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Antigone, Star Wars, And The Good Life

2097 words - 9 pages

Sophocles’s play Antigone promotes a good life that, through careful analysis, is very similar to the Stoic theory of the good life. Antigone is a story about the members of the ancient Theban aristocracy vying for control of themselves and others; however, in its core it contains an exploration of the good life, that is trying to investigate what values will allow one to get what they want out of life.
A group of philosophers, also of Greek origin, produced a theory of this topic; this group of thinkers is called the Stoics. Concerning the good life they had two main values, from which they believe a good life can originate. The first of the two is finding happiness from inner resources, ...view middle of the document...

We see instances of Antigone fulfilling these values from the very beginning of the story, while she is talking to her sister Ismene about how she plans on breaking the royal rules by burying her traitorous brother. The first scene is our heroine telling her sister that she is about to break the royal decree. The sister, Ismene, says the she will not accompany our hero, and Antigone not letting outside sources affect her say in return, “you may do as you like”(192), essentially showing that she will not care if her sister is present or not, and thus that Antigone does not find happiness in the outside resource of Ismene, and knows that she can find happiness in herself, fulfilling the stoic value set. We see how she is not afraid of Creon, and therefore is not letting outside forces affect her, “Creon is not strong enough to stand in [her] way/” (191). She is not letting Creon tell her what to do and she is not allowing outside forces affect her, fulfilling the stoic good life. She is also fulfilling the stoic theory by not trying to control things that she unable to control. She knows that her decision will lead to his death, and she doesn’t try to fight it. She just accepts it, and goes to meet her death, when Creon Sentences her to her death she knows that she “belongs to the Death” (213). She knows as a woman in this society that there is nothing that she can do.
Antigone finds happiness from inner resources, and only tries to control what she is able to do. By doing this she is able to fulfill her good life by living according to the Stoic theory on the good life. This allows her to keep her honor, and bury her dead brother, and this happens despite capture, forced marriage, and ultimately death.

Creon, the uncle of Antigone, and the king of Thebes, is the real tragic hero of this play, giving it an interesting tent, that is that there is not true enemy. He battles with Antigone over the burying of her brother and respecting the law, trying to keep his good life of being a good ruler. However, in a deeper sense he is fighting Antigone’s stoic values with his non-stoic values. Realizing in the end that he has failed, Creon parishes due to his not good life, proving the stoic theory.
We see many instances of his not living according to the stoic good life. First we see him try to control things that are out of his control when he says, against the laws of the Gods, that no one should bury Antigone’s brother; this is blatantly against the stoic good life. Ismene, Antigone’s Sister, shows how Creon has made this decree against the gods, “They say that Creon has sworn/ no one shall bury him, no one mourn for him”(190). Creon here shows, according to Ismene, “the laws of the gods mean nothing.” (192) Creon, in breaking the law of the Gods, in essence is trying to control them. Creon is here, obviously breaking the stoic code of the good life by trying to control things that are out of his control. Later in the play we see how this turns...

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