Differences And Similarities Between Martin Luther King And Antigone

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Throughout history, there have been many individuals who have taken a stand against authority to fight for their beliefs. An example of a great historical figure is Martin Luther King, who advocated for the Civil Rights Movement which took place in the mid-1900s. In 1963, King was arrested and wrote the famous Letter From Birmingham Jail to explain and justify his methods of protest. A different, fictional, example of character who defied authority is Antigone from Antigone by Sophocles. Antigone goes against King Creon of Thebes’s orders and buries her brother Polynieces who had been denied a proper burial and labeled a traitor. King and Antigone both defy authority to further their causes but they demonstrate differences as Antigone views …show more content…

Antigone and Martin Luther King’s stances are similar as they both heavily challenge authority. This is seen when Antigone says, “Who on earth, alive in the midst of so much grief as I, could fail to find his death a rich reward?”Antigone states that death would be a rich reward for her actions, indicating her steadfastness in standing up for her beliefs. This rhetorical question used by Antigone showcases the strength she had while facing Creon and showing that she does not fear his punishments even if she must die. The question asked by Antigone demonstrates that she is willing to defy authority even in the face of death to uphold her beliefs. Similarly, Martin Luther King Jr. challenged the authority of the government and the status quo in the United States during the Civil Rights Movement. King demonstrates his defiance when asks, “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches, etc.? Isn't negotiation a better path?” He argues that negotiation alone is not enough to create change, and that individuals must take a more active role in fighting for their rights. He believes that nonviolent resistance is the most effective means of achieving social and political …show more content…

For example, in the passage from Antigone, metaphors are used in order to convey Antigone’s stance on disobeying social authority that contradict her morals. For instance, Antigone believes, “it was not Zeus, not in the least, who made this proclamation—not to me” (passage A). This metaphor begins to build on the differences between Zeus and Creon such as the lack of legitimate power Antigone believes Creon possesses, unlike Zeus. The use of a metaphor in this context conveys Antigone’s belief that downplaying authority is appropriate if the authority is not rightfully earned. Furthermore, King mentions a need for nonviolent action to occur in order for his dream to occur. During his time at Burmingham jail, King declares that society must “see the need of having nonviolent gadflies (v) to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood” (Passage B). He states this to emphasize the racial injustice being formed and to make a direct comparison to the current state of society during the civil rights movement. Moreover, this is done through the use of a metaphor, which compares the role of nonviolent activists to that of gadflies. Gadflies act as an annoyance and provoke a larger animal into action. Similarly, it emphasizes the role which activists play in generating

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