Unbreakable Antigone

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In the play Antigone, the character Antigone, chooses to obey the laws of the God's rather than the laws of man. Antigone risks everything, including her life, but her convictions are unwavering.

Antigone's beliefs were never conflicted. From the beginning of the play, the reader sees a steadfast woman, when Antigone tries to persuade Ismene to help bury Polynices. "Will you lift up his body with these bare hands / and lower it with me?" (52-53). Antigone is fully aware of the consequences (37-43) for such an action. Greek custom demands burial of a body and failure to comply risks retribution from the Gods. Antigone's allegiance to the Gods compels her to act and gain their favor. "I have longer / to please the dead than please the living here. / In the kingdom down below I'll lie forever" (88-90). However, despite being aware of the punishment for her crime, she believes execution is unlikely. "No one will ever convict me a traitor" (57). Antigone clearly believes the will of the people will overcome the will of the king. Her loyalty is bound to the laws of the God's, not to the laws of Thebes.

The chorus of elders knows Antigone and her father's legacy well. The chorus feels as if Antigone herself is still being punished for her father's inequities. "Your life's in ruins, child--I wonder... / do you pay for your father's terrible ordeal?" (945-946). While in captivity Antigone battles for the chorus' approval, she equates her plights to the story of Niobe (915-924). The chorus scorns Antigone for her comparisons to Niobe, a woman of god-like status (925-930). Despite the chorus' mockery,--after her comparisons to Niobe--Antigone delivers an impassione...

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...look, a new corpse rising before my eyes--(1420-1424).

Creon should have acknowledged a third loss (Antigone, Haemon and now Eurydice), but instead, he is grieved by ?a second loss.? It is clear from his words that Creon still believes that Antigone was best punished with death. The loss of Creon?s wife and son are tragic to the king. However, Creon never comments on Antigone?s death alone, only the death of Haemon and Eurydice.

Antigone was destined for destruction the moment Polynices died. She would not allow anything to come between her love for brother and for the God?s. In each scene where Antigone is present, her resolve is challenged, challenged by her friend Ismene, Creon and the chorus. Antigone is unwavering and is all the more defiant when confronted; she is insistent on doing the right things and nothing will break her volition.
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