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 I that thy decrees were of such force, that a mortal could override the unwritten and unfailing statutes of heaven.
The penultimate scene of the play is, of course, also very important. Here we learn that Creon has entered the tomb in which Antigone has been sealed alive as punishment for her crime. He planned to release her, having buried Polynices himself after Teiresias informed him that the unburied body had brought a plague on Thebes. But he found that Antigone is dead, having hanged herself. In the next scene, Eurydice, Creon's wife, kills herself. The king is stricken by grief as he realizes his arrogance and defiance of the gods has caused this tragedy. In these final two scenes the conflict has been fully resolved with very tragic consequences.