What are the sources of conflict between Antigone and Creon in Antigone and how does it relate to the theme?

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Prior to the beginning of Sophocles's Antigone, Creon, Antigone's uncle, assumed control of Thebes after the death of Antigone's brothers, Polyneices and Eteocles. Their father, Oedipus, had decreed that they should share the throne after his death, but after agreeing to being king on alternate years, Eteocles refused to give up the throne to Polyneices, and a civil war ensued.

The two brothers killed each other in battle. Creon issued an edict that provided that Eteocles should be given a state funeral and a hero's burial, but the body of Polyneices is to be left in the desert, unburied. Anyone who attempts to bury Polyneices will be condemned to death.

This is the primary source of conflict between Antigone and Creon. Antigone believes that Creon is absolutely wrong to issue such an edict, not only because Polyneices is her brother and the edict violates basic human decency, but also because the edict violates the laws of the gods, which Antigone believes supersede the laws of men.

Underlying these issues is a long-standing personal conflict between Antigone and Creon that becomes increasingly apparent as the play progresses.

Early in the play, Antigone asks her sister, Ismene, to help her bury Polyneices. Antigone mocks Creon and tells Ismene that Creon made the edict out of spite toward both of them.

ANTIGONE. Such is the edict (if report speak true)
Of Creon, our most noble Creon, aimed
At thee and me ...

After Antigone is apprehended putting dirt on Polyneices's body, Ismene is brought before Creon as an accomplice. Creon reluctantly raised the sisters from a young age at Oedipus's request, and Creon expresses his pent-up resentment toward the sisters.

CREON. Woman, who like a viper unperceived
Didst harbor in my house and drain my blood,
Two plagues I nurtured blindly, so it proved,
To sap my throne. ...

Both maids, methinks, are crazed. One suddenly
Has lost her wits, the other was born mad.

Creon realizes too late that his pride and his resentment toward Antigone have caused him to make a serious error in judgment that results in the death of Antigone; his son, Haemon, to whom Antigone was engaged; and Creon's wife, Eurydice, who killed herself after a Messenger told her about Haemon's death.

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The main conflict between Antigone and Creon relates to their different value systems. Both genuinely believe that they're doing the right thing, it's just that they have a different way of showing it. According to Antigone's values, Creon's order not to bury her brother's body is profoundly immoral. Not only is it wrong to let Polynice's corpse rot in the streets, it's also unacceptable to defy the will of the gods, which insists upon the strict observance of the appropriate funeral rites.

For his part, Creon's values insist upon the importance of earthly law being obeyed without question. As king, Creon is the law in Thebes, and so what he says, goes. If people start picking and choosing which laws they obey, then there'll be outright anarchy, and what would be moral about that?

Besides, Polynices, along with the other Seven against Thebes, was himself guilty of impiety against the gods by desecrating the city's temples during the recent invasion. So Creon can, to some extent, draw upon divine sanction in support of his seemingly heartless edict.

Nevertheless, the central conflict in Antigone is generally presented as one between earthly law and a higher, divine law, eternal and unchanging, which must always be obeyed no matter what. In defying this law, Creon comes to grief, losing his wife and son to suicide. As the Chorus says right at the end of the play, obedience to the gods always comes first.

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The primary conflict between Antigone and Creon stems from their differing beliefs about loyalty. For Antigone, family loyalty is the most important, and she is determined to honor her brother, Polynices, with a proper burial. She understands these duties as mandated by the gods. For Creon, loyalty to the state takes precedent, and he considers Polynices’s treachery as an adequate reason to deny him such a burial.

In addition, after the deaths of their brothers, Polynices and Eteocles, Antigone and her sister, Ismene, are the two remaining surviving children of Oedipus. Antigone rejects her uncle Creon’s authority to decide all the affairs of state, including her betrothal to his son, Haemon. Then Creon encourages her to move on by ceasing to mourn her brother and proceeding with her marriage.

Antigone’s actions in symbolically burying her brother by casting soil on his body and her rejection of Creon’s behavior as sacrilegious both advance the theme of human duty to carry out divine will. This perspective is upheld by the plague that falls on Thebes after Creon imprisons his niece.

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The main conflict underlying the fight between Creon and Antigone over the disposal of Polyneices' body is the conflict between human law and divine law. Creon, who has decreed Polyneices must not be buried because he is a traitor, comes into conflict with Zeus's law demanding proper burial of the dead.

Antigone defiantly and openly chooses to obey Zeus's law rather than Creon's. This inflames Creon, who condemns Antigone to death.

Creon himself is punished through the loss of his family for defying the will of the gods. He relents against Antigone and lifts her death sentence, only to find she has killed herself.

Antigone is an example of person without much power disobeying human laws she considers immoral. She has the courage of her convictions and is willing to die rather than violate her conscience.

Her conflict is relevant to the modern era: some Germans, for example, thought she should have been used as a role model in the 1930s and 1940s. Germans, too, like her, could have stood up against unjust Nazi laws.

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The main source of conflict between Antigone and Creon is over the burial of Antigone's brother Polynices.  Some background information is needed at this point. There is a civil war between the two brothers of Antigone - Polynices and Etocles. Creon is opposed to Polynices, because he attacks the city of Thebes to take over. In fact, Creon states that no one should mourn or bury the body of Polynices, but that the body should be left out to rot and be devoured by animals.

In light of this, Antigone is in a dilemma. Does she listen to the law of the land and risk her life, or does she act piously towards her brother to bury his body. This is the conflict that is in view. Antigone decides to bury her brother, but she is caught and sentenced to starve to death.

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