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Quotes

Quote #4

CREON
And yet wert bold enough to break the law?
ANTIGONE
Yea, for these laws were not ordained of Zeus,
And she who sits enthroned with gods below,
Justice, enacted not these human laws.
Nor did I deem that thou, a mortal man,
Could'st by a breath annul and override
The immutable unwritten laws of Heaven.
They were not born today nor yesterday;
They die not; and none knoweth whence they sprang.
I was not like, who feared no mortal's frown,
To disobey these laws and so provoke
The wrath of Heaven. I knew that I must die,
E'en hadst thou not proclaimed it; and if death
Is thereby hastened, I shall count it gain.
For death is gain to him whose life, like mine,
Is full of misery. Thus my lot appears
Not sad, but blissful; for had I endured
To leave my mother's son unburied there,
I should have grieved with reason, but not now.
And if in this thou judgest me a fool,
Methinks the judge of folly's not acquit. (449-470)

Antigone challenges Creon’s moral and legal authority by elevating religious rites above his worldly law.

Quote #5

HAEMON
The Theban commons with one voice say, No.
CREON
What, shall the mob dictate my policy?
HAEMON
'Tis thou, methinks, who speakest like a boy.
CREON
Am I to rule for others, or myself?
HAEMON
A State for one man is no State at all.
CREON
The State is his who rules it, so 'tis held.
HAEMON
As monarch of a desert thou wouldst shine.
CREON
This boy, methinks, maintains the woman's cause.
HAEMON
If thou be'st woman, yes. My thought's for thee.
CREON
O reprobate, would'st wrangle with thy sire? (734-742)

Haemon suggests that Creon’s sense of justice is flawed.

Quote #6

ANTIGONE
The slain man was no villain but a brother.
CREON
The patriot perished by the outlaw's brand.
ANTIGONE
Nathless the realms below these rites require.
CREON
Not that the base should fare as do the brave.
ANTIGONE
Who knows if this world's crimes are virtues there? (515-523)

Antigone looks to divine law for justice, while Creon elevates his own notions of pragmatism and morality.

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