Antigone deals with the conflicts arising from three demands made upon the human psyche: the demands of religion (Zeus); the demands of the state (Thebes); and the demands of human instincts (Aphrodite).
Characters like Antigone represent how firm beliefs and a strong sense of religion can impact an individual’s thoughts and actions. When Antigone was put before King Creon to defend herself she says to him “But all your strength is weakness itself against the immortal unrecorded laws of God. They are not merely now: they were and shall be, operative forever, beyond man utterly” (pg. 208). Throughout the book Antigone stands up, to seemingly impossible forces, for what she believes is God’s will. Antigone knew that her brother needed to be buried – the gods demanded the dead to be buried or else they would never reach the afterlife in Hades. And Antigone also knew that the consequence for disobeying the king’s was almost certain death. Her faith in God was stronger than her fear of death; Antigone knew that her actions would be seen as holy in God’s eyes (pg.192) and that she would make the right decision by burying Polyneicês.
Creon’s thirst for power illuminates how humans strive to be in control and the destruction that these desires may bring. Once Creon took over Oedipus throne, when his sons had died, he became greedy for power. When Creon learns that Antigone and Ismene (in a sense) had disregarded his decree he jumps to conclusions assuming that they are aiming to take his throne. Creon says to Ismene “Snake in my ordered house, sucking my blood stealthily – and all the time I never knew that these two sisters were aiming at my throne!” (pg. 212) Creon had gone from a wise and honorable advisor of King Oedipus but when the chance to take the role as king arose, he was eager to claim power and authority. Creon made a decree that disobeyed the god’s orders and when someone stood up to him, he takes it as a threat. Creon was so...
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