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Antigone (The Oedipus Plays) | Study Guide


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Antigone (The Oedipus Plays) | Character Analysis



Antigone is Oedipus's daughter and the niece of Creon, who is the new king of Thebes. Antigone is also engaged to Creon's son, Haemon. She defies Creon's order that her brother Polyneices's body remain unburied, even though the punishment is death. She believes that honoring the gods is more important than mortal laws, and she admits that she is prepared to die for this belief.


Ismene, Antigone's sister, refuses to help Antigone bury their brother for fear of the punishment attached to disobeying Creon's proclamation. She believes enough tragedy has befallen their family. But when Antigone is caught, Ismene falsely confesses to an involvement in the burial of Polyneices because of her loyalty and love for her sister.


Creon is Oedipus's brother-in-law, Antigone and Ismene's uncle, and Haemon's father. He is also the newly appointed king of Thebes, and he believes that his laws are the ultimate authority. He disagrees with Antigone's justifications for burying her brother, and his arrogance results in the deaths of everyone he loves.


Haemon tries to advise Creon to be lenient with Antigone, since the citizens of Thebes do not support Creon's decision. Haemon ultimately disowns his father and dies by his own hand, angry and distraught over Antigone's death.

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