After the first year, Eteocles refused to step down, leading Polynices
to raise an army in order to take Thebes by force.
It's not merely due to her devotion to Polynices
that she buries him under a mound of earth, but also her bonding with the element Earth.
Creon believes someone has bribed the guards to lie about their culpability in the initial burial of Polynices
(290-1; Fletcher 2008, 84), and he regards the act as the work of "perpetrators" (in the plural: 325).
How can the arrival of the other, of the dead Polynices
, be fully and effectively received, however?
In the drama class, the two patients play Oedipus' sons Eteocles and Polynices
, who, as the myth goes, end up killing each other.
Because then he saw Titus and Domitian after the funeral procession of their father Vespasian fighting with hostile ambition for command, because Titus asked to expel Domitian and to succeed their father, [Statius] decided to describe the discord and contention of Polynices
and Eteocles, since if they observed the fortune that befell the said brothers because of war, he might move Titus and Domitian away from similar contention.
In the first part of the play, that is, up to Eteocles' resolution to fight against his brother, these names are actually expected to function as indicators of how the battle is going to develop--thus pointing to the future and the tangible results of the war--while simultaneously signifying and underlining the gulf that separates the Thebans from Polynices
and his army--and the great threat posed by those 'external' enemies.
In the more orthodox nineteenth-century perspective of the German philosopher Schlegel, Antigone is right and Creon wrong because her disregard of a decree of the state not to bury her brother Polynices
is in obedience to the divine law concerning family burial rites that Creon has flouted.
For example: Aeschylus' Persians tells of the homecoming of Darius after his defeat by the Athenian led forces at Salamis (861-862); Suppliants relates the return of the daughters of Danaus, a descendent of Jo, to their ancestral land of Argos threatening a war between Egypt and Greece (15-16); Agamemnon depicts the effects of the Trojan War on Argos and the disastrous nostos of Agamemnon himself (810-854); in Seven Against Thebes, Polynices
returns home at the head of an invading army intent on sacking his city and seizing power from his brother (39-68).
Antigone, forbidden by king Creon to bury her brother Polynices
, as punishment for her brother's treason to the city of Thebes, does so anyway.
The decree that Polynices
must not be buried is Creon's first official declaration in office and, under the circumstances, it would be understood if he claims it is imperative to let members of the royal household and the entire Theban populace realize that his orders are not to be trampled upon.
The retaliation and revolt against Napoleonic hegemony among Italy's patriotic literati begins with Canova's statue, Antigone Mourning the Dead Eteocles and Polynices
(1798-99) (Museo Civici Venenzia).