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The Importance of Religious Obligations Illustrated in Sophocles' Antigone

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In the play Antigone by Sophocles, one of the main characters, Antigone, has to choose to obey the law or obey her religious obligations. Creon, the king of Thebes, issued and edict that said that Antigone’s brother, Polyneikes, could not be buried. Antigone felt that she should not leave her brother to be devoured by vultures and insisted on burying him. Because Polyneikes had rebelled against the state, one of the greatest offenses of the time, burying his body meant death for Antigone as well as her sister. This law of Creon’s was very important to the state obligations and it could not be disobeyed, but Antigone felt that “a higher law compelled her to bury her brother.”
This higher law was the concerning of the private conscience of Antigone. She knew that no obligation was more important to her then being respectful to her brother. To her this meant even death itself would not stop her from burying her brother. According to the religious obligations of the time someone could defy the law for something of this nature because one has dignity. Antigone believed that her brother ...


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