In Antigone, what words does Antigone speak that suggest she does not regret her actions?

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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After Creon has ordered that Antigone be taken away to be walled up in the tomb and left to die, she contemplates her imminent death.  She observes that she will die only because she gave her brother Polynices the same loving burial rites she afforded to her mother, father, and brother Eteocles:

When you [mother, father, Eteocles] died I washed you with my hands,

I dressed you all, I poured the sacred cups

across your tombs. But now, Polynices,

because I laid your body out as well,

this, this is my reward. Nevertheless

I honored you--the decent will admit it--

well and wisely too.

Antigone does not regret her actions in burying Polynices, the last surviving member of her family. She believes she had done the right thing in honoring him, and she believes "decent" people know that she was wise to have done it.

Even prior to her entombment, during her first confrontation with Creon, Antigone clearly understood the consequences of her actions and did not regret her choice to bury her brother, thus honoring the laws of the gods that, in her opinion, were more binding than Creon's edict:

These laws [of the gods]--I was not about to break

them, not out of fear of some man's wounded pride,

and face the retribution of the gods.

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So for me, at least, to meet this doom of yours

is precious little pain. But if I had allowed

my own mother's son to rot, an unburied corpse--

that would have been an agony! This [being

condemned by Creon] is nothing.

Antigone does not regret defying Creon by obeying divine law and honoring her own family.

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