Throughout time, people have been yearning to live in a society where all is morally correct. Every individual may have a different set of morals or varying definitions of what exactly is just and what is unjust, but almost all are willing to fight for what is right. As a matter of fact, it is the responsibility of the people to fight against injustices and search for order in a society led by rulers who impose unjust laws. However, Sophocles’ Antigone and Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail both show how there are costs in this fight for moral preservation. These costs come in the form of civil disobedience and taking a stand among a conforming society, while also risking one’s self and possibly suffering in the process. …show more content…
Antigone defies King Creon’s law and buries her brother as a way to help his soul find peace, while invoking divine law as a defense for her actions. A soldier catches Antigone in the act, but she does not attempt an escape or deny what she is doing. Instead, she simply accepts her punishment. Consequently, she is condemned to die. On another note, Antigone being female is a large factor in the story. Just as in King’s time where African-Americans struggle with gaining any say or power just because of the color of their skin, Antigone and other women in their own time battle social customs that assume women are the weaker gender compared to men. These men hold all the political offices, and therefore create the laws. Despite being a member of a royal family, Antigone has no real power over …show more content…
Unlike King, Antigone refuses to be passive and takes a more defiant approach. In Letter from Birmingham Jail, King composes a message opposing the government laws to protest and fight for justice. Here, King defends the use of nonviolent resistance to racism, such as sit-ins, marches, strikes, and many more. These types of nonviolent activities are part of King’s emphasis on direct action, which is a form of political activism that seeks to remedy social, political, or economic ills. Even though King’s followers do not do anything harmful to those around them, they still suffer from violent acts, arrests, and humiliation from authorities. King also argues that people have a moral responsibility to break any unjust law. Explaining the difference between what he thinks is a just an unjust law, he states, “An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality” (King, paragraph
“Given your definitions of religion and politics, where do you see parallels, and where do you see divergences, between the insights of King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and Sophocles’s Antigone?” When I look at King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and Sophocles’ Antigone, it is evident that concepts of religion and politics exist within these texts. Similarly, these pieces both contain elements, which I identify as my definitions of religion and politics. For example, King includes the rhetoric of religious figures (St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas) on the issues of just and unjust laws to justify non-violent law-breaking. In a similar way, this relates to my definition of the use of symbols and religious traditions, which shapes
In “Letter from Birmingham jail” due to racism and injustice people would be harm people of color and treat them different. Dr. King always tried his best to do a change to make everyone be treated equally. He wanted everyone to have the same rights and not be scared to be out because of the disrespect the people of color use to get. As in the story “Antigone” she always wanted to do something for her dead brother.
Imagine living in a society in which justice isn’t served. Being arrested for protesting, just on helping other citizens in America get the rights that they deserve. In Martin Luther King’s speech “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and “The Perils of Indifference” by Elie Wiesel, Dr. King is the most effective in motivating individuals of America to support him in his efforts against injustice or indifference. One of the many rhetorical devices Dr.King uses was parallelism, in which he organized and pointed out his ideas to the audience. In the letter, Dr. King stated “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
The theme of Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail and the play Antigone, both references an unjust in the writings a higher law is mentioned. That there is an injustice in both something that defies the higher laws, laws that are not implicated by men. There is a basis for Martin Luther King’s moral principle, it is due to his Catholic religion and reading of the bible. For the play Antigone has mentioned these Higher laws a multitude of times, the higher laws largely impact the actions that the characters take on the play. The higher laws, what the higher laws are, are laws that are not set by humans or any man at any point in time.
Dr. King also wanted the city council to be aware of the role they played by refusing the acknowledge injustice. The typical sit-ins he felt at this time would not be sufficient. There is a difference between a “just law” and an “un-just law”, Dr. King explained the difference between the two. According to him, the definition of a just law would be a man-made code. An un-just law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law or natural law.
Tradition is a theme found in both the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and the play Antigone by Sophocles. In both stories tradition is used as a tool to force people to conform to the “norm” of society. In “The Lottery”, the people of the town revolve around their annual lottery. Everyone is quick to help each other get ready for the event and also show no remorse for the end of the ritual. Nobody objects to the continuation of the lottery, although Mr. Adams brings up the rumor that a nearby village were talking about giving up the lottery but he was quickly shut down by Old Man Warner.
King takes a step back from civil rights to look at the big picture of moral rightness. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea.
Antigone’s actions are motivated by her allegiance to her family, moral conscience, and religion amid Creon’s political injustice and tyranny. Antigone’s actions motivate her to demand Ismene to prove whether she is “a true sister or a traitor to your family” (26-27). Antigone maintains loyalty to her brother despite his actions which threatened Thebes. Her inability to bear the thought of her brother’s corpse being picked apart by animals and not being honored with proper funeral rites forces her to act. Antigone’s fierce allegiance to her family is laid bare as she is willing to sacrifice her life to honor her brother and defy the law in an act that she believes is morally just.
In the classic play by Sophocles, Antigone is a tragic story of the bold Antigone who defied her uncle, King Creonʻs, edict by burying her brother, Polyneices, who died attacking the city of Thebes, trying to take the power away from their brother, Eteocles, who refused to share the throne with Polyneices. Even though Antigone knew that going against Creon and burying her brother would not end well for her, she still choose to risk her life to do what is right. After being caught breaking the law, Antigone is appointed to be locked away, isolated in a cave until she dies, but she hangs herself at the end. At the same time, things for Creon are not looking good, as everyone around him seems to be against him in his decision for punishing Antigone. Everyone Creon cares about kills themselves from a curse that is put on Creon for not following the Godsʻ laws.
Sophocles’ play Antigone, and Martin Luther king Jr’s Letter from Birmingham Jail analyze the underlying truth concerning their moral situations tied in with the legal systems of their times. Antigone was faced with whether to follow her heart and go against her very own uncle, while King himself did not face any personal dilemmas but was providing the intended audience a choice, either to side with his methods or fall in to the power of their faulty legal system. In this paper, I will argue how both pieces face different moral and legal dilemmas in their own unique way which ultimately questions the jurisdictions set forth by those in power. Does law reflect morality? In this short play, Antigone is faced with the choice to either bury Polynecies
In his letter from Birmingham city jail, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. uses aphorism to directly express the necessity of nonviolent resistance in order to encourage moral means to achieve the moral end of racial justice. King first quotes T.S. Eliot in noting that, “…there is no greater treason than to do the right deed for the wrong reason….” Here, King is criticizing the disciplined and nonviolent handling of public demonstrators as a moral means to preserve the immoral end of racial segregation. He argues that the police force deserves no commendation in maintaining “order” and “preventing violence” as such efforts are only done to fortify racial injustice in face of resistance. King declares that, “…nonviolence demands that the means we use
An unjust law is “a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.” So any law that degrades human personality is unjust. King was put into jail for protesting the treatment of blacks in Birmingham, Alabama. Everything in Alabama was segregated, whether in schools, bathrooms, churches, or buses the blacks were always separated from the whites. Blacks faced a lot of discrimination during that time and they went about trying to solve this injustice the nonviolent way by protesting.
“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” – Stitch, Lilo and Stitch. In Sophocles’ Antigone and in Anouilh’s version of the play, family loyalty is a theme that plays an important role in the actions and the decisions of the characters. The theme of family loyalty is largely represented through the two main characters of the play, Antigone and Creon.
- Detail the distinction between just and unjust laws. Why is it important Dr. King make this distinction? - One has a legal and moral responsibility to obey “just” laws because they are a “ man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.” Any “just” law uplifts human personality. One has a moral responsibility to disobey “unjust” laws because they are “ a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.”
He also proclaims that “… academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. King explains the difference between unjust and just laws by telling of the moral affect each one has, the way the white majority used unjust laws to their advantage, and why King thought it was our civil duty to break unjust laws. What unjust laws will your conscience tell you to civilly disobey