Theme Of Authority In Antigone

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Having to choose between obeying your uncle’s law with the threat of death as punishment and burying your dead brother is a strange situation that most would find difficult to navigate. For Antigone in the play Antigone by Sophocles, this was a no-brainer. Sophocles writes about Antigone, Oedipus’s daughter as she decides to bury her dead brother Polynices, against her uncle Creon’s wishes, who is also the king. The king’s pride forces him to punish Antigone and her sister Ismene, which results in the death of Antigone, his son Haemon, and his wife Eurydice before he realizes his wrongdoings. Although throughout Antigone, the questioning of authority and strict adherence to the law is a prominent theme, by the end, Sophocles suggests that there…show more content…
Antigone goes against her uncle’s command to leave her brother’s corpse and buries his body, saying, “It’s not for him to keep me from my own.” (48). This disobedience of Creon’s order is the beginning of the end for the royal family. This action is seen by everyone else in the play as disobeying authority and one could infer she believes that under the right circumstances, to infringe upon authority is appropriate. Having said that, there is another degree to Antigone’s creed: toward the end of the play, Antigone tells Creon, “For me, it was not Zeus who made that order. Nor did that Justice who lives with the gods below were so strong that you, a mortal man, could ever over-run the gods’ unwritten and unfailing laws. Not now, nor yesterday’s, they always live…not through fear of any man’s proud spirit would I be likely to neglect these laws,” (449-458). Antigone is saying that she is really following the god’s laws by disobeying Creon’s law, therefore, elucidating the impression that Antigone is in agreement with Creon in the sense that one must obey authority. She does not agree, however, that she must obey Creon’s law because it was not of the gods. Though she follows the gods, she still broke the second tier of authority (Creon’s authority) and was met with an untimely end for her
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