Loyalty In Sophocles Antigone

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Loyalty is present in everyone, whether it is in loyalty to their family, friends, religion, job, etc. It serves as a foundation that can define how and why a person acts. In Sophocles’ Antigone, the boundaries of loyalty are tested in every degree—the duty to one’s state versus the duty to family and the Gods. In a patriarchal society dominated by a tyrannical ruler and unjust laws, a young woman decides to pay the ultimate price for what she believes. Antigone buries her brother Polyneices against Creon’s decree because of her loyalty. In this play, the different aspects of loyalty to religion, state and family are examined. In Greek culture and Sophocles’ play, the rite of burial was considered a crucial act in order for the soul of …show more content…
However, through all this grief the most important thing to her was family. Therefore, she could not sit still when Creon decreed that her brother Eteocles would be given an honorable burial and Polyneices would be shamed and unburied for the dogs and birds to pick at. Consequently, in the light of this new law, Antigone “defies Creon and the state, but not in the name of some social ‘good’: instead … her resistance is motivated by her familial love for her brother whom she considers irreplaceable” (Verkerk 283). She did not bury Polyneices because she wanted to be recognized throughout the city as a martyr; she did it simply because he was her brother. As she argues with Creon about burying Polyneices, he shames her and she retorts, “Not ashamed for a moment, not to honor my brother, my own flesh and blood” (Sophocles 670). Nothing earthly is more important to her than the bond between her family and herself, which is why she goes to such extreme measures to give her brother the burial she believes he deserves no matter what his crimes might have been. Her loyalty to her family—her mother and father, her two brothers, and her sister—is something that was so precious to her, she had no regret sacrificing herself for its

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