She vows to bury her brother so that his soul may gain the peace of the underworld. Antigone is torn between the law placed against burying her brother and her own thoughts of doing what she feels should be done for her family. Her intent is simply to give her brother, Polyneices, a proper burial so that she will follow "the laws of the gods." Antigone knows that she is in danger of being killed for her actions and she says, "I say that this crime is holy: I shall lie down with him in death, and I shall be as dear to him as he to me." Her own laws, or morals, drive her to break Creon's law placed against Polyneices burial.
It takes a lot of courage to stand up and defend an action or idea that is forbidden by society. This is what Antigone does in Sophocles' story Antigone. She clearly disobeys King Creon's order that no person should bury Antigone's brother, Polynices, which is punishable by penalty of death. In this case, is Antigone's decision the correct one? Her actions affect many of her other countrymen negatively because they cause problems within the royal family, disagreement among the people and directly relate to the death of three people including her own.
Like Clytaemnestra, Antigone lost her life due to the choices the emasculated men made in order for them to reestablish their dominance and masculinity in their respective societies. While Clytaemnestra and Antigone, two strong women, tried to bring justice and honor to their families, they ended up being put to death by men. These men believed that their pride was wounded by these two women’s actions. No individual should ever underestimate the vulnerability of the male ego and pride, especially in Ancient Greece. Works Cited The Oresteia by Aeschylus, Translated by Robert Fagles Antigone by Sophocles, Translated by David Greene and Richmond Lattimore
Sympathy is felt for Antigone because she was punished for take a stand for what she believed to be the right thing. Unfortunately the risk she took was going against her uncle Creon, who so happened to have power over her. It was a tragic situation that Antigone was to be killed for such a ridiculous crime. Although Antigone should not have been punished for that law she had broken, she was willing to accept her death sentence. She said to Creon, “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.
Antigone’s crime is one many would not even consider a crime. In the play, Antigone, King Creon decrees that while Antigone’s first brother, Eteocles, can be buried, her other brother, Polyneices is not allowed to be put to rest and anyone who tries to bury him will be put to death themselves. Antigone, however, goes against Creon and buries Polyneices anyway. Antigone reasons that every dead soul deserves the same respect of being put to rest. She feels she is following the bigger laws of the Gods in burying her brother.
To her, a proper burial is the unwritten law of heaven, so she performs the last rites over her brother's body and is condemned to death. Sophocles portrays two strong-willed people, Creon and Antigone, in conflict in the play. Antigone's first priority is her family, while Creon's is his state. In trying to persuade her sister Ismene to help her bury her brother Polyneices, she states, "Now we shall soon find out / If you are true-born daughter of your line, / Or if you will disgrace your noble blood"(38-40). Antigone is telling Ismene that a true-born daughter shall always favor the family member.
Since Antigone decided to follow Zeus’ law, which states that all bodies must be buried, she defied Creon’s decree and buried Polyneices anyway. Caught by the guards, while burying her brother, Antigone was sent to a rocky chamber as punishment by Creon. Creon’s son, Haemon, was engaged to marry Antigone, but he along with the rest of the city thought Antigone’s death was unjust. Even after Teirsias, the blind prophet, warned Creon to release Antigone and bury Polyneices, Creon remained reluctant. Finally, Teirsias told Creon that the gods were going to punish him and Creon became worried.
The story of Antigone deals with Antigone’s brother who’s body has been left unburied because of crimes against the state. The sight of her brother being unburied drives Antigone to take action against the state and bury her brother regardless of the consequences. The concept of the Greek afterlife was far more important and sacred than living life itself. Everything they did while they were alive was to please the many gods they worshipped. They built temples for their Gods, made statues to symbolize their Gods, and had a different God to explain things that we now say are an act of mother nature.
Polyneices was Antigone’s brother, and she felt that as a result of divine law, he should have a burial in order for his soul to leave the Earth. As the king, Creon had decreed it against the law for anyone to bury Polyneices as a result of his deep treason against Thebes. For punishment, anyone who were to bury Polyneices would be killed. In respect to her brother, Antigone deeply
Antigone is guilty and although she is to be wed to Creon's son, Haemon. He sentences her to be put in a cave with food and water and let the gods decide what to do with her. He was warned by a blind profit not to do this, but he chooses to anyway, leaving him with a dead son, a dead wife, and self-imposed exile. Antigone had good reasons for her actions. She did obey the rules of her gods, which were that any dead body must be given a proper burial, with libatations.