Q:

What themes are expressed in the classical Greek play "Antigone"?

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Quick Answer

"Antigone" is a story about pride, regret, loyalty, vengeance and family values. This classic play by the Greek writer Sophocles tells the story of Antigone, a brave young woman who takes great risk and defies authority in order to ensure her brother receives a proper burial.

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Full Answer

The title character of "Antigone" is a young woman who is brave, honest, moral and fiercely loyal to her family . Her brother, Polyneices, is dead as the result of a violent political power struggle with his younger brother, Eteocles, who also dies in this battle. Because Polyneices was leading a revolt, the king, Creon, orders that Polyneices' corpse will be left unburied at the mercy of dogs and vultures, while Eteocles will receive a proper burial. When brave young Antigone learns of this, her loyalty and sense of duty to her brother, along with her strong moral values, lead her to defy the king's order and cover Polyneices' body with dirt while performing burial rites. Antigone never denies that she has defied the king, and she is punished by being buried alive. But the gods are angry with the king, and his wife and son, who was Antigone's fiance, end up committing suicide. The play ends with Creon as a broken man who deeply regrets his actions, reflecting the importance of loyalty to family and duty to the gods.

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