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by Sophocles
 Table of Contents

Antigone Rules and Order Quotes

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Quote #1

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 #2

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 #3

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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