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Antigone by Sophocles

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In the play "Antigone" by Sophocles, Creon and Antigone have

distinct conflicting values. Creon's regard for the laws of the city

causes him to abandon all other beliefs. He feels that all should obey

the laws set forth by him, even if other beliefs, moral or religious,

state otherwise. Antigone, on the other hand, hold the beliefs of the

gods in high reverence. She feels that the laws of the gods should be

obeyed above all others, especially when in respect to family. Creon

has a very strong opinion about the laws of the city and the laws

passed by him. His method of enforcing them is very strict. In

"Antigone" Creon orders that Polyneices will not be buried because of

his dishonor towards Thebes. Furthermore, if anyone is caught burying

him they will be killed for disobeying his order. Polonieces is

Antigone's brother. He is being punished because he attacked Thebes

and betrayed Creon and the people of Thebes. Creon's harsh punishment

on those who disobey the law makes many fear him and dare not to go

against him. One example is Ismene's regard for Creon's laws. She

tries to talk her sister out of burying her brother because of what

could happen to her if Creon found out that she went against him.

Ismene says "We must obey them.....I yield to those who have

authority"(5). Not only do the people of Thebes obey the laws of the

city because of their fear but because it is a shame to dishonor the

king. To go against the kings claim and dishonor the law is to die a

more shameful death then Antigone's mother and father(59-60). Antigone

does not want to let her brother be left without a proper burial. Her

belief is to show respect and love towards her brother she must bury

him. Her beliefs in "The sacred laws that Heaven holds in honor" are

far more important than those set by the king(Antigone 78). She feels

that the king cannot override her belief in the gods. Antigone feels

very strongly about burying her brother against Creon's orders. She

refused to back down from her opinion even when confronted by the king

and sentenced to death. Antigone reasoning is: "It was not Zeus who

published this decree,Nor have the powers who rule among the dead

Imposed such laws as this upon mankind; Nor could I think that a

decree of yours- A man-could override the laws of Heaven Unwritten and

unchanged"(450-455). She goes on to say that she does not want to go

before the gods after she had disobeyed them because of a decree made

by a mortal king(458-459). The loss of a brother is greater to

Antigone then the lose of any



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