In the end Antigone chooses to obey the gods and “loving and loved [she] will lie by [Polynices’s] side,” (Sophocles 3). By burying her brother she not only obeys divine law but her familial duty to her brother. Antigone’s desire to obey the gods shows that she understands the importance of divine law. Ismene, however, fulfills her familial duty to Creon and the state instead. By standing with Creon as a united front against the populace she is ensuring her family remains in power and tells Antigone that to disobey Creon “’tis wrong to attempt at all.” In this instance she chooses to obey the state over the gods and as well her duty to her uncle over her brother.
When her brothers Eteocles and Polynices killed one another, Creon, king of Thebes, forbade the rebel Polynices’ burial. However, Antigone disobeyed him, performed the burial, and was condemned to death for what she had done. Thru her actions she displayed vast uniqueness of a great female leader. In doing this, she stepped out of her place as a woman in a male dominated culture. She believed that the law of the Gods to give a proper burial to every dead body was more important, than the law of the King Creon.
Do as you like, dishonor the laws the gods hold in honor” (Sophocles 487). Even knowing that she is going to have to stand on her own, she knew she would be dead longer than she would be alive, so she chose to stand up for what she believes in (Sophocles 487). Antigone actions were out of love. She tells Ismene, “I’ll suffer nothing as great as death without glory” (Sophocles 488). Works Cited Sophocles.
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. Die I must, I’ve known it all my life- how could I keep from knowing? - Even without your death-sentence ringing in my ears. And if I am to die before my time I consider that a gain. Who on earth alive in the midst of so much grief as I, could fail to find this death a rich reward?” (374) Antigone was willing to risk her own life for the sake of her dead brother’s pride.
To Antigone the Gods are more important than any subject ,and Creon seems to think that he is at their level of standing just because he is king. Creon having this mental feeling of power says that if anyone buries Polyneices they shall be put to death which basically is directly against the Gods laws. Antigone’s strong loyalty to the Gods and compassion led her to bury her brother. Secondly she confronts Creon admitting what she had done and she does not show any sign of fear. This is a perfect example of her loyalty and faith within the Gods laws.
To go against the kings claim and dishonor the law is to die a more shameful death then Antigone's mother and father(59-60). Antigone does not want to let her brother be left without a proper burial. Her belief is to show respect and love towards her brother she must bury him. Her beliefs in "The sacred laws that Heaven holds in honor" are far more important than those set by the king(Antigone 78). She feels that the king cannot override her belief in the gods.
For instance, because Polynices’s action as the traitor he should not get a burial. Antigone defied Creon’s order because of the values she held, she felt it was only right to bury her brother, Polynices, and She believed that God’s law was more important, and should come before anything else. Antigone seemed to be the only character to have over lasting loyalty, as she was willing to die for her brother Polynices’s right to a proper burial when she said ”I can face death, but I cannot ... ... middle of paper ... ...eved is right. Her position is acting out of love, respect, and loyalty to her family and concern for her brother’s after life. I believe that divine law that can be described as the law of god, should be highly regarded, but I also believe that the law set up by man, such as the law that king Creon made up, should be acknowledged and followed.
She confides to Ismene that she knows of Creon's edict, but that she intends to defy it. At Ismene's protests of not defying the king's orders, Antigone states that there are higher obligations to the dead and the gods. She points out (lines 85 - 91): "I will bury him myself, and even if I die in the act the death will be a glory. I will lie with the one I love and loved by him - an outrage sacred to the gods! I have longer to please the dead than please the living here: in the kingdom down below I will lie forever.
Respect for the dead is more than quintessential, because they are no longer alive to defend themselves. When it came to Polyneices’ burial, Antigone had not only a right, but a moral obligation to make sure her brother was treated with the utmost respect. No law can surpass the necessity to show respect for individuals who no longer exist among the living. Antigone says to Creon, “Death longs for the same rites for all” (583). By stating this, Antigone means that the dead deserve the same respect, if not more, than the living, and Polyneices was denied his right to respect.
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.