In "Antigone", when Creon asks Antigone her opinion about rewards and punishments in the next life, how does she answer? scene 3

Expert Answers
dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Antigone tells Creon that his decree forbidding her to bury her beloved brother goes against "the everlasting prescriptions of the gods" (line 465).  Because Creon is only a man, Antigone chooses to defy him in favor of obeying the gods, because she "did not intend to pay the penalty to the gods for violating (their) laws in fear of some man's opinion" (lines 468-470).  Antigone fears the punishment that will await her in the next life if she defies the gods more than any consequence Creon can inflict upon her now.  The most Creon can do to Antigone is kill her, and she will die eventually anyway.  As she logically observes, "How could (she) not (die), even if (Creon) had not proclaimed it?" (lines 4471-472).

Antigone does not seem to be certain as to what reward awaits her after death; she rhetorically asks Creon, "Who knows what is considered righteous below?" (line 537).  She does think, however, that whatever fate awaits her after death cannot help but be better than that which she endures on earth.  She tells Creon, "if I die before my time, I say this is an advantage.  Anyone who lives a life of sorrow as I do, how could they not count it a blessing to die?" (lines 471-476).  Antigone believes that as long as she remains true to her convictions in this life, she need not fear what will happen to her in the next.