Essay on Antigone: The Theme of Family Loyalty

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The notion of honor and justice is prevalent throughout all types of literature. In Greek culture, honor is essential for creating a solid foundation within a society and family. Honor will follow you until the day you perish, and beyond. The honor for men in Greece is spiritual in that loved ones show respect to the deceased by giving them a proper burial. Nevertheless, when a man acts upon betrayal of the city, that man looses the privilege to die in such honor. This is evident in the life of Antigone when her two brothers, Polyneices and Eteocles, both die at each other’s hands at war when deciding the ruler of Thebes. Polyneices cannot have a proper burial, because the new king, Antigone’s uncle, Creon created a law that decrees that …show more content…
However, the love that Antigone has for her brother, and her loyalty to the gods, drive her to continue her efforts to give him a burial because “at least [Polyneices] is [her] brother/…/ [She] will not prove false to him” even if she will be sacrificing her own life (51-52). For that reason, Antigone goes on this journey to give Polyneices a proper burial, and after several attempts, she finally succeeds.

Creon is furious at the blatant disregard for his law, and the disrespect shown towards his position as King, because “there is nothing worse than disobedience to authority” (726-727). Creon believes that since the gods ordained him to be king that his words should be equal to the gods, because the gods would never let someone rule in a way that they did not approve of. Creon, full of rage by this incredible insult, confronts Antigone about her disobedience: “And did you dare to disobey that law?” (493). Antigone, still very much happy and content with her decision to bury Polyneices and follow the law of the gods, answers very passionately and assertively:
“Yes, it was not Zeus that made the proclamation; / nor did Justice, which lives with those below, enact / such laws as that, for mankind. I did not believe / Your proclamation had such power to enable / One who will someday die to override / God’s

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