The conditionality of burying the dead shows that gods’ law is less sacred for Antigone than she claims to be. Neither does she care about her living families. She humiliates Ismene publicly, causing Creon’s death indirectly and set her uncle Creon in a dilemma where he needs to punish his daughter-in-law. Her real incentive is individual reputation, for she excludes Ismene from standing by her and asks Ismene to spread the news about her defiant act. She seems to use religion and family as elegant reasons to achieve honor. On the contrary, Creon, as a king, weights the interest of the overall state more than his own family. After experiencing the civil war caused by Polyneices, he understands the great need of the polis for order and thus enacts harsh laws to punish people causing riots. Unanimous obedience to law would also encourage his people to fight bravely in the war by being “loyal and dauntless at his comrades’s side”. Creon has to retain the validity and effectiveness of the law, because if every citizen can pursue any personal interest without fear for grave consequences, the entire social operation mechanism would break down. Punishing Antigone is necessary to retain the order of the polis.
In Antigone, Sophocles introduces the struggle between loyalty to civil law versus familial loyalty and divine law, which is a central conflict in the play. Antigone has a firm belief in upholding family values and honoring the gods and deceased by burying her brother. In contrast, Creon wants to do what is best for the city which is, in his opinion, forbidding the burial of Polynices. Both Antigone and Creon believe that their point of view is more important, and neither is willing to change perspective, causing the chain of destructive events in the plot. Loyalty causes the deadly dispute between Antigone and Creon because of their conflicting perspectives about precedence.
Antigone ignores the idea of civic responsibility and puts her family first. Her family is more important to her than the law because she finds religion more powerful than Creon. “The ancient Greeks were polytheistic, they believed in many different gods and goddesses. The Greeks believed that these gods and goddesses controlled everything, from the waves in the ocean to the winner of a race.” (Richmond)
Antigone’s motivation is love for her family- she puts it above all else. In fact, she is willing to sacrifice her life to defend that love. Antigone goes to great lengths to bury her deceased brother, who according to an edict issued by King Creon, died in dishonor, consequently making it illegal for anyone to bury his body. Through her actions to comply with her motivations, it is revealed that Antigone’s actions are also fueled by her strong beliefs that, first, the gods’ laws
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
Her intent was not to cause chaos. Her intent was not to disrespect Creon. She knew the only way her brother could receive respectful passage to an afterlife was if he received proper burial. Her religious beliefs and strong love did not allow her to remain passive and not act to help her brother. Antigone’s moral standards obligated her to betray her country in order to help her brother. For these reasons, Antigone was justified in breaking the law and betraying her country.
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
Even though Antigone exhibits a blamable pride and a hunger for glory, her disobedience is less serious than those of Creon. It is evident that Antigone’s actions are driven by a love for her brother, and a desire to please the gods. While Creon’s actions are
In addition, Creon also has an inaccurate view of his place in relation to the gods. He believes that man’s laws are more important than the laws of the gods. Antigone tries to defend her decision to bury her brother by proclaiming, “I do not think your edicts have such power that they can override the laws of heaven…If I transgressed these laws because I feared the arrogance of man, how to the god’s could I make satisfaction” (line 408)? Creon’s hubris causes him to think that he must put Antigone to death because she chooses to follow the god’s laws over his.
Many believe that the divine word holds more power than man, Antigone is one of these people and hold the divines laws higher than man's laws. On the other hand, Creon believes that holding power is the way of life and tries to uphold his laws over the deity laws. Creon does this when the brothers Polyneices and Eteocles kill each other and Polyneices is designated as a traitor. Creon decides to prohibit the people from burying Polyneices properly and follow the god's law to prevent more rebellions. Antigone on the other hand believes that a Creon's law holds no power over her from giving a proper burial. As Antigone is talking to Ismene she states "No one shall say I failed him! I will bury my brother -- and yours too, if you will not"( Sophocles ). This statement shows
This play is ultimately concerned with one person defying another person and paying the price. Antigone went against the law of the land, set by the newly crowned King Creon. Antigone was passionate about doing right by her brother and burying him according to her religious beliefs even though Creon deemed him a traitor and ordered him to be left for the animals to devour. Creon was passionate about being king and making his mark from his new throne. Although they differed in their views, the passion Creon and Antigone shared for those opinions was the same, they were equally passionate about their opposing views. Creon would have found it very difficult to see that he had anything in common with Antigone however as he appears to be
The play Antigone by Sophocles is a play like no other. There are three major themes or ideas which have a very important role in the play. The first major theme is fate, on how the play comes about and the turn of events that come about throughout it. Another main theme or idea is the pride the characters have and their unwillingness they have to change their minds once they are set on something. The last major theme is loyalty and the practical problem of conduct involving which is a higher law between the divine laws and those of the humans. It is an issue of which law is the "right" law, and if Creon and Antigone's acts are justifiable or not. The issues that Antigone and Creon have between them
Antigone’s civil disobedience was in honor of her brother. She could not allow her brother, Polyneices, to be left to the dogs and the birds. In those times, the responsibility of taking care of the dead belonged to the families. She didn’t fear the consequences of defying the law of King Creon. She believed in obeying the law of the gods’ more than the law of man, especially in this situation because it dealt with her family. “Nor did I think your proclamations had such strength that, mortal as you are, you could outrun the laws that are the gods’, unwritten and unshakable” (Antigone, Sophocles 38). She felt like she was doing the
Family is very important and is shown through the many ways in society. That family will often be more important than the authority or law. The tragic Greek play, Antigone written by Sophocles. Within Antigone, Sophocles presents many situations where characters are forced to face their feelings of law or family. Throughout Antigone, Sophocles proves his strong devotion to family, even more. Sophocles presents these through the actions of Antigone, Creon, and Haemon with the choices that they make throughout the play. For instance, Antigone had many chances to obey the law or her own familial bonds. Antigone chooses to obey family, and bury Polynices even though burying breaks Creon's law. Antigone pleads with her sister to help, but when she says no, Antigone responds, “But as for me/ I will bury the brother I love” (Prologue. 192). Antigone was willing to break Creon's authority as a family means much more to her, this presents her as selfless. Along with breaking the law, Antigone also risks execution for that crime. When Antigone learns of her punishment, after Creon discovers, Antigone decides if entombing her brother was worth it. Following Creon's warning, she says, “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” (Scene II. 208). Antigone shows the courage that even death won't scare her from her goals. Antigone chooses family, when in the face of the capital punishment.
The only person in the city who is ready to defy Creon’s law is his niece, the sister to Polynices, Antigone. She is overcome with grief by Creon’s order, and sets out to bury her brother. She believed that Creon, “a mere mortal,” did not have the power to “…override the gods, the great unwritten, unshakable traditions…” surrounding the rights of a dead man (Line 503-505). Her loyalty was to her family, not to the new king of Thebes. When Antigone goes to her sister Ismene to plead for her help in burying their brother, even she is too afraid of Creon’s authority to assist her only family. “I must obey the one’s in power,” she says. “...defy the city? I have no strength for that.” (Line 79-80, 93). She is lead to go against what she feels is morally right because she is fearful of the consequences. Even though Antigone is aware of these deadly consequences, she is willing to face them and stand up for what she believes is right. Discovering that Antigone has gone against him, Creon immediately sentences