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Why does Antigone feel it is her duty to bury Polynices?

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jordan49707 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 28, 2011 at 10:58 AM via web

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Why does Antigone feel it is her duty to bury Polynices?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 28, 2011 at 12:23 PM (Answer #1)

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There are several reasons why Antigone feels that it is her responsibility to bury Polynices.

First, we need to remember that Polynices is Antigone's brother. So, she feels a strong attachment to him. There is a blood relation that cannot be minimized. So, we can say that there is filial duty. Antigones must be a faithful sister.

Second, according to the Greek world, one of the worst thing that you can do is not bury a person. It was believed that that unburied person would not find rest. This is why it was so important that Priam get his son's body (Hector) back from Achilles. Similarly, to Polynices to rest properly, there needed to be a burial.

In view of these two reasons, Antigone seeks to bury the body of Polynices no matter what. She shows great courage. As for her sister, Ismene, she is cowardly.


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