Analysis Of ' Antigone ' Others ' And Responsibility Essay

Analysis Of ' Antigone ' Others ' And Responsibility Essay

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Antigone “Others” and Responsibility

As we experience others we have an ethical responsibility attached to us. In this paper I will discuss John Russon’s main arguments about responsibility and experiences with others that are presented in his works Human Experience and Bearing Witness to Epiphany. After analyzing his arguments I will argue how Russon’s ideas are presented in Sophocles play Antigone, particular Antigone’s responsibility between her brothers and her city, and Creon’s failure to find the other.
I will first talk about the main argument Russon presents in Chapter 4 titled “Others” in Human Experience. Within the work Russon claims, “The real substance of our lives is to be found in our dealings with other people.” (Russon 51) This claim is the central argument presented in the chapter “Others”. Russon states other people as the formation of our own identities. Our real substance in our lives comes from the people surrounding us. As we will see, Antigone’s life values are stemmed from the people surrounding her. Dealing with other people is a key concept in Russon’s work and we must realize the other is what shapes us.
Another key idea within Human Experience relates to power. No matter how powerful an individual may be, they will someday feel like they are being overpowered. “We often try also to overpower other people. We order them around. We yell at them. We try to manipulate them by playing on their sympathy or fear. We humiliate them.”(52) We all strive to have a sense of control. No matter the issue, being in absolute control of something is mostly a positive feeling. But Russon clearly states the way we humiliate people and mock people is fundamentally a human practice. We do not humiliate a chair ...

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...own identities. Through Russon’s work we are able to see ourselves in others. People are what shape our identities. Without the engagement of other people surrounding us our life will not have any meaning. Imagine living in a world where the only opinion is your own. There would be no creation, intellectual thought, or development. What makes the play Antigone so fascinating is how it can be interpreted from so many different angles. Russon states “To become member of a larger society, then requires that one adopt a stance of challenge to the legitimacy of the family narrative.”(71) Antigone was able to challenge her family, to voice your own ideas and opinions, this is what forms society’s. By engaging with others not just under law, but also with a sense of purpose, will allow for an individual to become a better member of society.

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