Sophocles ' Antigone : The Rights Of The State Essay

Sophocles ' Antigone : The Rights Of The State Essay

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Antigone had the right to bury her. Her defiance of the decree instituted by the king, Creon, which prohibited her brother’s burial, was justified. In defense of Antigone’s position, one can argue against both divine law and the laws of the state. However, this is not what Antigone’s actions are about. Antigone’s decision to bury her brother was justified because respect for the deceased triumphs over the man-made laws of the state. Antigone’s choice was virtuous because it was the best decision for her family. Antigone was not wrong in her actions, for spiritual matters are independent and separate from human laws. Lastly, Antigone’s actions were correct because Creon had no right to order that Polyneices go without a proper burial, because that is not a decision for the state to make. Creon was wrong in ordering such a decree, because a person’s burial, especially one that is ceremonially performed in private, has nothing to do with the political realm.
Antigone’s actions were best for her family. She lost both of her brothers, but only one, Eteocles, was allowed by Creon to receive a proper burial. No matter what shame Polyneices may have caused, he is deserving of a respectful and proper burial, because he is a human beings and he has a soul. They deserve to be buried humanly and without humiliation, because they are defenseless in the matter. For this reason, Antigone had the right to bury both brothers with equal consideration and honor. Because it was man-made, Creon’s decree had no merit, yet it focused on spiritual relations—he was out of his jurisdiction. Regarding Creon’s decree, Antigone says that there is “a city-wide proclamation, rumor has it, forbids anyone to bury him, even mourn him" (33-34). Creon declares th...


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...ot only deplorable, but it was disgraceful toward his role as king.
Defying the laws of man is a small price for moral reverence. Antigone knew the consequences, but made the choice to bury her brother anyway, because she knew it was right. She looked the provocation of Creon in the face, and she simply laughed at it, because Creon did not have the authority to sanction such an injunction. Antigone’s decisions were considerate, ethical, and sincere. While arguing her position to Creon and Ismene, Antigone says, “Let the dead and the god of death bear witness! I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone” (611-612). Antigone does not pretend to care about respecting her brother, but rather she demonstrated it through her actions and her decision to defy authority. Sometimes, defiance is necessary, for what you’re told to do isn’t always the right thing to do.

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