In Sophocles’ Antigone, the main character Antigone chose to disobey Creon’s edict and bury her brother. She did this because she wanted to respect her brother’s dignity and rights as a human being. Antigone states that she would rather be caught betraying her king than betray her dead brother. She shows her loyalty when she states that “I won’t be caught betraying him… I’ll do my duty to my brother.” (Antigone 58-59) After hearing Antigone say this – her sister, Ismene, states that they should not disobey the king and not go through with burying Oedipus. Ismene’s argument was that “we must remember that by birth we’re women, and, as such, we shouldn’t fight with men.” (Antigone 77-78) Antigone with such a passion of honoring her brother states that no matter what, she will follow through with her mission.
She was merely trying to honor her brother Polyneices with respect by giving him the proper burial a royal member deserves. Any other moral man or woman would do the same and give his or her family member a proper burial. Creon made this law to try and forbid any rebellion, but is that fair? Is it fair that Antigone is being punished for such a noble and loving deed? Shouldn’t she be honored for her kind acts?
He is very angry and sentences Antigone to death. Ismene asks to be executed along with her sister. But Antigone doesn't want her by her side. She insists that she alone buried the brother, so she alone will receive punishment and possible reward from the gods. As if things weren't complicated enough, Antigone has a boyfriend: Haemon, the son of Creon.
Antigone believes that without burying her brother he will not have a good after-life. Antigone even goes as far as burying him twice. Antigone is more admirable in that she is not selﬁsh. She cared for her brother so much that she would go through all this trouble to give him a good after-life. She wanted to marry Haimon but sacriﬁced this to bury her brother.
Ismene wants Antigone to accept Creon's decree regarding their brother. In her opinion, women should not interfere with man's laws and that a subservient mind is best applied to men in general which she bases on the “fact” that men are stronger than women. Antigone, being the strong willed woman that Ismene isn’t, ignores her sister and continues on her objective. Even though Ismene is disregarded by Antigone, she still attempts to help her (she does not help in burying the body, but she insists on sharing the blame with Antigone. Ismene's conflict revolves around both her sister Antigone and Uncle Creon.
Creon’s tragic flaw is that he is to prideful. Creon insists on killing Antigone because she disobeyed his decree. When Haimon questions his decision, Creon replies by saying,” I’ll have no dealing with law breakers” (792, 35-36). Creon is explaining to Haimon that he will not deal with any rule breakers and that Antigone will be put to die along with her traitor of a brother. Creon’s pride is what leads to the death of Haimon, his son, and the Queen, his wife.
Antigone is justified in burying her brother because no person should have to rot in the sun and be eaten by animals. Antigone is staying loyal to her family and the gods. Some people may believe that Creon did the right thing by sentencing Antigone to be buried alive. Furthermore, he is the king and his laws should be followed no matter what. However, Creon makes all of his decisions on his own and in pursuit of his professional goal of strengthening his power.
In the play “Antigone” written by Sophocles, it is clear that both family and authority are honoured in many different ways. Both Antigone and Haemon honor family while Creon and Ismene honor authority. Antigone values her family as she fights against the law to bury her unburied brother, Haemon shares his thoughts with his father and also through his love for his bride shows family honor. Creon shows arrogant thoughts towards the ideas of family honor when he creates the law that his nephew should not be buried, Ismene shows strong honor to authority as she does not help her sister bury and honor her brother. Throughout this play Sophocles contrasts family vs authority which diminishes and changes relationships between family members and characters.
As a devoted family member, she wasn’t scared to let everyone know about her going to bury her brother, as her sister said: “ That I will not tell a word to anyone, but to keep it quiet.” But her sister simply responded: “Tell everyone you know.” Showing that she cares no less than what people think that her own family values. However, she knew there would be a high risk for it, although Creon was her uncle, from her family and he still had to follow the laws of those who break it. Knowing that she had broken a law, Creon was to put her to death. Sadly, Antigone couldn’t bear of this happening, so she killer herself instead, by hanging. This kind of punishment was necessary; it’s worth dying for; it’s your family, the ones that have always been there for you and made you to what you have become now.
This shows that Virgilia is a woman of peace and does not value battle between the people. For example, though Volumnia convinces her that having a warrior as a husband is an honor, she is not happy as her husband is wounded many times and also that being in war means that he can face death any time. Virgilia locks herself in the housie and fails to come out unless her husband returns home. Virgilia is not meek or passive. Though she is often silent, Virgilia contradicts his mother-in-law when necessary.