In Antigone, can you give me a quote that shows Antigone's stubborness?

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davmor1973 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Antigone's whole nature is stubborn. She is determined to honor both the memory of her brother, Polynices, and the higher law of the gods. Almost everything she says and does in the play is expressive of that stubborn loyalty to what she believes is right and just. In the following exchange, Ismene cautions Antigone not to defy Creon. After all, she says, they are only women, and cannot fight with men. But Antigone, as is her wont, is stubbornly defiant:

"If that is what you think, I should not want you, even if you asked to come. You have made your choice, you can be what you want to be. But I will bury him; and if I must die, I say that this crime is holy: I shall lie down With him in death, and I shall be as dear to him as he to me. It is the dead not the living, who make the longest demands: We die for ever . . . You may do as you like since apparently the laws of the god mean nothing to you."

But Antigone also has the courage to defy Creon to his face. There is absolutely nothing he can say or do which will deflect her from her chosen path:

"Your edict, King, was strong, But all your strength is weakness itself against the immortal unrecorded laws of God. They are not merely now: they were, and shall be, operative for ever, beyond man utterly. I knew I must die, even without your decree: I am only mortal. And if I must die now, before it is my time to die, surely this is no hardship."

There's simply no way that Creon can possibly break down Antigone's stubborn resolve. She knows that she will ultimately pay with her life for her defiance. Having accepted her fate, she is invulnerable to whatever Creon does to her. 


rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Antigone's stubbornness is revealed almost every time she speaks in the play. She sets her face like flint. She knows she has transgressed Creon's public decree. She admits the deed: "I avow it; I make no denial." And she admits knowing it violated the king's order: "I knew it: could I help it? It was public." So she stubbornly stands by her action.

The Chorus points out how stubborn she is: 

"The maid shows herself passionate child of passionate sire and knows not how to bend before troubles."

Creon agrees, but explains that it is possible to tame stubborn spirits, recalling high-tempered horses that have been broken. Ironically, after that statement, he exhibits his own stubbornness by declaring that he would not be a man--Antigone would--if he were to pardon her.

Antigone asks whether he has any greater punishment than death to dole out to her, and he says that will satisfy him. Antigone then states:

"Why then dost thou delay? In thy discourse there is nought that pleases me--never may there be!--and so my words must needs be unpleasing to thee." 

She means that Creon's words will never convince her to change her mind, just as her words will never convince Creon to change his. This reveals not only Antigone's stubbornness, but the matching stubbornness of Creon. Because of Creon's superior rank, he may be able to execute Antigone, but he can never tame or break her--unlike the spirited horses he has seen.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We can easily see Antigone's stubborness in her conversation with her sister, Ismene, when she rejects Ismene's practical and pragmatic advice and chooses to listen to her own convictions and beliefs and let those be her moral compass at this particular moment in her life. Note how she responds to Ismene's suggestion that they should obey the person who is placed in power over them:

I will bury him myself.

And even if I die in the act, that death will be a glory.

I will lie with the one I love and loved by him--

an outrage sacred to the gods!

Antigone therefore reveals her stubborn determination to disregard Creon's laws and see her brother buried in response to her belief in the gods and their moral dictates. She completely rejects Ismene's practical and pragmatic approach to ensure survival and she indicates that she will follow through with her moral instincts that tell her to ignore Creon, no matter what.

princessita-2-day | Student

 "A fool convicts me of folly"