Antigone

Antigone

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Antigone


During the ancient years of Greece, new ideas came up that complicated life. These new beliefs came with the strong development of science, where individuals began to obtain new aspects of Gods. These new ideals often conflicted with one another creating complex moral dilemmas. In Antigone, Creon and Antigone battle a philosophical war dealing with the controversy of the Greek ethics. “Do what you believe is right.” This is a idiom universal to all, brought to our attention by parents, reinforced by teachers, and preached by leaders. But how does one define what is right? It is the impression that one should make decisions based upon what they deem morally appropriate within themselves. On one aspect there is Antigone, who pursues her self-righteous beliefs whole-heartedly and without reservation. On the other aspect you have Creon, who acts in response to what he believes is best for his city-state. Both characters are validated in their actions. Antigone’s support of her approach is evident in her refusal to abide by Creon’s edict no to bury her brother Polynice’s. Antigone’s aspect of the conflict held a much more heavenly approach, as opposed to the mundane road that Creon chose to follow.
Antigone’s belief is on that supports the Gods and the laws of heaven. Her reasoning is set by her belief that if someone is not given a proper burial, that in turn they would not be accepted into heaven. Antigone is a very religious person and acceptance of her brother by the Gods was very significant to her. She felt that, “It is the martial law our good Creon lays down for you and me—yes me, I tell you.“(lines 37-38) Creon’s order was personal to Antigone; his edict invaded her family life as well as the principles of the Gods. In her eyes, Creon betrayed the Gods by not allowing her to properly bury her brother Polynices. She believed that the burial was a religious ceremony, and Creon did not have the authority to deny Polynices that right.
Antigone understands that she will suffer personal torment if she does not carry out her proceedings (burying her brother). “But if I had let my own brother stay unburied I would have suffered all the pain I do not feel now. And if you decide what I did was foolish, you may be fool enough to convict me.

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”(572-574) Never, though, did she stop defending what she thought was right. As Creon ordered her to death, Antigone exclaimed, “I go his prisoner, because I honored those things in which honor truly belongs.”(582-583) She is unwaveringly humiliating Creon by calling his opinions and decisions pathetic and discriminatory. She also emphasizes “his prisoner,” which let’s us better know that his decision to imprison her was his own, and was not backed by the majority of the people. Antigone feels that Creon is abusing his authority as king and dealing with her law-breaking misconduct on a personal level. Creon’s actions are guided by the principle that states, “Man is the measure of all things.”(325-353) Creon believes that the good of man comes before the Gods setting the example using Polynices’ body left unburied is a statement of Creon’s belief. “No man who is his country’s enemy shall call himself my friend.”(225-227) This passage illustrates the fact that leaving the body uncovered is done to show respect for Thebes. After all, how could the ruler of a city-state honor a man who attempted to invade and conquer his city? From that perspective, Creon’s actions are completely just and supported. Though most of his reasoning’s complement those of the Greek philosophies, the people of the state questioned his actions on this situation.
Initially, Antigone was “his prisoner”, not necessarily the prisoner of the public. In fact, the general population supported Antigone, although they were too frightened to verbalize their outlooks. Haemon, Creon’s son, knew of this and expressed to his father the findings, “has she not rather earned a crown of gold? Such is the secret talk of the town.” This further confirms that Creon was implementing complete domination of political power, which was strictly forbidden by the Gods. Not allowing Antigone to perform her religious ritual by burying her brother was an interference into her religious affairs.
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