Antigone loyalty essay

Creonthe new ruler of Thebes and brother of the former Queen Jocasta, has decided that Eteocles will be honored and Polyneices will be in public shame.

Antigone loyalty essay

Divine Law The play opens with the debate between the sisters Antigone and Ismene about which law comes first—the religious duty of citizens, or the civil duty? Antigone invites Ismene to join her in burying their brother Polyneices, though the king has forbidden burial on pain of death.

Antigone Antigone loyalty essay that Creon has authority in the matter of burial, a sacred duty she feels bound to fulfill. Creon, on the other hand, believes the state is supreme.

He says to the city counselors: Furthermore, since he represents the city-state of Thebes as its king, his will is sovereign. They point out here that the two laws are in conflict—civil and religious.

Tragedy is bound to occur when these two vital laws are set against one another, for both sacred law and civil law are necessary for the welfare of the people.

The gods also weigh in through omens, and Antigone loyalty essay prophesy of the seer, Teiresias. He proves by example the will of the gods overrides human law.

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An early choral ode praises the wonders of human accomplishment: On the other hand, humans seem limited by their mortality and their fate, or predetermined destiny.

Someone like Oedipus, born with a certain prophesied fate, is not able to circumvent it by any means. Creon, however, seems to suffer through his own choices and stubbornness. Creon feels confident that through his will, he can make laws for the city of Thebes, and at first he sticks by his decision to punish Antigone.

Together the fates were called the Moirae, the ones who apportioned human destiny. In early Greek literature, Fate was all-powerful, even more powerful than the gods, for even Zeus did not know when his reign would end.

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Sophocles and the later philosophers like Plato, however, tried to balance the picture by glorifying human reason as an echo of the reasoning intelligence behind cosmic law.

Humans could thus modify their own destiny if they were wise. For this world came into being from a mixture of Necessity and Intelligence. Intelligence controlled Necessity by persuading it for the most part to bring about the best result, and it was by this subordination of Necessity to Reasonable persuasion that the universe was originally constituted as it is.

Fate still is powerful in this view, but more so where humans are arrogant and blind. The purpose of tragedy then is to show how humans bring fate down on themselves. There is usually more than one choice available, and the tragic hero makes the wrong choice, as in the case of Creon. Antigone, however, is entangled in a legacy of fate that plagues everyone in the family of Oedipus.

Her destiny seems more set and less her fault, though she does brings it down on herself by rebelling against Creon. She could have chosen as Ismene did.

In tragedy, Fate usually has the upper hand, because tragedy highlights the limitations of humans when they overreach, and when they do not possess wisdom. When Antigone is led away to her death the Chorus sings: Power Sophocles, like Shakespeare, includes political discussions in his plays that are important topics for the audience.

What would the ideal ruler be like? Creon is king and in an early speech to the city elders the Chorushe explains how he will be a tough ruler because of his loyalty to Thebes.

Antigone loyalty essay

He will not let partiality or family connections dictate over the good of the city: He then tries to prove his tough impartiality by denying burial rites to his own nephew, Polyneices, who was a traitor to Thebes.

Creon then sets guards around the body. The Chorus does not defy Creon as Antigone does, but they do give feedback to him at critical points.

Creon sees her as a rebel, a threat to his power: Antigone is more of a threat than a man would be, for she has the status of a slave in Thebes, and he calls her a slave lines A woman should not be seen or heard.

If he gives in to her, he is doubly shamed. First, she is a relation, and it would seem like giving special favors. Secondly, she is a mere woman, and yielding to her would make him seem weak.

If he cannot rule his own house, he says, how can he expect to rule Thebes?Directory of teaching and learning resources, including lesson plans, teaching guides, study guides, reading guides, discussion guides, litplans & more.

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Essay about Fate, Loyalty, and Law in Antigone - Fate, Loyalty, and Law in Antigone The play Antigone by Sophocles is a play like no other. There are three major themes or ideas which have a very important role in the play.

Antigone loyalty essay

It is clear how he feels about these two values in conflict when encountered in another person, Antigone: loyalty to the state comes before family fealty, and he sentences her to death. Portrayal of the gods In – Ruby Blondell, prose with introduction and interpretive essay.

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