In Antigone, Sophocles displays a contrast in the views of family honour to display the culture of Thebes. The reactions by the chorus to the actions of Antigone giving her brother a proper burial demonstrates how important family honour is in the society. Creon provides the contrast because he is punishing Antigone for her actions based on family honour. Creon ultimately desecrates family honour. When a son or father dies in battle, they are carried home to be properly buried by their families. Antigone’s other dead brother, was a patriot and fought for Thebes, and he was given a proper burial. However, Polynices is not given a proper burial because he rebels against Thebes.
Creon is forgotten because he decides to execute Antigone. The punishment is to be locked in a blocked cave until she dies. Although later on in the story, Creon does decide to free her, it is too late. The people of Thebes are astounded at the fact that Creon would even conceive such a horrible punishment. Antigone acted on family honour, which is completely understood “On every side I hear voices of pity for this poor girl doomed to the cruellest death…for an honourable action-burying a brother who was killed in battle…has she not rather earned a crown of gold” (Sophocles 145). This quotation displays how the chorus respects Antigone and her actions to give her brother a proper burial.
“It was by this service to your dear body, Polynices; I earned the punishment which now I suffer, though all good people know it was for your honour” (Sophocles 150)
Antigone dared to defy the King’s threat of death to bury her brother, and shows true family pride. The people take pity on Antigone,...