Who Creates the Main Conflict for Antigone?

Since the whole plot development starts with Creon not burying Polynices properly, it is only logical to assume that he creates the main conflict. Antigone believes that every man has to be buried according to their traditions; otherwise, it is disrespectful to the gods. Therefore, she stands up against Creon’s law, which is the main clash in the play. 

The events in the play describe the aftermath of the war for Thebes, in which two brothers who were supposed to rule killed each other. Eteocles was in the city, protecting it. Meanwhile, Polynices was the one who wanted to win the throne, so he created an army and tried to take Thebes by force. The day after it all ended, Creon, as the new king, buries Eteocles with all honors possible. However, the other brother is considered a traitor and unworthy of a traditional burial ritual. The king warns his people that anyone who tries to go against the law will be punished. 

Antigone cannot disagree with Creon more. According to her, the will of the gods is above one man’s wish. She is outraged that the king forbids the traditional burial for her brother. Therefore, Antigone decides to do it herself. Later on, the guard catches her and takes her to Creon. Their tense discussion regarding how Polynices’ body should be treated highlights the main conflict of the play. Therefore, the king’s decision about burial arrangements is the trigger for Antigone. Perhaps unwillingly, Creon becomes guilty in their conflict and the further tragic events.

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