Antigone Quotes

“And you can prove what you are: a true sister, or a traitor to your family.” Antigone to IsmeneAntigone wants Ismene’s help with burying Polyneices. She’s trying to manipulate her.
“We are only women. We cannot fight with men…” Ismene to AntigoneShe doesn’t want to help Antigone. Ismene represents the typical Theban woman.
“Impossible things should not be tried at all.” Ismene to AntigoneIsmene does not want to help Antigone. She thinks that Antigone can’t bury Polyneices because she’s a woman.
“For God hates utterly the bray of bragging tongues.” Choragos to ChorusThey are implying hat the right thing to do is to bury both brothers because God hates people who brag (Eteocles).
“…as for the man who sets private friendship above the public welfare- I have no use for him, either.” Creon to ChorusCreon is saying that he won’t let his family get in the way of ruling, but that kind of is foreshadowing since he has to decide Antigone’s punishment.
“I did not do it. I did not see who did it. You must not punish me for what someone else has done.” Sentry to CreonThis implies that Creon has a temper, so the Sentry warns him that he can’t be held accountable for this.
“Your edict, King, was strong but all your strength is weakness itself against the immortal unrecorded laws of God.” Antigone to CreonThis shows that Creon might not be making the right decision, which does foreshadow. Antigone believes that God’s laws come before Creon.
“Ah Creon, think me a fool if you like; but it may well be that a food convicts me of folly.” Antigone to CreonAntigone thinks that Creon is the real fool here, not herself, because he’s going against the laws of the Gods. This foreshadows to the part of the play where Creon begins to forgive Antigone.
“Like father, like daughter: both headstrong, deaf to reason! She has never learned to yield.” ChoragosAntigone is acting like her father, Oedipus, who was also stubborn. Both never listened to what anyone had to say. (and?)
“All these men here would praise me were their lips not frozen shut with fear of you.” Antigone to CreonAntigone believes that the chorus and choragos would agree with her decision if they wouldn’t have to be subject to the king.
“The man who knows how to obey, and that man only, knows how to give commands when the time comes.” Creon to HaimonCreon is referring to the future of his son in this quote. He is saying that if Haimon obeys his laws right now, Haimon can become king, and be a good one. This also could refer to Creon’s past bu saying that he obeyed the laws, so he go to be king, so Haimon should follow his path.
“If we lose, let’s lose to a man at least.” Creon to HaimonThis quote represents the typical Theban man; it shows male chauvinism. Men are superior. If Creon lets Antigone fo, then people will think that Creon is a bad king, so it would mean that they lost to Antigone, a woman. Men should always win and be stronger, according to Creon.
“Your temper terrifies them- everyone will tell you only what you like to hear.” Haimon to CreonIn this quote, Haimon is implying that people have become scared of Creon because of what Antigone’s consequence is. People agree with Creon because he thinks that what he is doing is tight, so if someone believes different, he will get hot headed.
“I beg you, do not be unchangeable: do not believe that you alone can be right.” Haimon to CreonHaimon is implying that he thinks Creon’s law is wrong, and he is advising Creon to take someone else’s advice. Haimon knows how much of a narcissist Creon is, so he’s trying to warn Creon of the future.
“It is not right if I am wrong. But if I am young and right, what does my age matter?” Haimon to CreonHaimon is trying to tell Creon that you don’t have to be old to be wise. Haimon argues that what he is saying is right, regardless of his age, while Creon argues that he is right because he is older.
“You walk at last into the underworld, untouchable by sickness, broken by no sword.” Choragos to AntigoneIn a couple of lines before this, Antigone wants pity from the Choragos, but in this line, the Choragos is questioning why she should get pity because she is going to die unharmed. No one is going to hurt her (physically) before she dies. She has a peaceful way to death.
“You have made your choice, your death is the doing of your conscious hand.” Chorus to AntigoneThe Chorus believes that people are governed by fate, and that your consequences are a result of your actions. They believe that Antigone had a choice of obeying the law, but she didn’t, so she will have to pay for her choice.
“O Oedipus, father and brother! Your marriage strikes form the grave to murder mine!” Antigone to ChorusThis quote refers to when Oedipus married Jocasta and killed King Laios. Antigone believes that Oedipus’ wrongdoing caused her to be in this situation. This shows a little hubris from her because she thinks she’s right, and she is blaming her misfortune on her father/brother.
“If dirges and planned lamentations could put off death, men would be singing forever.” Creon to AntigoneCreon is talking to himself here, saying that a man would continue to do something to cease the existence of death. Here, he’s implying that Antigone and the chorus are just wasting time when they could be putting Antigone in the cave. If they keep wasting time, Antigone will never die, according to Creon.
“Think: all men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.” Teiresias to CreonTeiresias is trying to tell Creon that it is okay to make mistakes: we all do. But, Creon needs to own up for his mistake to be a good person. Teiresias is hinting at Creon’s hubris on the last sentence by saying that if one takes pride of mistake, this is worse than fixing the mistake.
“If your birds- if the great eagles of God himself should carry him stinking bit by bit to heaven, I would not yield.” Creon to TeiresiasHere, Creon is saying if even the birds Teiresias was talking about picked up Polyneices’ body piece by piece and sent them to heaven, he still wouldn’t free Antigone. This shows his excessive arrogance in that he thinks what he is doing is right.
“You are a king because of me.” Teiresias to CreonIn this line, Teiresias is referring to when Oedipus killed King Laius, his father. Teiresias predicted that this would happen, so when Oedipus came and asked Teiresias who killed King Laius, Teiresias told him tha it was Oedipus himself. Because of this, Oedipus gouged out his eyes, so Creon became King. If all of this would not have happened, Creon would not have become king.
“The time is not far off when you shall pay back, corpse for corpse, flesh of your own flesh.” Teiresias to CreonThese lines that Teiresias says foreshadow Creon’s future. Teiresias is saying that it is not too far off that Creon will see two deaths in his own family. Teiresias has to say this because Creon is not believing him. Later on does Creon find out that his son and his wife die because of his edict.
“Oh, it is hard to give in! But it is worse to risk everything for stubborn pride.” Creon to ChoragosCreon has realized that he has been wrong this whole tume, but he is finding it hard to admit it. This begins his downfall.
“God moves swiftly to cancel the folly of stubborn men.” Choragos to CreonHere, it seems like the choragos could be speaking directly to the audience because this is a central idea of this play. The choragos is saying that when we make foolish mistakes, karma will catch up to us fastly. This also foreshadows Creon’s future.
“And now he lies dead with the dead, and she is his, at last his bride in the houses of the dead.” Messenger to EurydiceThe messenger is informing Eurydice of Haimon’s death in these lines. The messenger is saying that Haimon has died peacefully, next to the one he loved but could never be with. They finally got married and their love will continue after their death.
“…her last breath was a curse for their father, the murderer of her sons.” Messenger to CreonEurydice’s last words were a curse to Creon. Because of Creon’s foolishness and hubris, their sons died. Megareus died in war and Haimon killed himself. This is the action that really made Creon realize that he has been foolish. All of his family is gone.
“Whatever my hands have touched has come to nothing. Fate has brought all of my price to a thought of dust.” Creon to ChoragosCeon has now fully realized how foolish he was. He realized that all he did as a king was kill his family and make others angry at him. He believes it was fate that governed him, not free will. He feels that his life has come to an end because he has no family.
“There is no happiness where there is no wisdom; no wisdom but in submission to the gods. Big words are always punished, and proud men in old age learn to be wise.” Chorgos to audienceHere, the choragos is addressing the audience and telling them what lesson has been learned by Creon. The Choragos says that you can’t be happy if you are foolish. The only way you can truly find wisdom is when you abide by God’s laws. People who put themselves first will be punished, and will not be happy. If you are loyal to God, you will live long and you will be wise. This the very last sentence of the play.

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