What are some important symbols in Sophocles' Antigone?

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Antigone's stone tomb

The tomb to which Antigone is condemned symbolizes her ultimate loyalty. She does not care about her uncle's laws—Antigone is loyal to her dead brothers. The tomb could also be seen as symbolic of Antigone's forsaking worldly laws and cares (marriage, for instance) in order to remain true to a more spiritual world, where honor and loyalty are of more importance.

Queen Eurydice's knitting

Eurydice knits in her chamber until she kills herself with her needle. Traditionally, knitting is a feminine domestic chore, yet Eurydice turns this activity into something aggressive and fatal. She deprives her husband, Creon, of his last remaining link to love and companionship with her suicide. She is angry because his actions led to the deaths of their two sons.

This also links her with Antigone, whose "feminine" love and sense of duty condemn her to death.The feminine is essentially punishing the bad actions of the masculine ego and need for power gone out of control.

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One important symbol in SophoclesAntigone is the stone tomb to which Creon condemns her.  His decree ordered a punishment of death by stoning if any one buried Polynices’.  When Creon learned that Antigone had buried her brother, he changed the sentenced to being buried alive in a stone tomb.  The tomb symbolizes that Antigone’s loyalties are not with the present king and kingdom, but with the dead—her father, mother, and brothers.  The stone tomb also symbolizes Creon’s poor judgment.  As Tiresias the soothsayer points out, Creon is committing a terrible sin against Zeus in burying a human being alive.  Creon has now committed a double sin first in refusing to bury Polynice’s body and now in burying Antigone alive.  The stone tomb, rather than death by stoning symbolizes that Creon is trying to invert the order of nature in defying the gods and putting his laws above the laws of the gods. 

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