Antigone did the right thing by defileing
Creon’s strict orders on burying Polynices because the unalterable laws
of the gods and our morals are higher than the blasphemous laws of man.
Creon gave strict orders not to bury Polynices because he lead a rebellion,
which turned to rout, in Thebes against Creon, their omnipotent king. Antigone
could not bare to watch her brother become consumed by vultures’ talons
and dogs. Creon finds out that somebody buried Polynices’ body and sent
people out to get the person who preformed the burial. Antigone is guilty
and although she is to be wed to Creon’s son, Haemon. He sentences her
to be put in a cave with food and water and let the gods decide what to
do with her. He was warned by a blind profit not to do this, but he chooses
to anyway, leaving him with a dead son, a dead wife, and self-imposed exile.
Antigone had good reasons for her actions.
She did obey the rules of her gods, which were that any dead body must
be given a proper burial, with libatations. This would prevent the soul
from being lost between worlds forever, along with wine as an offering
to the gods (page 518- side note). Nor could Antigone let Creon’s edicts
go against her morals (lines 392-394). She chooses to share her love, not
her hate (line 443). She couldn’t bare to see one family member be chosen
over the other because of what a king had decided was right, which she
contravened. Why condemn somebody who stood up for what they believed in
and is now dead for it anyway? Bringing homage to the family was very important
to Antigone (line 422-423).
The gods’ laws come before mortal laws
in Antigone’s point-of-view, which is how I believe also. In death, you
will answer to your god and no man will have control of your fate in the
world that lies hereafter. Therefore by obeying the gods, hopefully, will
result in a happy afterlife, which are what most people strive for in ancient
times and now. If man does not honor you for noble efforts, your gods’
will. Antigone’s act was honorable. She stood up to the highest of powers
so she could honor her brother, knowing the consequence would be death.
Most likely she figured there is only a certain amount man can do to you,
so she might as well stand up for not only her family and beliefs, but
her gods as well (lines 377-389).Creon could have easily changed his mind,
and there were fair amounts of warning. But his decisions lead him into
an empty life that could have been adverted if only he would have put his
pride aside for a while. Simply because he was too egotistical and too
tempermental, his son died (line 986) along with his wife (lines 1080-1081),
which left him hapless and with a deep sense of deplorable sorrow leading
to self-imposed exile (lines 1119-1126).
Antigone, Heamon, and Creon’s wife all
could have been saved if only one man could have put aside his pride. It
is clear that Antigone is not the one who did the wrong in this story,