Theme Of Disobedience In Antigone

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In Sophocles’ Antigone, Creon's citizens only obey him out of fear of the consequences of disobedience. Creon is the king of Thebes and creates a law forbidding anyone to bury Polyneices, Antigone and Ismene’s brother. Ismene obeys Creon’s edict because she fears death. Antigone believes the gods want every person to have a proper burial so she sets out to bury her brother against Creon’s wishes. The Sentry reports the attempt on burying Polyneices and brings the captured Antigone to Creon in fear that if someone else tells Creon his interdict has been disobeyed and that the Sentry was there, Creon would believe it was the Sentry who broke the law. When Antigone and Creon speak to each other, Antigone utterly rejects the authority of Creon.…show more content…
It is not just in the eyes of Creon, but Antigone is not concerned with the laws that man makes. She follows the gods’ laws and Antigone saw the divine laws of the gods to be much more important than those of man. This is her flaw. She does not obey authority and it will lead her to great consequences. “So go. And please your fantasy and call it wicked what the gods call good” (Sophocles 194). Antigone says this to Ismene after trying to convince her to help with burying their brother. Antigone obeys the laws that she believes to be just, the gods’ laws. “Zeus never promulgated such a law, Nor will you find that Justice, Mistress of the world below, publishes such laws to humankind. I never thought your mortal edicts had such force they nullified the laws of heaven, which unwritten, can boast a currency that everlastingly is valid, an origin beyond the birth of man” (210). Antigone is not fearful of the consequences of disobeying authority. She believes the gods are against Creon. Antigone knows that the citizens of Thebes are frightened to speak against Creon and his rule. “Not a man here would say the opposite, were his tongue not locked in fear. Unfortunately, tyranny can lay the law down any way it wants” (212). She is disobeying authority and telling Creon that other citizens would like to disagree with him, but will not because of the way he rules, with fear. Eventually, because she did not obey the…show more content…
Antigone being representative of the divine law of the gods sacrifices her life to honor her brother and please the gods. Condemned at first by Creon, she is later exonerated for her actions while Creon suffers a harsher fate. He believes in human law and believes that a traitor should never be forgiven - thus explaining his decisions to condemn the burial of Polyneices, and sentence Antigone to death. In the end, Creon's failure to respect the divine law leads to his family deserting him for death and he suffers from the ultimate punishment of guilt. He becomes so blinded and infatuated with his rule and his pride that he fails to consider any other human laws, which could balance the inequality of his rule, and benefit the people of Thebes, demonstrating the detrimental effects of following human law. Sophocles also mentions the name of the king of gods - Zeus, to emphasize the fact that the gods’ king won over man’s king and that the gods are the ultimate authority. Creon did not obey the ultimate authority figures: the gods, and it ultimately lead to his grief and his demise. It is always right to obey authority because disobeying authority will lead to extreme
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