In Greek culture, it is a custom to bury the dead to please the gods. The Greeks also believed that when you don’t bury someone they will wonder the earth. Antigone wanted to give Polynecies a proper burial because it is right in the god’s eyes. She also wanted him to have an afterlife. She never lied to Creon when she was caught burying the body. Therefore, Antigone is correct when she disobeyed the law to bury her brother and then confessed to it.
Creon orders whoever did this to be brought to him. A sentry then brings Creon’s niece Antigone to him. Creon asks Antigone if she confesses to these things and she responds, “I do. I deny nothing. (2. 352). Creon asks Antigone if she heard his decree stating that Polynecies should not be buried. Antigone then says, “It was public. Could I help hearing it?” (2. 355). Creon sentences Antigone to death because she knowingly breaks Creon’s decree and makes Creon look like a fool when he questions her about it. Creon says, “Who is the man here, she or I, if this crime goes unpunished” (2. 83-84). Creon punishes Antigone to show the kingdom that he cannot be bossed
The main drive in the whole play, as well as one of Antigone’s motivation, is the divine law set by the gods. The law states that once a person has died, they need to have gone through the proper burial rituals (done by anyone in the realm of the living) in order for the soul to pass to the underworld and into Hades’ realm. According to Greek mythology, these laws were set by the gods since the start of time and they hold importance over all other human laws. Antigone understands these laws and the hierarchy which explains the importance compared to the law of the state. She clearly explains this on Pg.39, emphasizing to King Creon that she
In the question of who had a better argument for following duty the answer is dependent on the context it's asked in. If the question is entirely based on logic then Antigone had no argument. Her actions were caused by her grief for her brother. King Creon's actions were meant to make him a more feared leader. His logic was clear. His purpose was to keep his people in line by showing them he will not even spare his future daughter in law. If the context this question is asked in is referring to who followed their family duty the obvious answer is Antigone. King Creon left his nephew's corpse to be eaten by birds in the field. When his niece attempted to follow her family duty, the king killed her for it.
Creon’s idea of justice is just wrong. While being King in Thebes, Creon is a complete dictator over everything. He is a leader who classifies the power and dignity of the state completely by himself. Creon believes that the laws should be “man-made”. Antigone states that, “Such, I hear, is the martial law our good Creon lays down for you and me – yes, me, I tell you – and he’s coming her to alert the uniformed in no uncertain terms, and he won’t treat the matter lightly. Whoever disobeys in the least will die, his doom is sealed: stoning to death inside the city walls!” (Antigone, Sophocles 60). In this quote Antigone is discussing with Ismene that Creon has made a law that whoever buries Polynices will be stoned inside the city walls. This is wrong. Creon’s way of law is proven wrong, because when Polynices dies, he does not want to bury him, which leads to Antigone hanging herself, and many more who commit suicide because of his decisions. Instead of accepting kingship as a responsibility for the entire kingdom of Thebes, Creon creates big
Martin Luther King once stated in "The Letter from Birmingham Jail", "Any individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment to arouse the conscience of the community over it injustice is in reality, expressing the highest respect for the law" (King 411). King meant that, if anyone feels a law is unjust and needed to expose its injustice, should willingly accept any penalty that comes in their way to help arouse people 's conscience in changing that law. In “The Letter from Birmingham Jail”, Martin Luther King explains the four powerful steps of the nonviolent campaign he used to protest against racial injustice for African-Americans
I used this quote from Antigone because it properly states Antigone’s viewpoint on Creon’s decree. As told in the story, Creon's decree was that no one could grieve for or bury Polyneices. Creon made this proclamation because when Eteocles and Polyneices fought over Thebes, Eteocles was pronounced king and exiled Polyneices from Thebes. Polyneices, in turn, formed an army to take on the city, ending up with Eteocles and Polyneices killing each other, thus putting Creon in the position of power. Creon then proceeds to label Polyneices a traitor and finally, makes his decree. I feel that this quote accurately depicts the plot of Antigone because it explains what this whole story is about. The main struggle of this story is about Antigone trying
“Again you are balanced on a razors edge”, retorted Teiresias to Creon. Creon is still looking for a resolution to a difficult situation but the predicament he’s in leaves him vulnerable to outside sources which are the gods. “So the gods accept no offerings from us, not praying nor flame of sacrifice. The birds cry out a sound I can not distinguish, gorged with the greasy blood of that dead man” said Teiresias. The gods aren’t accepting any pleas from the elder because they aren’t satisfied with the way Polynieces body is being left out without the proper burial. “All men may err, but error once committed, he’s no fool nor unsuccessful, who can change his mind and cure the trouble he has fallen in. Stubbornness and stupidity are twins.” Commented Teriresias.
During the course of the entire play Antigone makes it apparent that her sole goal is to bury Polyneices. She puts this above the laws made by Creon and even her sister Ismene. While arguing with her sister, Antigone says, “You make these excuses, but I Shall proceed to heap up a tomb for our dearest brother…Make straight your own life’s destiny”(80-82). Also after being captured and entombed herself, Antigone laments, “Behold, high rulers of Thebes:The sole woman remaining of the royal line(940-941)! Antigone shrugs aside one of the only living members of her family, and it seems that because of this, the “text prompts us to question the case for Antigone and her understanding of
King Creon has good intentions. But he has very little virtue. Creon is afraid of things getting out of hand after the Trojan War. Creon forbids anyone to give Polyneices a proper burial. When Creon finds out that someone has given Polyneices a proper burial, he knows that to maintain order he must punish the person who did the act.
Creon gives Eteocles the proper respect of a burial, but denies Polyneices the same in order to make an example of him. Even though he was an enemy of the state, most people would have given him the proper respect of a burial. However, Creon “demands complete obedience to his edict from all the citizens” (Epstein 33). His decision was final, and anyone who attempts to disobey will be met with certain death. This is a characteristic common among tyrants throughout history. When Creon learned of somebody trying to bury Polyneices, he became furious: “I swear by God and by the throne of God, the man who has done this thing shall pay for it” (1.127-128). The cruelty of
Creon declared that Polynices was not to be given his burial rights and those that went against his law were to be put to death. His reasoning being Polynices went to war against Thebes for the right to rule after Eteocles, his brother, broke the pact between them and sent Polynices in exile.That - in the eyes of Creon - amounts to treason. It was a case of fratricide as well. When Antigone acted against the specific order of the king, by putting dust over the dead body of Polynices, accepting that while Polynices had killed her other brother, Polynices himself was still a part of her family and thus deserved the same buries rites as Eteocles. Creon had to act.
Creon’s devotion is to the city not to the family. It is a strong argument for punishing Polyneices. Polyneices brings massacre to Thebes, killed the king and other soldiers of Thebes. If he permits the burial, it may be disloyalty to the city. Creon says to Antigone “An enemy can’t be a friend, even when he is dead” (Antigone). It is a hint that Creon believes one should be devoted to the city more than family.
The ancient Greek play of Antigone includes many instances of great opposition. Between the characters of Creon, the wartime ruler of Thebes, and Antigone, Creon’s step-daughter, there is a struggle for the ruling of whether Antigone’s traitor brother would ultimately be buried or let out for nature to take care of the body. I agree with Antigone to have her brother, Polyneices, buried at the Gods’ will.
Creon feels that he cannot give equal share to both brothers because one was a traitor and the other was loyal. Creon’s pride oversees any other way in justify them so he then enforce a law in which states Polyneices body will remain untouched and not buried and those who disobey will be punished. After being a powerful king and all, he finds out that Antigone, the one he swore to look after along with her sister, committed in disobeying his law and breaking it by burying Polyneices body. It was then where he second guess himself on going along with his