Antigone says, “I’ll bury him myself. And even if I dies in the act, the death will be a glory” (1269). She views her defilement of the decree as glorifying. Antigone is aware that the penalty for her defilement is death and she is willing to die for her convictions. When Antigone is caught burying her brother, she is taken to Creon.
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.
Sophocles' Antigone, a tragedy, written around 441BC has been interpreted in various ways as a conflict between family and state. Both sides have a clear concept of where their duty lies and are resolved to follow its dictates. Creon, acting in the state's interest, finds it politically expedient to deny burial to the traitor Polyneices. On the other hand, Antigone acting in the family's interests claims that the right of burial surpasses any other considerations. 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.
She was determined to find his body and give him a burial. Creon foght with her telling her that if she did so she would be killed. Dispite his warning she decided not to adhire to his advice. She did get to finish her deed which was to bury her brother. But when word reached her uncle Creon he was furious.
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 dared to defy the King’s threat of death to bury her brother, and shows true family pride. The people take pity on Antigone, and feel that she should be let alone. Haemon, Creon's son and Antigone's betrothed, states how the people of Thebes feel. “On every side I hear voices of pity for this poor girl doomed to the cruelest death…for an honorable action-burying a brother who was killed in battle…has she not rather earned a crown of gold” (
He is forced to live, knowing that three people are dead because of his ignorance, which is a punishment worse than death. My opinion on this debate is that Antigone is the tragic hero. She tries to help her brother without worrying about what will happen to her. She says, "I intend to give my brother burial. I'll be glad to die in the attempt, -if it's a crime, then it's a crime that God commands" (Sophocles 4).
When Ismene refuses she is furious, but is resolved to continue with her plan, in defiance of Creon¹s decree. ³Go away, Ismene: I shall be hating you soon, and the dead will too, For your words are hateful. Leave me to my foolish plan: I am not afraid of the danger; if it means death, It will not be the worst of deaths - death without honor.² (189) Even facing the penalty of death, she risks her life for what she believes. By her self, she manages to sneak past the guards watching over the corpse of Polyneices, and gives him a crude but proper burial. Creon is also very independently minded, and he refuses to accept the opinions of anyone but himself.
When she says, "But I will bury him; and if I must die…I shall lie down with him in death, and I shall be as dear to him as him to me. ", she shows that she is prepared to sacrifice herself for her brother. Antigone is the first person to ever disobey Creon's order not to lay her brother to rest, even though he had been declared a traitor of the city. It is during this time in her existence that Sophocles shows Antigone’s most important trait, her strong determination. Antigone forces her political and religious views on the male ruler when she places the laws of the gods above the laws of the state by burying her brother, Polynices.
Antigone tells Ismene, “I will bury him myself. If I die for doing that, good: I will stay with him, my brother; and my crime will be devotion” (Sophocles 23). Antigone is willing to risk her own life by disobeying the king’s authority; She stands up for her religious belief that Polyneices should be buried. Kreon tells Antigone before she takes her own life, “I won’t encourage you. You’ve been condemned” (Sophocles 57).