Puente English 3-4
To Break or Not to Break?
Throughout the history of ancient Greece, women were supposed to obey men, and agree with everything they said and did. However, in the play Antigone by Sophocles, Antigone goes against the beliefs and breaks the powerful tradition of male domination. Eteocles and Polyneices, sons of Oedipus and brothers of Antigone, fought for control of Thebes and killed each other, making Creon the new king. King Creon lets it be known that Polyneices was a traitor and should not be buried; Eteocles only should be honored for fighting as bravely as he did to protect his city, but Antigone defies the King’s order because of the values she holds. She is caught, and sentenced by Creon to be buried alive. Antigone had every right to bury her brother whom she loves so much because she was only obeying the divine law and staying loyal to her family, while Creon was being stubborn and only caring for himself.
Antigone believed that divine law should come before everything and should be held above man’s law at all costs. She states, “but your strength is weakness itself against the immortal unrecorded laws of God” (2.61), meaning that the laws of god are eternal and more powerful, unlike Creon’s law, which is meaningless and unjustified.
Therefore, Antigone felt that following the divine law was more of a priority than following Creon’s law.
In addition, the loyalty between Antigone and her brother is unbreakable.
Antigone knows the risks that will happen if she buries her brother, so she takes her sister Ismene outside the city walls to discuss her plan. Antigone says, “To give my brother a burial. I'll be glad to die in the attempt,-if it's a crime.”(P.70-71), which means that she is not afraid of anything and is prepared to do whatever it takes, even if it means to die trying, respecting her brother’s spirit so he can be at rest. Antigone is justified in burying her...