having followed through with the plan. This doesn't necessarily mean that Antigone does not obey the human law that is set up by King Creon, it just means that this particular rule conflicted with the law of the Gods, something that Antigone believes highly in obeying, especially when it deals with her family. Antigone disregards the Olympian Justice that governs the land and also presides over the set laws that make civilized life attainable (Segal "Antigone" 172).<br><br>Antigone goes up against human law, by burying her brother Polyneices, knowing well that she will have to sacrifice her own life. She does this only because it is morally and ethically right, and this is why she stakes her life based upon her strong beliefs (Segal
In the prologue of the play, Antigone, by Sophocles, Antigone and Ismene (sisters) are debating between burying their late brother, Polyneices, and the consequences they may end up facing. In Antigone’s eyes, family comes before the law of burying a traitor. When disputing between the burial, Antigone says, “...but Polyneices, who fought bravely and died as miserably, - they say that Creon has sworn no one shall bury him…” (Prologue.17-20) Antigone just wants to put her brother to peace, but Creon refuses to allow anyone who tries to ruin the well-being of his new society to be buried. She believes that Polyneices fought just as bravely as their brother, Eteocles, and his spirit deserves to be put to rest instead of lying in the public square.
In Sophocles’ piece, King Kreon prohibited the burial of Polynices, Antigone’s brother, because he was seen as a traitor to his country. Antigone blatantly disobeyed King Kreon’s proclamation because she thought that Polynices ought to be buried not only because he was blood- family, but because the gods law states that burial is a necessary ceremony. Her sister, Ismene, tried to warn her of the trouble she could find herself in, if King Kreon finds out that it was Antigone who had buried her brother, the traitor. (Blondell, 21). In addition, Antigone does not hesitate to admit to this illegal deed when the guards catch her in the act (Blondell, 37,38). While she acted out of respect for her brother and the gods, it was selfish in the fact that she was only thinking of herself. She did not hesitate to disregard King Kreon’s law and did not take any factor into consideration. Antigone accepted that her life was the price to pay for her civil disobedience, but her actions also, unintentionally, led to the death of two other people. Although, in the end, King Kreon sees that Antigone was right, the reason for which she had fought, and ultimately lost her life for, had no significant positive effect on anyone else.
Moreover, Antigone’s ability to follow her own beliefs results into the heroicness and tragic death of Antigone. Antigone is from a royal family and has the power to do what she believes in. She believes in following traditions and exercises that power when she says, “I will bury him, and if I must die, I say that the crime is holy: I shall lie down With him in death, and I shall be as dear To him as he to me” (694). Antigone follows her beliefs in following tradition and by doing what she feels is best. Antigone does this because she knows she is doing the right thing and knows that she will be repaid in some way. Furthermore, Antigone justifies her actions by telling the reasons that motivated her to do it to King Creon. She refuses to give in to the beliefs of King Creon and continues to think her own separate way. Antigone takes a stand to Creon when she says, “ Think Death less than a friend? This death of mine Is of no importance, but if I had left my brother Lying in death unburied, I should have suffered. Now I do not. You smile at me. Ah Creon , Think me a fool, if you like, but it may well be That a fool convicts me of folly” (709). Antigone believes what she is doing is correct and proves that to Creon , but he is still not convinced. It is important for Antigone to do what she believes is so that she will be pleased and satisfied with the outcome. Antigone’s ability to pursue her goals and to what she wants
Like Creon, Antigone also never falters in standing up for what she believes in. Although Creon fights for stubborn pride, Antigone is trying to promote what is right and shows her higher reverence for God’s law rather than for Creon’s laws. In the eyes of the townspeople, Chorus, Choragos, and Haimon, Antigone is sacrificing herself to give her brother Polyneices the rightful honors due to the dead. Many side with this brave, honorable girl because she would rather suffer persecution and even death rather than give into Creon’s illogical demands. In the play, the chorus says about her, “You have made your choice, Your death is the doing of your conscious hand”. Antigone knew of the consequences before she acted and in doing so she chose her fate. At the time, she pleaded her sister Ismene to help her bury Polyneices but was rejected. Despite being alone in trying to rebel and perhaps she may have been afraid, Antigone goes out of her way and puts her life on the line to bring her brother respect.
By burying her brother, Antigone knowingly and willingly went against royal orders and in doing so chooses her own death. She knows as well as anyone in the town that death would come
Being that Antigone is the protagonist, her character is important in the play. She made the decision to bury her brother knowing that it was against Creon’s law. Ismene refused to help Antigone, which left her angry, yet still determined to bury her brother. She knew that burying her brother could lead to her own death, but she continued to show courage, strength, and determination throughout her role. In the beginning, Antigone says, “Dear god, shout it from the rooftops. I’ll hate you all the more for silence/ tell the world!”(17,100-101). This was said to Ismene, when they were discussing burial plans and Ismene was telling Antigone that she was against the plan. Antigone’s dialogue shows that she is not worried about being punished or worried about who knows what she has done. It is clear that Antigone is sincere about honoring the gods, her actions show that she feels that she is pleasing the gods and that is all that matters to her. “These laws/ I was not about to break them, not out of fear of some man’s wounded pride, and face the retribution of the gods.”(30, 509-511). This demonstrates how she feels about man’s law vs. divine law. In the plot, there was not one time where Antigone denied
In Antigone written by Sophocles and translated by David R. Slavitt, Antigone decides to risk her own life to be able to bury her brother in a respectful way in which she thinks is right. Antigone had an enthusiastic determination about it, approached it without regret, and also choose her destiny and her sisters. Her father’s fate was a big affect on if she was going to precede with burying her brother or to no give him the respect like the rest of the surrounding community. Even though Antigone risked her whole life and her entire future she made the right decision by burying her brother and sticking to her own judgment.
Antigone wants to be redeemed in the afterlife through her act of burying Polyneices. This is especially clear when she decides that she will bury him and die before she has even appealed to Creon. The only route she can see is one that results in her death. Not until she is directly confronted by her uncle does she attempt to dissuade him from dishonoring Polyneices. Even then, she seems to be simply defending her own actions rather than accusing him of being wrong, as she so adamantly has done with Ismene. He needs to implore her to “Speak!” (166, 442), and when she does, she is flippant and prideful. Antigone only engages in real dialogue with him when he forces her to. This could be interpreted as her simply understanding his position and accepting it, but I find that unlikely. She clearly fundamentally disagrees with him and his interpretation of the gods, but instead of trying to persuade him to recant his decree and bury her brother, she capitalizes on the position she’s in and thrusts herself into martyrdom. Even by the gods’ standards, this does not seem to be justice or “rightness”. Her surface level loyalty to her family may initially appeal, but I find it insincere and not right when I explore it more closely.
Antigone chose to give her brother Polyneices a proper burial even though it was against the king’s law. She tried talking her sister Ismene to join her on her quest because Polyneices was both of their brothers, but Ismene did not want to disobey Kreon’s order (Blondell 19-24). This left Antigone to handle this on her own, which takes a lot of courage and dedication to what she believes in. Antigone went on with her plan to bury Polyneices and his body was eventually found by a guard (Blondell 30). When the guard brought the news to Kreon he was furious and the Chorus had suggested it was a Gods doing, which led me to believe that they did not think anyone one else was willing to risk it all by not listening to their kings orders (Blondell 32). A good lesson to learn from Antigone is that even if you break the law you have to admit your doing especially when you know what you did was morally right and what you stand for as an individual. When Antigone was accused of breaking the law and burying Polyneices she did not even hesitate saying, “I don’t deny it; I admit the deed was mine.” (Blondell 38). She even goes on to tell King Kreon that his choice to not allow the burial of Polyneices is morally wrong and how he is disobeying the God Zeus who is offended by improper treatment of a corpse (Blondell 38). Though Antigone knows the consequence for disobeying the king, she continues to fight for her brother’s honor and makes sure to point out the king’s foolish decision. Even in her last words she questions what kind of men can make suffer and then gives her respects to the town, gods, and rulers.
Antigone has a possible flaw in that she is too stubborn and persistent to obey Creon’s order; “I know my duty, where true duty lies” (Antigone, 128). Her punishment then encourages feelings of pity from the audience because her deed was honorable and respectful towards her brother Polynices. The chorus supports this view by bidding her a respectful farewell when she is taken away, “But glory and praise go with you lady” (Antigone, 148). Antigone is also very proud, and this may have contributed to her death. Even when she is caught she remains strong and defends herself by claiming that the chorus thinks that her act was honorable, “All these would say that what I did was honorable” (Antigone, 139). This causes Creon to remain angry with Antigone, “you are wrong, none of my subjects think as you do” (Antigone, 140). If she had been more patient and less defensive, Creon may not have been as harsh in the punishment he set for her.
Later in the play, Antigone was captured for being caught in the act of burying her brother and is now conversing with King Creon about her decision made to revolt. On page 783, Creon is surprised when he says, “…you dared defy the law,” to Antigone due to boasting her rebellious actions. In this demonstration, Antigone does not deny her guilt, but declares all of the information, provided by the guards, true. Antigone does not care for the consequences, which is death; she knew what she would create for herself when she chose to bury her brother. A second example of this is on page 784 when Antigone states, “There is no guilt in reverence for the dead.” By what Antigone said, she believes it should not be against the law to have reverence or lamentation towards the dead, especially if the deceased is part
When questioned about committing treason, Antigone’s lack of denial illustrates her rashness in decision-making, as she has nothing to gain from death. Instead of disclaiming the lowly guard’s words, she proudly states: “I say I did it and I don’t deny it” (Antigone 443). By admitting her role in the burial, Antigone seals her fate. Furthermore, the notion of her death does not faze her as she tells Creon: “I knew I must die - how could I not?” (460). Her acceptance of her death, while honorable, is unnecessary, because her objective of giving her fallen brother a respectful and honorable burial is already achieved. If she had not mentioned her role, there was a chance that she could have survived. In addition, Antigone does not even factor in the feelings of her sister Ismene and her fiancé Haemon, showing how inconsiderate she is of her impact on others. This irrational approach can only be described as foolishness; if she had been wiser, she would have buried her brother and survived to tell the tale. Her lack of judgement results in her downfall and the misery for those around her.
Not only is Antigone courageous and highly motivated by her morals by standing up for her political and religious beliefs, she also protects her personal ones when she buries her brother. Antigone places family above her own life, and she refuses to let a man stand in her way of maintaining her ideals. She buries Polynices out of her own loyalty to her brother even after her sister, Ismene, refuses. Antigone is cruel to her for not taking part in illegally burying their brother. Instead of being caring and considerate, she becomes irate and at the end of their conversation says, "Go away Ismene: I shall be hating you soon, and the dead will too, for your hateful words," Antigone's flaw was her headstrong behavior and her stubbornness, which ultimately brought about her downfall and the downfall of those around her. Her persistence of course, is what forces Antigone to rashly take matters in to her own hands. Creon then decides to take Antigone's life "Away with her at once, and close her up in her rock-vaulted tomb. Leave her and let her die". To everyone's surprise Antigone does not run from her death sentence suggesting a great trait of braveness, which the chorus recognizes before her exodus from life. The notion that a person has no say in the affairs of their loved ones and the fact that those laws were defied deserves