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Holy Crimes Of Fictional Times Essay

1218 words - 5 pages

The idea of a holy crime is something that is subject to opinion. Something that is a holy crime to one person may not be to another. A holy crime is when someone with good intentions goes against the law with what they believe is justified reasoning. In both Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Sophocles’ Antigone, crimes are committed by innocent people who feel they are doing well. Brutus and Antigone both go against the law for something they feel is right, despite the consequences. Each character convinces themselves that their crime, while going against the law, is for the better. Both have good intentions for their crimes, and therefore justify them as holy in their minds. The offenses Antigone and Brutus commit are holy crimes that they justify with helpful intentions, but Antigone’s crime is the holier of the two.
Antigone’s crime is one many would not even consider a crime. In the play, Antigone, King Creon decrees that while Antigone’s first brother, Eteocles, can be buried, her other brother, Polyneices is not allowed to be put to rest and anyone who tries to bury him will be put to death themselves. Antigone, however, goes against Creon and buries Polyneices anyway. Antigone reasons that every dead soul deserves the same respect of being put to rest. She feels she is following the bigger laws of the Gods in burying her brother. When talking to her sister about her plans to bury their brother, Antigone says, “But I will bury him; and if I must die, / I say that this crime is holy: I shall lie down/ With him in death” (Sophocles Prologue.55-57). Antigone’s pure love for her brother and willingness to accept the punishment she knows is coming are, among other things, what make her crime holy. She buries Polyneices simply because he is her brother and she believes he deserves it. She is willing to be killed to stand up for what she believes and wants only the respect that she feels her family deserves. Antigone is also very accepting of her punishment. She does not try to run from the death she knows is coming; she faces King Creon head on and is ready to stay strong and own up to her actions. Her ability to not cower in the face of death and accept responsibility for her crime is another thing that justifies it. Another thing that rationalizes her crime is that Antigone did not harm anyone. Had no one been watching, no one would have known the crime was committed. The law was put in place to make Creon alone happy, and her burying her brother had no effect on anyone else. Many people in Thebes felt Antigone’s crime was insignificant and not worth being punished for; they felt she is instead honorable for burying her brother. In the end, Antigone committed a victimless crime out of love and with good intentions which is what makes her crime justified and holy.
In comparison, Brutus’s crime was much different than that of Antigone. He joins himself with many others in an effort to assassinate Julius Caesar who is set to be crowned king....

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