Antigone Death Analysis

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The play Antigone by Sophocles is a Greek tragedy that focuses on a family and a city that has experienced great upheaval in recent years. Out of the ashes of war fought between two brothers, Eteocle and Polynice (sons of Oedipus), their uncle Creon is now ruler of the city of Thebes. Creon’s first order as the new king is that Polynice, the rebel brother, will not be sanctified by holy rites and will lie unburied on the battlefield whereas Eteocle will be honored and buried with respect. Oedipus’s two surviving children, Ismene and Antigone, remain in Thebes and under their uncle’s care. When hearing Creon’s decree that Polynice is forbidden to be buried, Antigone decides to ignore this law and honor her fallen brother by burying him. In doing…show more content…
In ancient Greece, “Remembrance of the dead was a very important civic and religious duty” (Burial) and considered to “elevate[d] to the concept of housia (holiness) to one 's relationship with the gods” (Burial). The Greeks insisted that “the dead must continually be remembered and respected in order for their souls to continue to exist in the afterlife” (Burial). In Antigone’s eyes the gods make the law when it comes to death, not a mortal king. She fights with all her might for what she believes in, even going as far as committing suicide and this ultimately makes her a martyr. In Kathryn Walker’s article, she states, “…that human behavior is not thoroughly governed by the pursuit of what is beneficial, [it] requires a revision of ethics” (Walker 204) which can be found to be true in Antigone when she risks her life for her brother, her beliefs, and how Antigone chooses to die. Antigone was being sentenced to death anyway, but she decided to take her own death in her hands and choose a quick death by hanging rather than a long drawn out death by starvation. It was her last “stick it” to the state.…show more content…
And in some way that creates a perfect harmony. The state and its law is in place to protect the common people and, without that, society would descend into chaos. However, the individual plays a vital role in keeping society functioning. The Individuals have power over the state whether they realize it or not. Without them, there’s nothing to govern. The individual keeps the state in check, making sure it’s fulfilling its role as the protector and provider of the people. In Antigone the state is in the power of a single man, Creon. His definitive flaw is that he does not listen to the people or his counsel and is stubborn in his decisions. When faced with an equally stubborn opponent, Antigone, his choice to stick to the law eventually costs him all that he truly cares for—his family—and Antigone loses her life while nothing is changed. When the state and the individuals do not work together, everybody
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