Antigone

In Sophocles' play Antigone we are faced with a simple conflict between Creon, king of Thebes, and his niece, Antigone. Although the conflict is clear and easy to understand on its surface, beneath the surface onlookers often become jaded as to which character, Creon or Antigone, Sophocles intended to portray this tragic play through. As the play begins, Antigone is alone in her beliefs. The chorus sides with Creon and most likely the audience as well. However, as the play develops Antigone gains the support of her peers, including the chorus. In the end Creon also sides with Antigone but only after it is too late and his fate has been sealed.
The play begins with Antigone conversing with Ismene, her sister. She proposes to Ismene that they disobey the decree of Creon and bury the body of Polynices, even at the cost of death. Ismene is afraid to join her and tries to dissuade Antigone from her purpose, urging the weakness of women and the necessity of obedience to the state. However, Antigone scorns her advice and buries the body of Polynices. Upon repeating the burial rights of Polynices, Antigone is arrested and led to a courtyard where she meets face to face with Creon. In the courtyard she is openly defiant and brutally outspoken. She exclaims, "Of course I did it. It wasn't Zeus, not in the least who made this Proclamation-not to me. Nor did justice, dwelling with the gods beneath the earth, ordain such laws for men. Nor did I think your edict had such force that you, a mere mortal could override the gods, the great unwritten, unshakable traditions. They are alive, not just today or yesterday: They live f!
orever." (Antigone, ll. 499-507)Antigone is a woman for whom politics and sovereignty of the state take second place. Compassion and piety are in the forefront of her heart and mind. She is willing to give up her own life rather than witness Polynices' death without passageway into the after-…

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