Antigone is essentially a political play dealing with the conflict between the laws of the state and the conscience of and individual citizen of the state. Antigone is the individual who is fighting with her conscience to do what is right for her brother. Creon is the one who has to enforce the law, whether or not he wants too. He said that whoever buries Polynices will be put to death and wants the people of Thebes to know Polynices was a traitor and he should be punished by not having a proper burial. Yet he is still is willing to save Antigone's life because he feels she acted rashly and did not have time to think about her actions. He tries to give her a second chance at life, but she will not take it.
In the play, Antigone goes against the king, Creon, and gives her brother a proper burial. Creon had said that Polynices' body is to be left outside the city, unburied for the vultures to eat and destroy. Antigone knew her brother was a traitor to his country and fellow man, but she couldn't leave her brother out to rot. She even said she would only do this for a brother, not for a husband or her own mother and father. She was struggling with whether or not to bury him and risk being caught and killed. She knew Polynices needed a burial but she also did not want to go against Creon's word. Once she decided she would rather have her brother buried, than her living and knowing his soul would be wandering forever, she buried him, aware she would be caught.
When Antigone was caught and brought in by the guards, Creon had a decision of his own to make. Should he go against his own word and spare the life of his future daughter-in-law or should she be sentenced to death? He first asked and even pleaded with her to go home and act like nothing ever happened. He wanted to get the situation settled before the news got out, but because Antigone wanted to die for what she did, he had no other choice but to put her to death. Creon struggled with the law and his own conscience. In the end, the law won. He wished he could of gone alone with his conscience and let her be free, but because she said she would bury her brother again if he let her go, her was forced follow through with the original plans for whoever was found guilty of burying Polynices' body. Antigone's own convictions lead her to her own death.