Antigone Analysis

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ENGL 043
Theme Paper
10-Sep-07
The story of Antigone deals mainly with Antigone’s brother whose body has been left unburied because of his crimes in opposition to the state. Among the many themes present in this play, is one of the relationships between sisters and brothers. Although the main story focuses on the king’s choice to follow through with his political responsibility, the essence of the play lays in Antigone’s actions in displaying loyalty towards her sibling; her dead brother. Antigone; a tragic heroine in Sophocles play believes in her moral duty to the Gods and her siblings and chooses to stay loyal to her obligation as a good sibling towards her brother over her political liability. The sight of her brother being unburied drives Antigone to take action against the state and bury her brother regardless of the legal consequences she would inevitably face whereas her father chooses to do otherwise. The king’s choice to follow his political obligation is illustrated by his orders to a herald to forbid any funeral rites or burial to the corpse of Antigone’s second brother- Polynices, when he says "Let him lie unwept, unburied, a toothsome morsel for the birds of heaven, and whoso touches him shall perish by the cruel death of stoning." This is in contrast to the actions taken by Antigone. Her decision to exhibit loyalty towards her brother is justified against in two ways: by her argument through divine law (the law of the Gods) and her defiant speech against the law of man. Antigone was following divine laws, while Kreone followed the laws of the state. Her brother’s afterlife was so important to Antigone that she was willing to give up anything to ensure her brother’s soul would rest in peace. Divine law involves morals and beliefs that are presented by God. The idea of divine law can be described as being the unwritten laws of the Gods (Sophocles 64). This type of law is most likely in effect when...
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