Compliance Is Not Enough For Antigone Essay

Compliance Is Not Enough For Antigone Essay

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However, compliance is not enough for Antigone. The desire to honor her brother goes way beyond her instinct to protect herself. Antigone finally accepts that her sister is not going to help her in her mission: “Go be the person you’ve chosen to be./ I’ll bury Polyneices myself. I’ll do/ what’s honorable, and then I’ll die.” (Antigone lines 84-85) This statement proves that Antigone is aware of what the consequences for her actions will be. She comprehends that choosing to defy the government by honoring her brother will end in certain death, and she seems at peace with her decision. Antigone’s responsibility appears to be the driving force in her defiance. We see plenty of examples in the story where Antigone feels it is her job to preserve her family’s honor, however much of that they have left. Several of her beloved family members have already passed on before her, and now she is basically left with her sister who wants no part in her plan.
Antigone seems to have a much stronger attachment to her family than Ismene does. She even tells Ismene, “…for I owe more to the dead, with whom/ I will spend a much longer time,/ than I will ever owe to the living.” (Antigone line 92) For Antigone, it seems that all those whose loyalty she had are now gone. While she still has people in her life that I am sure she cares for deeply and loves with all of her heart, this life is starting to prove meaningless. She still has her sister and a fiancé, and both people play significant roles in her life, but the majority of her family is dead. They were killed, and some of them killed by one another. There has been dissension in the family since way before Antigone could even try to fix things. For the most part, everything she has seen in this w...


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...is in Greek life. While both played an important role in ancient Greek history, the oikos proved to be the foundation for a healthy polis. When the family is stable, the community will be stable. Antigone’s decision to remain loyal to her family even when that was not the easiest and safest option proves how deep the roots for the oikos were imbedded into the hearts of the Greeks. Even with a severely dysfunctional family, Antigone put them first before her citizenship. This play proves the significance of the oikos in the lives of the ancient Greeks and how important a healthy family is for a society to function properly. Without a stable oikos, a society cannot operate at its fullest potential. Antigone reveals the chaos that can ensue from a broken family and how, in the midst of the brokenness, family ties are stronger and run deeper than ties to the government.

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