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Antigone's Character Strengths Essay



In Sophocles play, Antigone, the protagonist is forced to choose between the law and her own human rights. The script consists of a willful young woman, Antigone, determined to stand up to the king in the attempt to bury her deceased brother. Her two brothers, Polyneices and Eteocles, fought and killed each other in battle. The new Theban king, Creon, declares that Eteocles will be buried and honored as a hero while Polyneices' body will not be buried, but instead rot away in disgrace. The penalty for trying to bury the body is death. Hearing this news, an angry Antigone insists that her brother's body must be buried so that his spirit can rest in peace, in spite of the cautious advice she gets from her younger sister, Ismene. Antigone then went to the battlefield in front of Thebes, and poured sand over Polyneices' body and performed burial rites. She allows herself to be captured after coming out of hiding when some guards try to brush off the dust, and Antigone is brought to Creon. Creon was stunned that a woman would dare to disobey his orders, and he imprisoned both Antigone and Ismene . Soon after, Creon's son Haemon asks for Antigone's release because he is engaged to marry her. Creon ignored his request and Haemon ran away, hurt that his father had treated him like that. Suddenly, Creon changed his mind, deciding to execute only Antigone since Ismene was clearly innocent. Antigone was then sent outside of Thebes to starve to death in a cave. Then the prophet Teiresias warned Creon that the gods were very angry that he had refused the burial of Polyneices. As a result, Creons son would die in punishment. Creon didnt listen to his advice. He finally agreed to bury the man after the Chorus of Theban citizens reminds him that Teiresias had never been wrong about anything.

Creon went to free Antigone from the cave after he performed burial rites for Polyneices. When he got there, however, he found that she had hung herself by a rope. After trying to attack Creon, Haemon stabbed himself and died while holding Antigone. Creon then returned to the palace to find that his wife Eurydice had also committed suicide after she found out about her sons death. Creon who was now depressed, was led away by his citizens, wishing for the release from suffering that only death can give him.

I believe that Antigone was a bit stubborn, and she would not settle for less than what she wanted. I admire her for these traits she possesses, because she stood up for what she thought was right, no matter who her opponent might have been. Antigone chose to follow Gods law, as opposed to civil law, because she felt it was unjust for Creon to refuse to bury her brother. She died standing up for what she believed in. She tried to honor her brother, and it resulted in her being sent to starve to death in a cave, where she hung herself. I look up to Antigone, and I wish I was as brave and courageous as her. I thinkit was very wrong of Creon to demand the death of Antigone for trying to bury Polyneices. He was taking advantage of his power, and I believe he was only acting the way he did to prove he was in charge and not to challenge him.

There have been many people throughout time who have acted much like Antigone; who stood up against what was lawfully right and for what was morally right. An example of such people is Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks is famous for her refusal to obey bus driver James Blake's demand that she give up her seat to a white man on December 1, 1955. Her following arrest and trial for this act of civil disobedience triggered the Montgomery Bus Boycott, one of the largest and most successful mass movements against racial segregation in history, and launched Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the organizers of the boycott, to the forefront of the civil rights movement. Her role in American history earned her an iconic status in American culture, and her actions have left a legacy for civil rights movements around the world. Rosa was a lot like Antigone because she too stood up for what she believed was just.

Antigone is a work of literature that can relate to todays society in many ways, and most likely always will.

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