Sophocles scholars have interpreted the Antigone as a play about a conflict . Let us first see what the nature of Antigone's relationship to the gods is; there are I: Oedipus Tyrannus, Oedipus Coloneus, Antigone, Oxford, At the Clarendon . Antigone- She is the oldest daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta. Creon then resumes power and declares that Eteocles will have a proper burial; however. Creon's method of executing Antigone is interesting. the people near and dear to him (Haimon and Tiresias) have betrayed him. Comparing Creon's Metamorphosis in Antigone, Oedipus the King, and Oedipus at Colonus.
Yes, to me anyone who while guiding the whole city fails to set his hand to the best counsels, but keeps his mouth shut by reason of some fear seems now and has always seemed the worst of men; and him who rates a dear one higher than his native land, him I put nowhere. I would never be silent, may Zeus who sees all things for ever know it, when I saw ruin coming upon the citizens instead of safety, nor would I make a friend of the enemy of my country, knowing that this is the ship that preserves us, and that this is the ship on which we sail and only while she prospers can we make our friends.
These are the rules by which I make our city great.
Our emphasis 19 See his invocation of Zeus in We have already pointed out that it is a religious conflict in other terms, a conflict between two forms of relationship between the human and the divine ; but now we can determine more accurately the contours of this religious conflict.
In this sense, the conflict between Antigone and Creon amounts to a conflict between two forms of relationship to two different gods more precisely between a form of relationship to Zeus and a form of relationship to Hades.
Instead, we mean that each one of the protagonists has a different conception of the role of each one of the deities in the resolution of the conflict regarding the burial of Polynices. However, we have yet to explain how and why the two protagonists are in conflict with one another.
One thing is already clear from what we have seen up to this point, namely that the conflict between Antigone and Creon centres on the question of what the right religious stance regarding the burial of Polynices is.Incest, Exile, and Sophocles for Children: The Oedipus Cycle
Now, one of the main factors causing the conflict over the burial of Polynices is that the positions of both protagonists are characterized by their boldness and insolence. The text of the Antigone points to this quite plainly in relation to both Antigone and Creon.
This girl knew well how to be insolent then, transgressing the established laws; and after her action, this was a second insolence, to exult in this and to laugh at the thought of having done it. Do not wear the garment of one mood only, thinking that your opinion and no other must be right! For whoever think that they themselves alone have sense, or have a power of speech or an intelligence that no other has, these people when they are laid open are found to be empty.
It is not shameful for a man, even if he is wise, often to learn things and not to resist excessively. Our emphasis 30 Cf. As we have seen, this mutual disavowal has a religious character, for each one of the protagonists wants to deny the legitimacy of the relationship that the other has established to divinity to the extent that it is this relationship that is the basis of their opposing behaviours.
For these have life, not simply today and yesterday, but forever, and no one knows how long ago they were revealed. Polynices] a grace which is impious towards him [sc. Our emphasis 31 Cf. Indeed, Antigone says the edict proclaimed by Creon does not derive from Justice inhabitant of the underworld 31 or from Zeus the ruler of the world above the ground.
Antigone maintains that the truly divine laws or customs the unwritten and eternal laws or customs 33 are those according to which the dead — especially the dead in the family — must be given funeral rites. In turn, Creon accuses Antigone of impiety towards Eteocles because she has buried Polynices cf. However, in essence, both forms of disavowal are similar in that each one of them claims that the relationship to the divine it is grounded on is more truly religious.
As we have suggested just now, in order for each protagonist to try to disavow the other, they must have the conviction that their religious point of view is the more correct one. The passages in the Antigone where mutual accusations of madness occur between the protagonists of the play are absolutely crucial for us here; they allow us to perceive not only a further development of the mutual disavowal between Antigone and Creon but also the fact that both protagonists claim to have the correct relationship with the divine one which rests on their ability to see things as they really are.
The lines now quoted, although spoken by Antigone, are enough to prove that the accusation of folly is mutual; in any case, in Creon accuses Antigone — and also Ismene, though in a weaker fashion — of being mad: After Antigone is captured by Creon, Ismene states that she helped because she wants to be executed with her sister. Antigone states that she is innocent, and therefore, Ismene is set free.
Creon exiled Oedipus from Thebes after Oedipus killed his father and married his mother. Creon also declared that Polyneices would not receive a proper burial because he committed treason against his own city.
Creon punishes Antigone to death. Haemon is supposed to marry Antigone, however, when Creon banishes Antigone to her death, Haemon runs off. He is later found, dead by her side, after committing suicide for his lost love.
Although he supposedly is the next in line to receive power to the throne, Eteocles takes over and banishes Polyneices from Thebes.
Polyneices then gathers and army and attacks his brother. He ends up killing his brother, and being killed by his brother in battle.
He takes over the throne when he is old enough, and banishes Polyneices from Thebes. When Polyneices attacks Eteocles for the throne, Eteocles kills him, and is killed by same, simultaneously, in battle. Oedipus, who was supposed to be the ruler of Thebes, was banished by Creon because he killed his father and married his brother. Antigone Plot Summary Oedipus was banished from Thebes, when the prophecy of patricide and incest was proven true.
Oedipus left Thebes a blind and broken man. As time passed, and the two sons aged, Eteocles claimed the throne for himself, exiling his older brother Polyneices. Polyneices then gathered a giant army and attacked Eteocles for the throne.
Neither of the two sons won because they both ended up killing each other in battle. Her sister, Ismene, warns her against the dangers and consequences and states that she will not have any part in helping her sister with her scheme.
Antigone Plot Summary
As guards brush the dirt off the body, she reveals herself willingly. Creon is enraged and imprisons both Antigone and Ismene, who he believes to be an accomplice.
Creon ridicules Haemon for his ridiculous thoughts of freeing Antigone. Haemon then runs off, crushed that his father would treat his so badly. Creon mocks Teiresias, but the chorus reminds Creon that the prophet has never been wrong.
Religious Conflict in Sophocles’ Antigone
Creon then rushes to free Antigone, but it is too late, she is dead, and Haemon has killed himself for her. Creon is then lead away by the chorus, lamenting in his own self misery. They claim that the gods rightfully punished such arrogant boasts and hatred between the two men, and that they really got what was genuinely coming to them.
He then states that any person who tries to give the body a burial will be punished by death. He assigns men to guard the body to make sure no one touches it. However, a sandstorm blows dust around and Antigone performs the proper burial rights for her brother. A watchman then goes and tells Creon, who is enraged.
They sing about how man is cunning and deceitful, and how justice will prevail among those who do wrong. Ismene then shows up and states that she helped Antigone, but Antigone states that her sister did not help at all and that it was all her fault. Creon tells his men to lock the girls up and make sure they do not get away.