Oedipus The King, And Oedipus At Colonus

1065 Words5 Pages
Along with Oedipus the King, and Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone is one of Sophocles’ three Theban tragic plays estimated to have been written – or at least performed for the first time - in 442 BCE. At the start of the play it is communicated that Antigone, along with her sister Ismene, are the sole surviving children of Oedipus. Their brothers, Polyneices and Eteocles, have recently been killed in a battle in which they fought on opposing sides. Polyneices led a mercenary force to conquer Thebes, while Eteocles remained loyal to the state. Emerging from the ashes of this failed conquest Antigone and King Creon are at an impasse. Creon orders that Eteocles be given full funeral rites while forbidding the same for Polyneices, who was a traitor. Antigone, on the other hand, believes that it is her family duty to bury her brother Polyneices and perform full funeral rites for him regardless of Creon’s edict that anyone who does so will forfeit their lives. Antigone believes it is pious and good to honor her family and the laws of the gods, whereas Creon believes it is of utmost importance to honor the state and the laws proclaimed by the ruler. This essay will show that Antigone and Creon have very different views on what is good and pious, and that they completely reject the views of the other which results in their mutual destruction.
Creon proclaims an edict that Polyneices, as a traitor, is not to be given funeral rites nor buried, but whose body is left to be, “chewed up by
Open Document