Do Not Ignore the Laws of the Gods Loyalty to the state should not undermine a person’s loyalty to their gods. When the king challenges or ignores the authority of the gods, he is headed for failure. Sophocles trumpets this message throughout his tragic play, Antigone. After Polyneices rebelled against Thebes and killed his brother Eteocles in battle, King Creon decreed that a traitor to the state cannot be buried.
Civil Disobedience Martin Luther King once stated in "The Letter from Birmingham Jail", "Any individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment to arouse the conscience of the community over it injustice is in reality, expressing the highest respect for the law" (King 411). King meant that, if anyone feels a law is unjust and needed to expose its injustice, should willingly accept any penalty that comes in their way to help arouse people 's conscience in changing that law. In “The Letter from Birmingham Jail”, Martin Luther King explains the four powerful steps of the nonviolent campaign he used to protest against racial injustice for African-Americans
In Antigone, the King of Thebes, Creon is faced with the decision whether or not he buries Polyneices. He decides that he will leave Polynieces’s body to rot, unburied. When Antigone hears about Creon’s act, she plans to bury Polyneices herself. She tells her sister Ismene that “Creon is not enough to stand in my way.” (Sophocles 2).
In Antigone, there was two brothers who shared being the King and one of the brothers, Polynices, wanted to start a war with the kingdom because he wanted to be the main ruler. Polynices and his brother Eteocles fight and they both end up killing each other. Their Uncle Creon, who takes position as King when they are both killed, decides that only Eteocles will have a proper burial and Polynices will be left to rot. Antigone, Polynices and Eteocles sister, thinks that Creon’s decision is unfair and takes upon herself to give Polynices a proper burial. When their other sister Ismene finds out, she is stuck between helping her sister bury their brother and following Creon’s demands. Ismene is very different from her sister Antigone. Antigone
Throughout one’s lifetime, conflicts between justice and reputation often arise. Due to this, one must be able to realize the consequences when standing up against an oppressive power. In the play Antigone, Antigone is motivated and acts upon justice as seen in her defiance to the law, love for Polyneices, and her persistent moral compass. Antigone’s fight for justice shows just how powerful she can be with her words and actions.
In the tragic play, Antigone by Sophocles, the character Creon, who acts as the antagonist, goes though reversal and recognition. Creon is not only the antagonist, but also the ruthless king of Thebes, and Antigone's uncle. Creon inherited the throne after the deaths of Antigone's two brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices. Throughout the play, Creon makes it clear that he objects the laws of the gods in favor of the laws of man. Because of this, he sates that since Polyneices was a traitor to Thebes, he must not be mourned or buried by any of the citizens.
A tragic character is one whose errors and misfortunes lead to one’s own downfall. In Sophocles’ Antigone, Creon and Antigone are two characters whose adherence to their principles causes extreme conflict. Antigone believes in what is morally just, while Creon believes in what is civilly just. They both are passionate about fighting to prove that their principles are justifiable. Antigone and Creon, both expressing loyalty and pride toward opposing forces, are unable to come to a consensus, which ultimately leads to the destruction of both characters.
His free choice is represented by a quote from the guard surveying Polyneices body, “We saw this girl giving that dead man's corpse full burial rites—an act you’d made illegal” (337). Although Creon's own niece turns out to be the one that went against his word, he still chooses to follow through with the punishment even though the deed Antigone did was morally right. The punishment that he lays upon Antigone is excessive and unjust considering the crime. While in an argument with her, he calls to his guards proclaiming, “Take her and shut her up, as I have ordered, in her tomb’s embrace [...]
A Fight For What You Believe In “Tell me briefly- not in some lengthy speech were you aware there was a proclamation forbidding what you did?” Antigone’s words, actions and ideas differ with Creon’s character to the point of these two characters having clashing desires. The clashing desires cause the characteristics of controlling, worry, and bitterness that’s highlighted within Creon’s character. Overall, these conflicting motivations develop Creon as a tragic hero by his stubbornness and his pride is way too high and the conflict with Antigone and the battle between the “Laws of the gods” and the “Laws of man.” Antigone’s words, actions and ideas differ to Creon’s character because she does what is more right for the “Laws of man” in differentiation to Creon, he’s he believes in the “Laws of the gods.”
Jaanvi Shah Mr. Eyre English 9 March, 2015 Literary Analysis of Antigone John Foster says, “pride comes before fall.” As the action of the Sophocles 's Antigone unfolds, it is clear that the protagonist Creon has all the six characteristics of a tragic hero. Teiresias interactions with Creon help to demonstrate three of those typical traits: Creon’s noble stature, his tragic flaw of having pride and arrogance, and his free choice that makes his downfall his own fault. Creon, the King of Thebes, accords with Aristotle’s theory of a tragic hero beginning as powerful distinguished and important person.
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.
The play Antigone, by Sophocles, presents the power of love, which the sword cannot defeat. Nevertheless, the play itself provides the idea in which it might be argued whether love is one of the superior forces in society that drives people to pursue their ideals.
Sophocles’ Antigone, is a classic Athenian Greek play that discusses questions about the importance of following the law when one does not agree with it, and whether divine laws or man-made laws have more importance in society. While these themes are worth exploring, another interesting aspect of the play is the cruel treatment and punishment of the title character, Antigone, by her uncle and future father-in-law Creon, the king of Thebes. Creon’s harsh punishment, a parallel to the treatment of women in Greek society, can be seen in many of the dialogues of the play.
She was outraged when she found out that her brother Polyneices was going to be left to rot and be eaten by animals, because he was a traitor to the city. Antigone believed that her brother deserved a proper burial even though he tried going against the city unlike her other brother Eteocles. She asks Ismene (her sister) to join her in this act of rebellion but Ismene does not want to get in trouble for going against her kings orders so Antigone does it on her own. Creon feels disrespected and punishes Antigone for not following his rules. He seals Antigone while she is alive, inside a tomb.