Antigone Fate and Free Will Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Line). We used Francis Storr's translation found on Project Gutenberg.
I scorn them not, but to defy the State
Or break her ordinance I have no skill.
A specious pretext. I will go alone
To lap my dearest brother in the grave.
My poor, fond sister, how I fear for thee!
O waste no fears on me; look to thyself. (82-85)
While Antigone feels empowered to impact her own destiny, Ismene does not.
O sister, scorn me not, let me but share
Thy work of piety, and with thee die.
Claim not a work in which thou hadst no hand;
One death sufficeth. Wherefore should'st thou die?
What would life profit me bereft of thee?
Ask Creon, he's thy kinsman and best friend.
Why taunt me? Find'st thou pleasure in these gibes?
'Tis a sad mockery, if indeed I mock.
O say if I can help thee even now.
No, save thyself; I grudge not thy escape.
Is e'en this boon denied, to share thy lot?
Yea, for thou chosed'st life, and I to die. (544-556)
Antigone chooses both her own destiny (death) and her sister’s (life). She demonstrates that there is such a thing as free will, after all.
I know it too, and it perplexes me.
To yield is grievous, but the obstinate soul
That fights with Fate, is smitten grievously. (1095-1099)
Although Creon wants to resist, he knows better than to fight fate. He has learned from Oedipus’s mistakes.