Antigone - Paper 24

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Antigone, by Sophocles, is a story about the struggle between Antigone, who represents the laws of the gods and Creon, who represents the laws of the state. The play takes place circa 442 B.C. in the city-state of Thebes. The story revolves around the burial of Polyneices. Polyneices led an army against his brother, Etocles, the King of Thebes. They killed each other in battle and the new king, Creon, made a decree that only Etocles was to be buried because Polyneices was his rival. Antigone, sister of Polyneices and Etocles, feels that she needs to bury Polyneices in accordance to Zeus' law, but this went against Creon's decree. Also, Antigone has to bury Polyneices without the help of her sister Ismene. Since Antigone decided to follow Zeus' law, which states that all bodies must be buried, she defied Creon's decree and buried Polyneices anyway. Caught by the guards, while burying her brother, Antigone was sent to a rocky chamber as punishment by Creon. Creon's son, Haemon, was engaged to marry Antigone, but he along with the rest of the city thought Antigone's death was unjust. Even after Teirsias, the blind prophet, warned Creon to release Antigone and bury Polyneices, Creon remained reluctant. Finally, Teirsias told Creon that the gods were going to punish him and Creon became worried. By the time he got to the rocky chamber, it was too late: Antigone already hung herself. Creon found his son sobbing next to her and when he told Haemon to come back with him, Haemon spat in his face and pulled out his sword. In the struggle to save Haemon, Creon opened the way for Haemon to impale himself. After Creon's wife, Eurydice, found out her son was dead, she stabbed herself to death.

Creon is not wholly wrong in forbidding people to bury Polyneices. His intentions are good because he wanted to show how evil Polyneices was in attacking the city and that in order for the government of Thebes to work, they have to stay united. According to...
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