Antigone is a tragic story that shows when a human makes laws that do not emulate Divine ones, there will be suffering. Antigone is the protagonist who believes that it is better to disobey a law from the king than to disobey a principle. Antigoner’s sister, Ismene, feels that even though the kingr’s regulation is bad, there is nothing anyone can do about it because it is the law. Creon, the antagonist, is the king who made that law and thinks that, though Antigone is his niece, he cannot go back on his word. He fears it would make him look weak to others. Haimon, the kingr’s son and Antigoner’s fiance, respects and supports his father the king but bluntly tells him that many people, himself included, believe that Antigone was right to bury her brother.
He explains that most citizens feel the king made a mistake when he decreed the law forbidding anyone to do so. Sophocles shows through his writing that, because people make mistakes, there are some corrupt laws. These corrupt laws that are not in accordance with Divine laws should not be made paramount over family. Even though the law forbids it, and knowing if she is caught she will be killed, Antigone feels she must bury her brother. She asks Ismene if she will help her, but Ismene believes that they should not break the law. Ismene also refuses to help Antigone because she knows that they will probably be caught, and she does not want either of them to die. Since Antigone believes that her brother should be buried, she proceeds to do so without Ismener’s help.
When Antigone is caught and brought before Creon, he does not want to kill her but feels that if he does not, people will think that he is a hypocritical king who values family above law. This is exactly opposite of what he had stated earlier: No one values friendship more highly than I; but we must remember that friends made at the risk of destroying the State are not real friends at all. (Sophocles 3) He also feels that not following through will make him look like a weak ruler: Who is the man here, she or I, if this crime goes unpunished? (Sophocles 6) In this case, Sophocles shows that humans can be easily affected by outside opinions and pride; the Bible warns that both, being swayed by outside opinions and being proud, can lead to sin.
Creon has taken over after a rebellion and vows that he will not tolerate anyone who opposes his laws: You will give no support to whoever breaks this law. (Sophocles 3) But he is a little lenient when he realizes that Antigone is the one who broke the law. He decides not to have her stoned, as the law stated, but instead seal her in a tomb with some food so that nobody would be responsible for her death. When Haimon pleads in Antigoner’s favor, She should have all the honor that we can give her! (Sophocles 9) Creon becomes upset that his son opposes him and decides to kill Antigone. When Antigone is summoned for, they find out that she hung herself, Haimon is so upset that he kills himself. After hearing the news of her sonr’s death, the queen also commits suicide. Sophocles demonstrates that people can go to extreme measures as a result of a sinful law made by wanting to please the crowds. Sophocles shows that humans are flawed and therefore only Godr’s laws remain true through the ages.
Humanity is naturally sinful and it is impossible for human nature to not cause pain and suffering apart from Jesus. Antigone, Ismene, Creon, and Haimon all had their lives ruined because of a law Creon decreed that opposed Antigoner’s family principles. When Creon enforced his law against Antigone, everyone became distressed. But if he had swallowed his pride and let Antigone proceed to bury her brother, people would have been much better off. Through the tragedy of Antigone, Sophocles shares his belief that family is more important than laws.
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