In Antigone what type of conduct was Zeus punishing?

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a good question, as the gods and Zeus in particular are very important within ancient Greece. 

A close examination of the play will show that Zeus is against several things. First, in line 100-105 the chorus states that the gods hates arrogance. To be more specific, the gods hate bragging tongues. 

For God hates utterly. The bray of bragging tongues; And when he beheld their smiling, Their swagger of golden helms, The frown of his thunder blasted Their first man from our walls...

This should not surprise us, as hubris is something that the gods hate in much of Greek literature. 

Second, Zeus hates the denial of burial. Creon is too arrogant to see this. His logic is that burial rites do not extend to criminals. He fails to realize that he is "criminal" by not allowing these burial rites. In connection with this, the chorus reminds Creon that the gods hate people to break divine laws. Creon capitulates only when Tiresias puts the fear of God into him. In a word, Zeus hates pride.