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Antigone Conflicts

By | March 2001
Page 1 of 3
Conflicts in Antigone

There were three basic conflicts that caused Antigone and Creon to clash as violently as they did. First, was the conflict of the individual versus the state, in which Antigone represented the individual and Creon the king, the state. The second conflict can be described as following ones conscience and ideals versus following the law strictly. In this conflict Antigone makes decisions based on her conscience and ideals while Creon is the strict law abiding king. Finally, the main and most important discord, which is similar to the second conflict, is the debate of moral and divine law versus human law. In this most important contention Creon strictly observes human laws and Antigone follows the divine or moral laws. Creon's beliefs and his unwillingness to change ultimately cause the downfall of Creon and everyone that he cares about.

Through the three roughly related conflicts we are given a picture of why and for what causes Creon and Antigone combat. Creon represents the laws of the world, while Antigone represents the laws of the soul. This creates obvious conflicts in the course of life. There are certain human laws that are for one reason or another unfair under certain circumstances. One such circumstance presented itself after Polyneices Eteocles, brothers to Antigone, are killed in the Thebes' civil war. In the eyes of Creon Eteocles chose the noble and correct side in the war while Polyneices fought against Creon's cause. As a result of Polyneices' actions, which clearly defied the state and its laws, Creon decides that he will not be given a proper burial. Naturally, as his sister Antigone want to see her brother buried properly, and was especially important in this time period because of the various polytheistic beliefs. Because of her morals, ideals and the fact that what she felt was more important than any law, Antigone gave her brother a proper burial despite Creon's demands.

Throughout the story Creon is given...

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