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Sophocles’ Antigone Question Answers

What does Creon mean by the analogy of a ship passing through a storm?

Creon used the analogy of a ship passing through the storm to describe his city and people. The city is a ship at sea and the waves are people being swayed by money. It is the job of a strong captain to keep the ship steady.

Who is at the helm of the ship?

The captain is at the helm of the ship, which in this case means king, and the ship means city. Creon is the captain of his ship.

What tragedy has befallen the two brothers of Antigone and Ismene?

The two brothers of Antigone and Ismene killed each other in the battle for control over Thebes.

What punishment has Creon decreed concerning Polyneices’ corpse?

He declared that Polyneices would receive the punishment of traitors and his corpse would not get a burial. It was shameful to be denied the full ritual of burial for the dead and his family. He also decreed that anyone who tried to bury the corpse would be stoned to death.

What does Antigone propose to do in response to Creon’s decree? How does Ismene respond?

Antigone openly mocks Creon’s authority and goes against his decree. She carries out a proper burial for her brother and asks Ismene for help. However, Ismene refuses to help Antigone. She says that although she is not going to help Antigone with the burial, she will not tell Creon about it.

What news does the watchman bring to Creon?

The watchman approaches Creon with news but is hesitant to tell him. He eventually tells him that someone took Polyneices’ body and gave it a proper ritual of burial. He describes it by saying, “They spread thirsty dust all over the skin and did the ceremony in full.”

How does Creon respond to the news?

While hearing the news, he says angrily that no man would dare to do such a thing. He further says to the watchman that if he does not find “the hand behind the deed,” death alone will not be good for him.

What does Creon initially assume is the motivating factor in the lawbreaker’s act?

Creon assumes that the people who pretended to be content with his judgment went behind his back and disobeyed his order. They bribed the watchman to buy his silence. These are the traitors who agree with Creon’s every decision, but as soon as he turns his back, they scheme against him.


Sophocles & Woodruff, P. (2001). Sophocles’ Antigone.



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