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Heart's Desire in Antigone Creon says that the most difficult thing for him to do is “giving up his heart’s desire.”  Describe the “heart’s desire” of Antigone and reflect on how her family history plays role in her own struggles with desire.  Consider her attraction to death and refusal to bend as factors in her own fate. 

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Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Robert Fagles has a fabulous essay on Antigone and Death in the introduction to his translation "Three Thebean Plays."  Another good article is:

"Sophocles Antigone and Funeral Oratory." Larry J. Bennett; Wm. Blake Tyrrell; The American Journal of Philology, Vol. 111, No. 4. (Winter, 1990), pp. 441-456.

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malibrarian eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Antigone's outwardly expressed heart's desire is to see her wronged brother given the proper burial rites as ordered by the "laws of heaven". But, based on her family, her past, and the fact that she is in utter despair, I think her true heart's desire is for death. Yes, she strongly desires justice for her brother, Polyneices, and does not want his body left out to rot and be eaten by wild animals. But she is suffering so much...She asks her sister, Ismene, "what of pain, affliction, outrage, shame, is lacking in our fortunes, thine and mine?"

At some point she probably desired marriage to Haemon, but with one more slap in the face (the treatment of Polyneices) by Fate, the gods, whatever, I think she decided that death would save a great deal of heartache in the future for her and anyone connected to her.

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