Antigone, Not Being Buried

1330 Words6 Pages
Members of a society will generally follow the elected government’s laws unquestionably. Every once in a while there will be those that transgress, specifically not following a law for their own moral or religious reasons. In Antigone, Sophocles depicts a young woman having to choose between burying her brother or following the law. Many laws written throughout history were perceived from religion and in the play Antigone, not being buried is one of the most grievous insults imaginable. Now the heroine must make a choice, does she obey the law or follow her heart. Throughout history many times people are faced with a choice such as this and almost always they will rebel against their government. The right to decide whether to follow a law that a person deems unjust is a something that cannot be infringed in human society. During the time of Antigone many laws were made based on the whims of the rulers. Yet history shows us that through the whole range of styles of government, from dictators to republics, most of the laws contain some sort of humane and ethical standards. These are generally called basic human rights, which are defined as the rights that every person should enjoy, without regard to race, color, public standing or religious belief. During the prologue of the play Antigone, Antigone is arguing with her sister about burying their brother. She says, “Here is this hand. Will you help it to lift the dead man?” (1.Prologue.49) and Ismene, Antigone’s sister follows with, “Would you bury him, when it is forbidden in the city?” (1.Prologue.50). This is a good example of two people, both in the same moral position, but yet with a completely different outlook on the law. Ismene has decided that no matter how she feels persona... ... middle of paper ... ...rt speaking out against their government. When this occurs, rebellion against the government is born. By not allowing a simple act of kindness Creon has turned a victory into a time of strife. When he executes Antigone he has not only created a cause for dissent, he has also destabilized his power with the people. The sacrifice of Antigone is punctuated by the suicides of Haemon and the Queen, and in the case of Creon this bittersweet end symbolizes the concept of karma, or what goes around comes around. By the end of the play Creon has definitely found remorse, verbalized with the lines “Lead me away, a vain silly man / who killed you, son, and you too, lady” (1.8.1402-1403). In his thirst for retribution Creon has caused not one, not two, but three unnecessary deaths. He realizes in the end what he has done and now has to live with the consequences of his actions.
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