Antigone In-class Essay
In the play Antigone, Antigone has problems with two other characters: her sister, Ismene, and the ruler of Thebes, Creon. There are other conflicts in this play, for example the one between Creon and his son, Haemon, who ends up killing himself in the end. Hegel states that Antigone is a “tragic collision of right against right, with both sides equally justified.” Hegel’s opinion on Antigone is a very accurate summarization of the moral dilemmas in the play. The play opens with a conflict between Antigone, and her sister, Ismene. Both of their brothers have died, in Creon’s words, “Eteocles, who in this city’s quarrel fought and fell, the foremost of our champions in the fray, they should entomb with the full sanctity of rites that solemnize the downward road of their greatest dead. Him the while, his brother, that Polynices who, returning home a banished man, sought to lay waste with fire his household Gods, his native country – sought to glut himself with his own kindred’s blood, or carry them away to slavery, it has been promulgated to the city no man shall bury, none should wail for him; unsepulchred, shamed in the eyes of men,”(p.8-9) What this is saying is that Polynices should not be buried because he killed his own brother, after he was banished from the land, and he is no hero to anyone in Thebes, and shall not have the honour of being buried. Etocles should be buried, because he stayed true to his land. Antigone doesn’t feel right about only one of their brothers being buried, especially because in the time when this play was written, it was considered an incredibly bad omen for someone not to be buried. Creon has said otherwise, though, and that any man who attempts to bury the traitor Polynices will be punished with death. Antigone and Ismene, a perfect example of foil characters, argue over this. Antigone states, “Now you will quickly show if you are worthy of your birth or no.”(p. 2) because in her mind, family and...
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