The Divine Right Of Antigone. Essay About Sophocles' Antigone;. Discusses Why Antigone's Choice In Disobeying Creon Was Just And Right.

1010 words - 4 pages

The Divine Right of AntigoneThe play Antigone is truly a fascinating play, and in some ways more interesting than Oedipus the King, which I read in High School. The character of Antigone reminds me strongly of Oedipus, she is intelligent, fast to make judgements, and like Oedipus, she is followed by tragedy. However, the strongest aspect of Antigone and her tale is what really brings her similarity to Oedipus into sharp focus, they are both righteous people, and just as Oedipus was the hero of Oedipus the King, Antigone is the heroine of her tale. Antigone's decision to disobey Creon and to bury Polynices was valid in that she chose to place her moral, or perhaps divine, self above her physical self.The entire family of Oedipus is followed eternally by grief! Oedipus's parents virtually exiled him as a child, Oedipus killed his father, Oedipus' actions brought a plague upon Thebes, Oedipus blinded himself, Jocasta hanged herself, Eteocles and Polynices killed each other, Antigone is tried for treason, and finally, Antigone hanged herself. In Antigone, Polynices and Eteocles have both died prior to the opening of the play, and, in fact, killed each other. At the very beginning of the play, Antigone says:Do you know one, I ask you, one griefThat Zeus will not perfect for the two of usWhile we still live and breathe? There's nothing,No pain-our lives are pain-no private shame,No public disgrace, nothing I haven't seenIn your griefs and mine. (1.1, 3-8)Antigone is faced with a difficult decision, Creon has declared that anyone that attempts to give Polynices a proper burial will be stoned to death in public; but Antigone loves her brother, and she believes that he should be buried. "I will lie with the one I love and loved by him..."(87) Part of her reasoning on this point is that while a husband or a child can be replaced, a brother can not, once the parents are gone:A husband dead, there might have been another.A child by another too, if I had lost the first.But mother and father both lost in the halls of Death,No brother could ever spring to light again.In Greece at the time that the play takes place, a King had divine right to rule, the gods had placed the ruler in his/her throne to act out their wishes, therefore, it is interesting that both Antigone and Creon use the gods against each other. The Chorus says, regarding Creon:Creon, the new man for the new day,Whatever the gods are sending now...What new plan will he launch? (174-176)This phrase implies that whatever Creon brings, whatever he plans is the will of the gods, and is sent by the gods. Antigone, I think, has a much stronger case for the gods favoring her side. Not only does Tiresias confirm that the gods favor Antigone based on his description of the sacrifice that didn't burn, but even Creon eventually drops his god-angle:You'll never bury that body in the grave,Not even if Zeus's eagles rip the corpseAnd wing their rotten pickings off to the throne of god!Never, not even in fear of...

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