The Title Heroine 's Famous Defense Speech Essays

1044 Words Oct 24th, 2014 null Page
“What law, you ask, do I satisfy with what I say?”—The Unwritten Law

The title heroine’s famous defense speech in lines 995-1005 of Antigone has prompted the view that the play is extremely enigmatic. It is a passage that has been read with astonishment and demands detailed explanation. In her speech, Antigone provides what appears to be a reason for her burying her brother Polynices against the orders of her uncle and King, Creon. Antigone claims, however, that she would not have deliberately violated Creon’s command had this order prohibited her from burying her own child or husband. Her claim, therefore, is a mater of enigma in the play—one that is crucial to understanding the central stakes of the drama. Antigone’s assertion that she would not have buried her child or husband might seem illogical; yet, in actuality her claim is not unfounded, as she is not acting out love, but primarily out of a dutiful manner to restore the incestuous family. Antigone’s thought process may initially be interpreted as distressing and inconsistent. She asserts that “if [she] had been the mother of children or if [her] husband died, [she] would never have taken this ordeal upon herself” (line 996-998). This “ordeal” of not being prepared to violate the law to bury her child or husband, but nevertheless, being prepared to do so for her brother is rather contradictory. We may, therefore, interpret that she is forsaking the belief of loyalty to her bloodline expressed earlier in the…

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