The opening scene of the play is of great significance. In it, Antigone discusses the central conflict of the play—her piety and devotion to her brother Polynices against the edict of Creon, king of Thebes and her uncle. Antigone reveals that Creon has proclaimed that nobody, on pain of death, should bury the body of Polynices, who Creon denounces as a traitor. Antigone vows to bury the body in defiance of Creon, explaining to her sister Ismene that she will "do my part . . . to a brother. False to him will I never be found."
The third scene is important as well, because it is in this scene that Creon learns that Antigone has defied his order. She is brought before him by a guard who tells Creon that she was attempting to give burial rites to Polynices. Antigone remains defiant, telling the King that his orders do not supersede those of the gods:
[I]t was not Zeus that had published me that edict; not such are the laws set among men by the justice who dwells with the gods below; nor deemed...
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