Antigone Essay

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In the oldest version of the story, the burial of Polynices takes place during Oedipus' reign in Thebes, before Oedipus marries Jocasta. However, in the best-known versions, Sophocles' tragedies Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone, it occurs in the years after Oedipus' banishment and death, and Antigone has to struggle against Creon. In Sophocles' version, both of Antigone's brothers are killed in battle against the state. After Oedipus' death, it was decided that the two brothers, Eteocles and Polynices were to reign over Thebes taking turns. Eteocles, however, did not want to give away his power causing Polynices to leave Thebes to set up an army. In the fight against Thebes, the two brothers kill each other. After this event, Creon declares that, as punishment, Polynices' body must be left on the plain outside the city to rot and be eaten by animals. Eteocles, on the other hand had been buried as tradition warranted. Antigone determines this to be unjust, immoral and against the laws of the gods, and is determined to bury her brother regardless of Creon's law. She attempts to persuade her sister Ismene to join her, but fails. Antigone buries her brother by herself; eventually Creon's guards discover this and capture her. Antigone is brought before Creon, where she declares that she knew Creon's law but chose to break it, expounding upon the superiority of 'divine law' to that made by man. She defies his arguments, provoking his wrath and punishment. Sophocles' Antigone ends in disaster, with Antigone hanging herself after being walled up, and Creon's son Hæmon (or Haimon), who loved Antigone, killing himself after finding her body. (Also see Oedipus for a variant of this story.) Queen Eurydice, wife of King Creon, also kills herself at the end of the story due to seeing such actions allowed by her husband. She had been forced to weave throughout the entire story and

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