Theme Of Punishment In Antigone

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Sophocles’ Antigone, is a classic Athenian Greek play that discusses questions about the importance of following the law when one does not agree with it, and whether divine laws or man-made laws have more importance in society. While these themes are worth exploring, another interesting aspect of the play is the cruel treatment and punishment of the title character, Antigone, by her uncle and future father-in-law Creon, the king of Thebes. Creon’s harsh punishment, a parallel to the treatment of women in Greek society, can be seen in many of the dialogues of the play. Antigone is determined to provide proper burial for dead brother, Polynices, against the orders of the king, and goes to her sister Ismene for help. However, Ismene is distraught at the idea of defying the king (104). Ismene tells her sister that they are only women and not fit to challenge men (105). Ismene says this to convince her sister not to bury their brother as it not only against the law, but wrong for a woman to challenge the orders of any man, let alone the king. She warns Antigone that acting above one’s place would not be a wise decision (105). Ismene knows that if Antigone is caught burying their brother, her gender will surely affect the harshness of her…show more content…
Creon explains that his harsh punishment is just, as the law must be followed always, especially when dealing with a woman (107). Haemon and Creon disagree about Antigone’s punishment and while their argument started civil, it devolves into a verbal dispute, with Creon saying that his son is fighting the woman’s battle (108). This is meant to insult Haemon and imply he isn’t fighting for any moral reason, but instead because he cares about a woman. Creon also accuses his son of being a plaything of a mistress (108). These belittling remarks show that Creon’s anger about the situation comes from the fact the transgressor of his will was a

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