Although her actions would defy the commands of her ruler, she follows through with the rebellion to achieve justice for her brother. In response to Creon’s verdict, Antigone explained: “ This punishment will not be pain. Only if I let my mother’s son lie there unburied then I could not have borne it. This I can bear “ (Lines 391-394). Being the stubborn character that Antigone is she was not ready to give into her
Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta. In the beginning of the book, we find out that Antigone’s brothers have killed each other in war. One of the brothers, Polyneices is considered a traitor and Creon, the king, refuses to give him a proper burial. Antigone decides to disobey the king and give her brother a proper burial. Antigone loves the idea of a noble death and it drives her decision-making at the end of her life.
Antigone identifies the love for family, and what others should have with one another, by trying to convince her sister Ismene to help her bury her brother, Polyneices. I do not think Antigone wanted to be a hero in any matter but of love for her brother, and the loss, honoring the deceased. Antigone even proves that she will never turn her back on family; “And now you can prove what you are; a true sister, or a traitor to your family.” (Sophocles, Line 26-27) She went against her own uncle, the Kind of Thebes, Creon. He ordered that no one should honor, or mourn Polyneices and that he should not be buried for being a traitor. She wanted to do what she thought was right and
Do you know it? Have you heard it?/Don 't you notice when evils due to enemies/are headed towards those we love?" (Antigone, Line 8-12) Antigone proves her familial loyalty when, after her brothers kill each other, King Creon states that only one of the brothers is to be buried. The other brother is dishonored and must be left to rot. Antigone defies Creon 's orders and buries her fallen brother in spite of the law forbidding the act.
Antigone uses both logical and emotional appeals to persuade her sister Ismene that their brother Polyneices should be honored and have a proper burial. During an argument between Antigone and Ismene, Ismene believes that the law should be obeyed therefore she will not help Antigone. Antigone states, “Polyneices, who fought as bravely and died as miserably…no one shall bury him, no one mourn for him… his body must lie in the fields (Sophocles et al.190).” Antigone is trying to communicate to Ismene through the use of an emotional and logical appeal by explaining that he was, left to be decomposed by the birds. In the Greek culture, having a burial is a civic and religious duty which is necessary to proceed to the afterlife unaffected. So from Antigone’s perspective, it is a dishonor and indignity to the family.
Creon enacts the law of no burial for Polynices’s corpse because he was a traitor to their country. Polynices’s sister, Antigone refuses to listen to Creon’s order and she says to her sister, Ismene,” he has no right to keep me from my own.” She stands in the face of Creon’s unjust law to follow her gods’ divine laws, and she buries her brother’s corpse. Creon’s full power isn’t enough to stop Antigone. When Creon knows that Antigone buried her brother’s body, he orders his guard to put Antigone in a cave till she starves to death. Antigone died but she got the glory she aims for rather than leave her brother’s corpse to rot.
They even go as far as to accuse her of being inclined to trouble like her father after they discover she buried her brother, Polyneices. However, as Antigone is led to her living tomb by the guards, the Chorus expresses sympathy towards her. After Creon receives advice from Teiresias, the Chorus insists that he take it, reminding Creon that Teiresias is never wrong. Creon finally agrees, but is too late. Because of the Chorus's initially submissive behavior, Antigone is left alone to defend her beliefs, leading her to her tragic death.
Antigone in the prologue is talking with Ismene about the battle between Polyneices and Eteocles, which definitely stirs up emotions between the two. Ismene says at one point “They mean a great deal to me, but I have no strength To break laws that were made for the public good. (p.60-61)” Ismene wants to bury him, but she fears for her life and doesn’t want to gamble her life to do it. Antigone feels that she should bury her brother and is very willing to do it, as seen when she says “ I am going to bury him...He is my brother. (p.30-33)” The willingness and bravery of Antigone to do what she feels is right in this situation brings out her overall character traits, her stubbornness and passion.
In scene 2 Creon figures out that Antigone was the one who buried Polyneices even though she knew she had broken the law. Antigone believes that people would praise her but, because Creon is present, they do not say anything. “I should have praise and honor for what I have done. All these men here would praise me were their lips frozen shut with fear of you... No, they are with me. But they keep their tongues in leash.” (Page 507) When Antigone says this it shows how she will not say that people are mad at her for breaking the law, she will not give in and say she did something wrong.
Another major difference was the use of Polynices as a persuasive method. Ismene, despite the argument being about her brother’s burial, didn’t bring him up in the conversation; instead, she only talked of the hopelessness of breaking the rules. Antigone, on the other hand, called Polynices a lovely treasure, and the unfairness of the conviction was a main point in her argument. They also differed in the way they spoke of the State. Antigone sarcastically speaks of Creon’s leadership and decisions, whereas Ismene says they’re ruled by much stronger hands when referring to him.