Why does Antigone feel it is her duty to bury Polynices?

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Antigone's primary reason for wanting to bury Polynices is that it's in accordance with divine law. Once someone dies, their body isn't supposed to be just left to rot out in the streets; they must be buried according to the appropriate funeral rites. Such rites don't just pay homage to the deceased individual but to the gods themselves, so in defying Creon's order and seeking to bury Polynices, Antigone believes she's acting in accordance with the will of the gods.

Of course, Antigone was very close to her brother and naturally wants to give him a good send-off. But she knows there's a bigger picture here. This isn't just about powerful personalities stubbornly facing off against each other, each one demanding what they believe is rightfully theirs. This epic showdown between Creon and Antigone is between rival conceptions of law: human law, as represented by Creon; and divine law, as represented by Antigone.

In this massive battle of wills, Antigone knows what's at stake, whereas Creon,...

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