The playwright Sophocles is known for his tragic Oedipus cycle. Through Antigone in particular we learn of how his views on religion affected his writings. All of the characters represent part of his beliefs.
The play Antigone by Sophocles is a play like no other. Its central theme is a practical problem of conduct involving the laws of the gods and those of the humans. Antigone represents the laws of the gods while Creon represents those of the humans. Both characters are very stubborn, neither of them willing to back down or compromise. Both sides are committed to their own reasoning and disinclined to listen to other points of view. Because of the hubris, or hurtful, over bearing pride, of each of the characters, destruction descends upon them. Antigone’s destruction comes from her being to stubborn to back down, but Creon’s downfall comes from attempting to be just and right by enforcing the law. Since Creon acted as he thought right and just, then suffered tragedy because of an error he made, he displays the image of a tragic hero.
Antigone is the law of the gods in her beliefs. She also holds her family above the laws of man. She finds the thought of not burying her brother Polynices unacceptable and vows to do so even if it means a death sentence for her. Even Ismene, her sister, doesn’t understand her thoughts on the matter. “Isemene: What? You would bury him when a law forbids the city.
Antigone: He is my brother deny it as you will your brother too. No one will ever convict me as a traitor.” (Antigone, Bedford Introduction to Literature, 1471). Antigone’s refusal to accept Creon’s ruling on the matter is an early example of civil disobedience.
Antigone does proceed to bury her brother and earns herself the wrath of Creon, who is representative of the laws of man. The Chorus of the play accompanies Creon. The chorus represents the Elders of Thebes. The elders pledge their support to him in the edict on Polynices’ body. Soon a Sentry...