Similarities Between Antigone And Letter From Birmingham Jail

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Despite the centuries distinguishing the compositions of Sophocles’ Antigone and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, their similarities are undeniably evident when viewed in tandem. The former depicts a Greek tragedy of Antigone, a young woman who defies an edict obstructing the burial of her brother, who perished fighting in a civil war for the city of Thebes. The latter is a historic document written by the great civil rights leader during the period in which he was imprisoned in an Alabama jail for his nonviolent demonstrations against segregation. Albeit the works communicate distinct messages, it is not to be said that they do not parallel one another. The similitude of the Greek tragedy Antigone and the historic …show more content…

Martin Luther King, Jr. was requested by the Birmingham affiliate of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights to engage in program utilizing nonviolent means, which manifested in the Birmingham Campaign. He complied with the request and organized peaceful protests, boycotts, and marches to draw scrutiny against the inequity brought about by the white moderate. During his Birmingham Campaign, King’s resistance never escalated into physical conflict. Similarly, Antigone employs her own form of civil disobedience against the State by performing the funeral rites for Polynices. However, in doing so, she did not precipitate any bodily harm to the citizens of Thebes, thus obliging to a form of peaceful protest. King stated that he was “compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town” (King 21); likewise, Antigone was compelled to perform own duty to her family. The actions of Antigone and Martin Luther King, Jr. were aimed to spur tension within a community that would eventually cause the subjugators to confront the issue. Indeed, King’s work was able to catch the eye of political leaders at the state and local level, just as the city of Thebes ends up quietly supporting Antigone and enraging Creon. In both cases, neither figure sought to provoke anarchy, but instead aimed to bring light to corruption that was already boiling in a pot …show more content…

Just as King is imprisoned in a Birmingham jail in which he penned his famous letter, Antigone is detained in a tomb where she faces a fate none other than death. Despite these heinous outcomes for their heroic actions, neither recoils at their fate. Instead, they display pride at their incarceration as it was brought about by the defense of justice. Antigone marches proudly to her tomb, citing that the desecration of her sibling was unlike that of a spouse or child. There is recovery from a lost spouse or child; however, there is no replacement for a brother. Likewise, King endures his time in the Birmingham jail without ever denouncing the demonstrations that took place in

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