Holy Crimes of Fictional Times

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The idea of a holy crime is something that is subject to opinion. Something that is a holy crime to one person may not be to another. A holy crime is when someone with good intentions goes against the law with what they believe is justified reasoning. In both Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Sophocles’ Antigone, crimes are committed by innocent people who feel they are doing well. Brutus and Antigone both go against the law for something they feel is right, despite the consequences. Each character convinces themselves that their crime, while going against the law, is for the better. Both have good intentions for their crimes, and therefore justify them as holy in their minds. The offenses Antigone and Brutus commit are holy crimes that they justify with helpful intentions, but Antigone’s crime is the holier of the two.
Antigone’s crime is one many would not even consider a crime. In the play, Antigone, King Creon decrees that while Antigone’s first brother, Eteocles, can be buried, her other brother, Polyneices is not allowed to be put to rest and anyone who tries to bury him will be put to death themselves. Antigone, however, goes against Creon and buries Polyneices anyway. Antigone reasons that every dead soul deserves the same respect of being put to rest. She feels she is following the bigger laws of the Gods in burying her brother. When talking to her sister about her plans to bury their brother, Antigone says, “But I will bury him; and if I must die, / I say that this crime is holy: I shall lie down/ With him in death” (Sophocles Prologue.55-57). Antigone’s pure love for her brother and willingness to accept the punishment she knows is coming are, among other things, what make her crime holy. She buries Polyneices simply b...

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...e more solid and pure than those of Brutus, who’s intentions were shaky and questionable. Antigone’s crime was a lesser offense because it harmed no one and only helped to put her late brother to rest. Comparing both crimes and their consequences, you can see that Antigone’s crime was the lesser of the two evils. Both characters are brave and honorable people who commit crimes with the original intention of helping others. Both characters believe what they are doing is for the best and are intending to help, which is what proves both crimes honorable and holy.

Works Cited
Shakespeare, William. “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.” Literature: The Reader’s Choice Course Five. Ed. Jeffrey Wilhelm. New York: Glencoe, 2009. 774-863. Print.
Sophocles. “Antigone.” Literature: The Reader’s Choice Course Five. Ed. Jeffrey Wilhelm. New York: Glencoe, 2009. 721-759. Print.
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