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Antigone's Insults of Creon
We are supposed to analyze Antigone and why she insults insults Creon. What are the consequences for herself and for others?
Hi there- I just finished teaching Antigone in my "Literature 101" blog here at eNotes. There you will find a comprehensive analysis of the entire play, broken into four sections. You may also wish to participate in further discussion. I invite you to join us! Here is the link:
Antigone probably doesn't consider what she says as an insult so much as a declaration of the truth. She tells Creon that she may have defied his proclamation, but she is following a higher law. The ancient Greeks believed that if a person was not given a proper burial with all the funeral rights, the person's soul would be trapped between life and the afterlife (see the links below). If Polyneices' body had been left to rot, his ghost would have haunted his family now and in their own afterlife. Remember what Antigone says in the Prologue: "It is the dead, not the living, who make the longest demands." Life is short, but death is eternal.
She knows that the consequences of burying her brother are death for herself and anyone who helps her. But Antigone doesn't care. She would rather be dead than live with the shame of her parentage and the harsh laws of her uncle. See her speech in scene 2, lines 69-75.
I am unsure of the context for your question, but I take "insult" to mean her refusal to obey his decree that she does not bury her brother. Antigone has no love for Creon to begin with, and she has the pride of her father Oedipus. Beyond that, she believes the gods demand that her brother be buried for not to do so insults them as well as him. For her, she is put in a situation to obey the gods and follow her heart and stay out of trouble, or obey the king, insult the gods and violate her heart's dictum. Having no love of Creon, great love for her brother, and respect for the gods, she refuses to do as Creon says. The result is an order for her death.
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