Antigone

This essay has a total of 1766 words and 8 pages.

Antigone


Antigone

It takes a lot of courage to stand up and defend an action or idea that is forbidden by
society. This is what Antigone does in Sophocles' story Antigone. She clearly disobeys
King Creon's order that no person should bury Antigone's brother, Polynices, which is
punishable by penalty of death. In this case, though, is Antigone's decision the correct
one? Her actions affect many of her other countrymen negatively; they cause problems
within the royal family, disagreement among the people and directly relate to the death of
three people including her own.


By burying her brother Antigone knowingly and willingly went against royal orders and in
doing so chooses her own death. She knows as well as anyone in the town that death would
come to all that disobeyed Creon's order. Antigone says to this "no one will ever convict
me for a traitor (page 61)," and decides to bury the body, this is quite ironic because by
burying her brother a traitor is exactly what she is convicted of being. Antigone's
activities were traitorous against her homeland, Thebes in that she acted for herself
instead of for the good of the country. Creon had declared that "Our country is our
safety. Only while she voyages true on course can we establish friendships truer than
blood itself. Such are my standards. They make our city great (page 68)." He says this
meaning that if everyone acted as a whole they would always prosper. If someone were to go
against go against the laws and ideals put forth by Creon it would only cause dissension.
When Antigone did go against the law this exactly what happened. Chaos would not have
ensued if she trusted her king to be right in his decision, just as all the townspeople
and her sister Ismene did.


Creon also had stated that one should not place a friend, in this case a brother, in front
of one's country. One could say that Antigone is selfish in her pursuits of doing so, for
although Polynices was Antigone's brother, he was planning to loot and destroy Thebes if
he was victorious in overtaking it. Further evidencing this idea, Polynices also killed
Antigone's other brother Eteocles who was faithful to Thebes until his death defending it.
Being that this is the case then why would Creon agree to a burial of a traitor who with a
foreign army invaded his homeland killing his own brother and would have sold his fellow
countrymen into slavery. Antigone response to this is that she wants to bury her brother
because that is the unwritten law of the gods, but Creon's decision is in light of his
belief in those same gods, for the gods never respect a traitor. It must seem
inconceivable to Creon that the gods would ever want a traitor like Polynices buried, let
alone with the same ceremony as his brother Eteocles. Creon believes in the gods of the
country and he is sure that he is acting in the best interest of Thebes. For if he had
decided to bury Polynices it would show him and his country as being week. It would send a
message that Thebes is a country that honors its traitors. This could put the country in
jeopardy of another attack.


One can argue that it is hypocritical for Antigone to walk knowingly into her death when
in the previous story Oedipus at Colonus she begged Polynices not to go to war when he
knew that he would die fighting Eteocles. Now her sister Ismene is doing the same thing by
begging her not to act foolishly. Antigone could have easily prayed for Polynices at her
lonesome, and many catastrophes would have been averted. Antigone, however reflecting the
stubbornness of her father Oedipus fails to see the flaws in her thinking. She also must
have known, or was unable to see through her clouded mind, that whatever she was to
accomplish by burying her brother was sure to be erased. More specifically as soon as the
body was buried, Creon would decree that it should be uncovered. Would it be worth it for
her to risk her life just so that her brother could be buried for a short amount of time?
Antigone does not care about dying for her dead brother and to this she says "and it even
if I die in the act, that death will be a glory. I will lie with the one I love and loved
by him- (page 63)." It would be quite likely though that her body would fall under the
same order, as Polynices', that no one shall be allowed to bury it after she became
deceased. If this came to be who would give her the proper burial being that she has no
children and is not married. She could be very well ruining her own afterlife in trying to
save her brother's. Polynices she also fails to see is already in trouble with the gods
for his wrongs on earth, and will most likely be punished by them. This could bring about
the possibility that she might never get the chance to be reunited with her brother in
during an afterlife in Hades.


Antigone's decision to bury her brother caused harm to many people. First she tried to
convince her sister Ismene to help her. She did this by trying to make Ismene feel guilty
if she did not; stating it was Ismene's brother too. She says after Ismene tells her she
is on a hopeless quest "If you say so, you will make me hate you and the hatred of the
dead, by all rights, will haunt you day and night (page 64)." This threat brings Antigone
farther apart from the only living family member that she has left. She has her mind set
so much on burying her brother that she will stop at nothing, not even threatening her
opposing sister to do it. Since Ismene has been through the same hardships as Antigone and
is just now starting to put her life back together it is understandable why she would not
want to go on this suicide mission. She would be sacrificing her own body for her
brother's dead one. After Antigone carries out with the deed Ismene now feels responsible
to die with Antigone. This sense of responsibility is probably the result of Antigone's
earlier threats and Ismene's fear of being without any family. When Ismene tries to also
accept the blame for the crime Antigone will not let her. Ismene then asks Antigone "what
do I care for life without you. Antigone replies "Ask Creon. Your concern is all for him."
Even when she knows that her fate is sealed Antigone is still mocking her sister who cares
for her immensely. She believes that anyone who obeyed Creon's law worships him instead of
the gods.

Continues for 4 more pages >>




  • Social trends in art
    social trends in art Art is something which can be analyzed to give deeper insight as to the common values and beliefs shared by the members of a certain society. Regardless of the place of origin or the time period of a form of art, it will always be a reflection of the social structure in which it\'s creator/s lived. However, the way the artist perceives the culture common to his time period is very relative. People pertaining to a higher social class had different values and ideologies than m
  • Beowulf Not just a kids story
    Beowulf Not just a kids story When you compare Beowulf to any modern novel or movie, Beowulf seems childlike at best. Beowulf is told in a straightforward, uncomplicated manner very unlike many of today’s works, which contain complex plots and themes. What makes Beowulf readable to an adult and not just children? Why do people find stories such as Beowulf so intriguing? Why is Beowulf, or any myth, significant? Beowulf, the story of the young Beowulf sent by fate to save a kingdom plagued with a
  • TRADE AND BARTER IN ANCIENT GREECE
    TRADE AND BARTER IN ANCIENT GREECE TRADE AND BARTER IN ANCIENT GREECE: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When we discuss the economics of the ancient world, we must be careful not to use the formal Economics which we employ in analyzing our own society, since Economics is a function of the way a society runs, not the set of rules under which a given society operates. We cannot remove ourselves from awareness of the economic disciplines which our sch
  • Greek art
    greek art ˙Greek art is a very important in the upper paleolithic period. Art objects and artifacts are important sources of information about civilization prior to written history. The number of artworks lost because of their impermanence can only be imagined, since many were created by using organic materials subject to destruction by fire, flood, and decay. By comparison, objects made from metal or stone are more likely to survive The Aegean basin was a center of artistic activity from early
  • Vikings
    Vikings The Vikings Viking History The Vikings were a group of Scandinavian raiders that were around from about the 8th century to the 11th. They mainly attacked the British Islands , the Frankish empire, England, but they also plundered places such as the Iberian peninsula and northern Africa. Vikings did not always settle into the places that they found, for instance after exploring North America they left the place never to return again. Even so, after landing on Greenland they colonized them
  • Writing system
    writing system Complex-text Languages In the languages of the western world based on the Latin, Cyrillic and Greek scripts, there is no difference between how text is stored for data processing and how it is presented on a display or a printer. The text is read on horizontal lines from left to right, the lines progress from top to bottom and the characters are stored in a manner identical to how they are presented. Not all the languages of the world have these characteristics. In this document,
  • Writing system information
    writing system information Complex-text Languages In the languages of the western world based on the Latin, Cyrillic and Greek scripts, there is no difference between how text is stored for data processing and how it is presented on a display or a printer. The text is read on horizontal lines from left to right, the lines progress from top to bottom and the characters are stored in a manner identical to how they are presented. Not all the languages of the world have these characteristics. In thi
  • The contribution of Dietrich Bonhoeffers Interpret
    The contribution of Dietrich Bonhoeffers Interpretation of the Old Testament “The Contribution of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Interpretation of the Old Testament” In reviewing the works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the study of the Old Testament seems to be almost non-existent. It is not until his time in Tegel Prison, nearly one year prior to his execution, that he fully commits himself to serious thought on the subject “My thoughts and feelings seem to be getting more and more like those of the Old Testa
  • The women og Greece A transition from Ancient Powe
    The women og Greece A transition from Ancient Power to Classical Subservient Weakness The Women of Greece: A Transition from Ancient Power to Classical Subservience Women\'s conquest for political and social freedom is a battle that has gone on for centuries. Perhaps the breaking point in women\'s liberation was the Women\'s Movement of the 1900\'s, which encouraged women all over America to join in the fight for their right to vote. Because of this struggle for equality, women are now able to v
  • Christianity and the Beowulf Poet
    Christianity and the Beowulf Poet In my initial study of Beowulf it seemed to me that the Christian references in it were overlaid onto the essentially pagan tale that makes up the bulk of the poem. So I innocently decided to investigate this incongruity as the topic of this paper. And so I found myself smack-dab in the middle of an argument that has evidently raged for the last one hundred years or so. I found sources that ran the gamut from the position that Beowulf was a quintessentially Ger
  • King Arthur in literature and history
    King Arthur in literature and history King Arthur is the greatest of British literary heroes, although little is known about the real person. Little real historical information is left, only texts, chronicles, verses, myths, fragments of epic poems, inscriptions, symbols, graven images and graffiti. Although these writings can be interesting literature, they lack factual evidence and are obscure in details. It is not even possible to say that a real Arthur even existed, for the records of his e
  • Poetry in motion Bharatanatyam
    Poetry in motion Bharatanatyam Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Folk. These are some of various dance forms throughout the world today. Most individuals are familiar with these forms of dancing, since they are the most prominent and most widely used forms of dances in modern society. Throughout history, dance has been a main source of entertainment, from early tribes to modern day theaters. Interestingly though, somewhere between the transition from tribes to theater, dance has played a role from temple to t
  • Aphrodite Greek Goddess of Love
    Aphrodite Greek Goddess of Love The word myth derives from the Greek mythos, which has a range of meanings from "word," through "saying" and "story," to "fiction"; the unquestioned validity of mythos can be contrasted with logos, the word whose validity or truth can be argued and demonstrated. Because myths narrate fantastic events with no attempt at proof, it is sometimes assumed that they are simply stories with no factual basis, and the word has become a synonym for falsehood or, at best, mi
  • Exposition of mythology
    exposition of mythology Michael A. Murray English 385 Mythology Mid-Term EXPOSITION OF MYTHOLOGY Since the beginning of time people have found great interest in the study of mythology and its origin. For the past five weeks I have been studying this deep and complex issue and have come to the conclusion that without myths history would not be the same. In this paper I will discuss what myths are and how scholars have broken them down. Scholars such as Joseph Campbell go into great detail to exp
  • Nores vs Greek
    Nores vs Greek INTRODUCTION Greek mythology and Roman mythology are almost identical. This is an accepted fact, as it is widely known that the Romans stole the Greek myths. However, it is very interesting to note that the mythology of the Vikings (Norse) has many similarities with the Greek myths. These myths are, by no means, identical to the Greek ones (like the Roman ones are), but there are very distinct commonalities between the two. I see two possible reasons for this besides pure coincid
  • Voyage of Argo
    Voyage of Argo The Voyage of Argo Adventures of epic preportions have been written and told for thousands of years. The characteristics of these stories include, suspense, adventure, danger, and heroism. They mostly involve a task that needs to be completed. Whatever it may be, very few tales are able to take all characteristics of a good adventure and put it all into one story like The Voyage of Argo, by Apollonius. The Voyage of Argo is about a man named Jason who bands together a group of ex
  • Mystery Cults
    Mystery Cults Mystery cults greatly influenced the development of Pythagoreanism as Pythagoreans adopted many of their traditions, behaviors and beliefs. Pythagoras, the founder of the Pythagoreans, established a school in which he developed and taught these adopted cultural behaviors and beliefs. The nature of daily living in the school, both its moral and its intellectual disciplines, can perhaps best be understood as an intellectualized development from earlier mystery cults such as the Ele
  • Celtic Christianity and The Secret Rose
    Celtic Christianity and The Secret Rose In William Butler Yeats\' The Secret Rose, the author develops his theme through choice of diction, imagery, symbolism, and scansion. Yeats\' Irish background is an influential factor in terms of the tone with which he addresses religious beliefs, and an acceptable interpretation of The Secret Rose depends on one\'s knowledge of Celtic history and tradition. Throughout his poem, Yeats uses a great deal of symbolism in describing the well-known events that
  • Comparitive Flood Stories
    Comparitive Flood Stories Most comparisons between Genesis and ancient Creation or Flood stories can be classified as comparative religious studies. They generally involve one text isolated from its original historical context (e.g., the Babylonian creation myth Enuma Elish or the Flood tablet of the Gilgamesh Epic) and one related biblical narrative. On the basis of currently available evidence, their earliest-known written form can be dated only to the first half of the first millenium B.C. W
  • Women Of Ancient Greece
    Women Of Ancient Greece The Women of Greece: A Transition from Ancient Power to Classical Subservience For the most part, women in today\'s society hold a position equal to that of a man; however, this has not always been the case. Women\'s conquest for political and social freedom is a battle that has gone on for centuries. Perhaps the breaking point in women\'s liberation was the Women\'s Movement of the 1900\'s, which encouraged women all over America to join in the fight for their right to v
  • Femme Fatales of English Literature
    Femme Fatales of English Literature The femme fatale, a seductive woman who entices men into perilous and compromising positions by way of charisma and mystery, is a classic, and often enthralling, character who can be found in many sources of literature and mythology of various origins and eras ("Femme Fatale" 1). "If the goddess of virtue is a lily and the vamp is an overripe red rose, the femme fatale is a Venus flytrap." (Billinghurst 1). In the simple quote above, Ms. Jane Billinghurst, aut
  • Ancient Egyptian Religion As S
    Ancient Egyptian Religion As S Ancient Egyptian Religion as Seen in Art and Architecture As the hot Egyptian sun beats down upon his head, the archeologist realizes his time is drawing to a close. The local government had allotted a period of two weeks for the expedition to take place, and the thirteenth day is now in its peak. The search for the tomb of the great king Menes has, thus far, been a complete failure. The archeologist begins to feel a bit queasy, realizing his sudden failure; howeve
  • Assyrian Art
    Assyrian Art Assyrian Art The reliefs from the palace of King Assurnasirpal II at Nimrud play an important role in portraying the power and importance of the Assyrian king. These reliefs are similar to other Assyrian reliefs in terms of their purpose; however, there is a contrast in the methods used to glorify the king. By examining such factors as style, iconography and historical significance, we find many similarities and differences between the "ceremonial" reliefs and the more common relief
  • Modern Day Hero
    Modern Day Hero In today\'s society, it is hard to know someone who another person can look up to as a hero. It takes a special quality and person for others to know they can look up to and follow without worrying about being lead astray. The modern day hero I have chosen is someone who not only is willing to lay his life down for another, but also is willing to fight for everyone\'s freedom. James A. Miller Jr. is that modern day hero; he is a Staff Sergeant in the United States Marine Corp. Fo
  • Romeo And Juliet
    Romeo And Juliet Summary nbsp; Act I, Scene ii nbsp; Paris asks Capulet for his daughter Juliet\'s hand in marriage. Capulet replies that she is still too young to be married, but nevertheless invites Paris to try to woo her at a banquet he is holding that night. He gives a servant a list of guests and tells him to take an invitation to each of them. The servant is illiterate, and so goes about trying to find someone to read the list for him. He runs into Romeo and Benvolio, who are still discus
  • A short analysis of Aeschylus Agamemnon
    A short analysis of Aeschylus Agamemnon Aeschylus- Agamemnon Characters- The Watchman Clytaemnestra The Herald Agamemnon Cassandra Aegisthus The Chorus 1). The Watchman: • The watchman sets the time and place for the play (Agamemnon\'s palace in Argos, the house of Atreus); he describes the many miserable nights he has spent on the rooftop of the palace watching for the signal fires that will herald the fall of Troy. • The watchman is one Aeschylus\'s small characters, but like the herald he
  • Mardi Gras
    Mardi Gras Tom Welch Service Article(revised) IT\'S MARDI GRAS!!!!! Yes, New Orleans\' famous Carnival season is this years\' never-ending party and you\'re invited. Mardi Gras, famous for its colorful and cultural parades, is an experience you can\'t go any longer w/out! The Streets are packed with both tourists and Native Louisianans as they celebrate Mardi Gras in full color and sound. . The Huge Parades come flashing down the street we fresh music, an explosion of lights, and spectacular flo
  • Women Of Ancient Greece
    Women Of Ancient Greece The Women of Greece: A Transition from Ancient Power to Classical Subservience For the most part, women in today\'s society hold a position equal to that of a man; however, this has not always been the case. Women\'s conquest for political and social freedom is a battle that has gone on for centuries. Perhaps the breaking point in women\'s liberation was the Women\'s Movement of the 1900\'s, which encouraged women all over America to join in the fight for their right to v
  • Mardi Gras
    Mardi Gras Tom Welch Service Article(revised) IT\'S MARDI GRAS!!!!! Yes, New Orleans\' famous Carnival season is this years\' never-ending party and you\'re invited. Mardi Gras, famous for its colorful and cultural parades, is an experience you can\'t go any longer w/out! The Streets are packed with both tourists and Native Louisianans as they celebrate Mardi Gras in full color and sound. . The Huge Parades come flashing down the street we fresh music, an explosion of lights, and spectacular flo
  • Amadeus
    Amadeus At the age of the Enlightenment, Antonio Salieri becomes the most triumphant musician in the city of Vienna, however, without any warning his harmonious universe comes to an utter halt. Salieri\'s absolute faith in the world, in himself, and in God is all at once diminished by this spontaneous child composer. When the two opposite ends meet, there emerges a fury, a rage, and a passion in Salieri to sabotage the boy that has secured Salieri\'s deserved God given talent; to destroy the one
  • Starbucks logo and branding
    Starbucks logo and branding Try taking a walk in New York without bypassing a Starbucks. Seriously, try- I dare you! Starbucks coffeehouses are so ubiquitous this task would almost certainly be impossible. The truth is, this is not just a New York thing, I was just trying to make the point relevant. Starbucks is the largest coffee distributor in the world and exist all over cities across the country as well as a global expansion. Before getting to the company\'s origin, branding and success, a c
  • Ancient Egyptian Religion As Seen In Art And Archi
    Ancient Egyptian Religion As Seen In Art And Architecture Ancient Egyptian Religion as Seen in Art and Architecture As the hot Egyptian sun beats down upon his head, the archeologist realizes his time is drawing to a close. The local government had allotted a period of two weeks for the expedition to take place, and the thirteenth day is now in its peak. The search for the tomb of the great king Menes has, thus far, been a complete failure. The archeologist begins to feel a bit queasy, realizing
  • Biblical And Mytholigical Allu
    Biblical And Mytholigical Allu Biblical and Mythological Allusions In Hermon Melville\'s \'Moby Dick\'; \'An allusion is a reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art.\'; (Thompson 1155). Writers often use biblical and mythological allusions to which their readers are familiar. In Moby Dick, Herman Melville constantly uses biblical and mythological allusions. With these allusions the reader understand the topic of discussion and is also exposed to the wisdom and
  • The Viking
    The Viking The Vikings Viking History The Vikings were a group of Scandinavian raiders that were around from about the 8th century to the 11th. They mainly attacked the British Islands , the Frankish empire, England, but they also plundered places such as the Iberian peninsula and northern Africa. Vikings did not always settle into the places that they found, for instance after exploring North America they left the place never to return again. Even so, after landing on Greenland they colonized t
  • Macbeth Notes
    Macbeth Notes Macbeth - Macbeth is a Scottish general and the thane of Glamis who is led to wicked thoughts by the prophecies of the three witches, especially after their prophecy that he will be made thane of Cawdor comes true. Macbeth is a brave soldier and a powerful man, but he is not a virtuous one. He is easily tempted into murder to fulfill his ambitions to the throne, and once he commits his first crime and is crowned king of Scotland, he embarks on further atrocities with increasing eas
  • Cool reading
    Cool reading Cool Reading A reading journal by Stephen Balbach stephen@balbach.net Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike The originals can be found at http://bachlab.balbach.net/coolreading.html Reading journal for years 2004 - February 2006 Keywords: book review, bookreview, book reviews, bookreview, review, reviews _________________________________________________________________________ Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed Jared Diamond 2004 2005 hardback Februar