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Antigone: Lessons in Following the Heart Essay




Antigone is a play written in 441 B.C. by the Greek playwright, Sophocles, who is probably one of the most well- known interpretations of a tragic drama. The two main characters are Antigone and Creon. There is a conflict between Antigone and Creon throughout the play; both of them having their own ideas and opinions regarding divine law represented by Creon versus human law obeyed by Antigone. This conflict controls the whole play. It is an issue of which law is the right one and if Creon's and Antigone's acts were justifiable. In the play, Antigone decides to bury her brother Polyneices, who according to Creon fought against his native country and can not be buried as an honorable warrior. The play brings out moral questions: when we know that those in power were morally wrong, do we break their laws, or do we collaborate with them by obeying?

I am only mortal. And if I must die now, before it is my time to die. Surely this is no hardship: can anyone living, as I live, with evil all about me. Think death less than a friend? This death of mine is of no importance: but if I had left my brother lying in death unburied, I should have suffered. Now I do not. (Sophocles, 65-71) Antigone said these wise words. She strongly believes for what is right. She fights for what is right. Her brother meant a lot to her. Traitor or not, Polyneices was still her brother, and she loved him very much. I should have praise and honor for what I have done. (Sophocles, 98) Antigone based her decisions solely on her beliefs that she felt within her heart. She followed through with her actions, prepared to face the consequences, knowing what they would be.This shows that Antigone is courageous and passionate in her beliefs. She felt that the law of the land was unjust and she couldn't let the soul of her brother suffer because of injustice.

but his brother Polyneices, who broke his exile back with fire and sword against his native city and the shrines of his fathers gods, whose one idea was to spill the blood of his blood and sell his own people into slaveryPolyneices, I say, is to have no burial: no man is to touch him or say the least prayer for him (Sophocles, ) Creon was an opposition to Antigone. He himself felt god-like thinking that his laws should be obeyed, but not what people believed in, especially Antigone. Towards the end of the story, Teiresias makes a visit to Creon. Give in to the dead man, then: do not fight with a corpsewhat glory is it to kill a man who is dead? Think, I beg you: it is for your own good that I speak as I do. You should be able to yield for your own good. To this Creon replied: No Teiresias; if your birdsif the greatest eagles of god himself should carry him stinking bit by bit to heaven, I would not yield. I am not afraid of pollution: no man can defile the gods. (Sophocles, 46-50) Creon is a very stubborn, guy and will not listen to anyone. Its either his way and no one elses. Towards the end of Scene 5, Teiresias tells Creon something that made him change his mind, and run back to save Antigone, but yet it was too late for she already died. Antigone commited suicide, and hung herself. Creon did follow his heart, and believed for what was the right thing to do. He always showed a little bit of sympathy, and more maturity towards the end of the play.

In the conflict between human law, vs. divine law Antigone stood up for something more than just what she believed in, but sacrificed her life for it. I think that Antigone is the tragic hero in this story. She was willing to put her life on the line, because she felt that everyone, traitor or not, should be buried. So when we know that those in power were morally wrong, do we break their laws, or do we collaborate with them by obeying? According to Antigone, we break the law. If someone believes in something, and believes its right, go for it. Fight for what you believe in. Its the right thing to do.

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