In Antigone, when Antigone says, "But if these men have sinned, may they not suffer," what does she mean?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Scene 4 of Antigone, Antigone says to Creon and the senators of the chorus:

"In my case, by being pious, I have / won for myself the rewards of impiety. / But, if these men have sinned, may they not suffer / more evils than they unjustly inflict on me."

In these lines, Antigone means that she has done all that she can to follow the laws of the gods and remain pious, but instead of receiving honor and fair consequences, she has received a punishment more akin to that which would be appropriate for impious behavior. Antigone believes that Creon and the senators are committing a sin by not honoring the gods' laws of providing family members with a proper burial, but she says that she does not wish ill consequences to fall on them in the way that they are making ill consequences fall on her. So, Antigone remains just in her cause and purpose and does not wish ill on those who are treating her unfairly.