Friday, September 23, 2011

The Resolve of Antigone

     Antigone, in a series of plays that show some of the worst crimes of man such as incest, murder, suicide, betrayal, and other such sins commited by humanity and by many characters in the Theban Plays, Antigone proves to be a character that is utterly incorruptible. Throughout the plays King Oedipus, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone, Antigone shows absolute loyalty towards her father, forgiveness for others misdeeds, and isn't afraid to stand up for what's truly right in the face of authority.
        As Oedipus learns that he is truly the one that killed Laius, Oediupus falls into a deep sorrow and utterly convinces himself that he is not even fit to remain in Thebes. Cast away by his own wish, Antigone and to a lesser extent Ismene take the role of being their father's eyes and ears. "Antigone here, ever since she grew up to womanhood, has been an old man's nurse; poor child, the partner of his vagrant life, hungry and barefoot, she has roamed the wilds, through sun and storm, unflinching, with no thought for home-keeping, so that her father should not want."(Oedipus at Colonus, Line 338-350, Sophocles). Oedeipus says it himself, Antigone has given up much of her life in order to take care of her father who was cursed by the gods the day he was born. Antigone has basically give up her own personal life, friends, relationships, and other things must people take for granted. In a position where most people would grow understandably frustrated and annoyed, Antigone places loyalty not only to her father, but to the other members of her family above her own wants and needs.
        Antigone has a fierce loyalty to her father, but the same could not be said for her brothers Polynices and Eteocles who are in a fight between themselves and Creon for the Theban throne. Antigone once again as a compassionate and noble character. "No; then I will not ask you for your help. Nor would I thank you for it, if you gave it. Go your own way; I will bury my brother; and if I die for it, what happiness!"(Antigone, Line 64-66, Sophocles). Even when her brother Polynices didn't stand by Oedipus at all when he was exiled by Creon, Antigone still cares very much for her brother. The fact that Antigone is showing forgiveness and care for a family member that arguably abandoned her and her father during his exile should speak volumes on just how much Antigone values charity.
        Finally, in the final play Antigone and her sister Ismene discover that their brother Eteocles will recieve a proper burial, but Polynices will not because of his actions recruting an army out of borders. Creon's say, which Antigone considers the law of man, states that because of this traitorous action Polynices will not recieve a proper burial. "I did not think your edicts strong enough to overrule the unwritten unalterable laws of God and heaven, you being only a man. They are not of yesterday or to-day, but everlasting, though where they came from, none of us can tell."(Antigone, Line 453-457, Sophocles). Antigone believe that Creon's orders to deny Polynices a proper burial is an act of disobedience to the divine laws of the gods. Honor and respect for her family drive Antigone into believing that she has done the right and respectful thing against the opressive rule of Creon.
        With the climax of the Theban Plays, Antigone has proven herself to be a character that defies the social norms of any woman during that time period. If Antigone had a morality compass, family would unanimously be the first moral to be written. Antigone displays loyalty to her father, compassion and forgiveness to her brother, and a strong sense justice against tyrants like Creon. As in my title, Antigone is a light in the dark for a rather dark book.

Week 2 commenting

3rd Graders:

Week 2 Morality Compass

A morality compass is something special that anyone can appreciate and learn from. The points that I have chose for my morality compass are ideals that I feel are the most important to me in my life and how I've come to identify my sense of what's special in my life.
        Family is the most obvious and crucial point on my morality compass. My family is always there for me and I always try to do what's best for my family instead of doing what's best for my own self interests. We all become frustrated and sometimes even angry with our family at certain points in our lives, but family is the one thing you can always count on when your back is against the wall or you need support through difficult tragedies. Friends you have may come and go, but family is something you will always have in your life. My mother has always been supportive of whatever I have chosen to do with my life, whenever I needed to talk to someone my father always knows the exact right advice to give, and my brothers made me appreciate the personal items I had even if they were hand-me-downs.
       Speaking of family, the one thing my family has repeatedly teach me is to always have good karma on your side. The concept of karma is quite simple: performing good deeds is rewarded somewhere down the road. This could be anything like being treated well back or a stroke of good luck. Some people I've met in my life find this concept a somewhat silly and I can see why from their perspective, but it's something I feel really motivates me and other people around me to go about our daily lives with examplary attitudes, behavior, and respect for other people as well. Many people around me actually find this humorous, but the show "My Name is Earl" has the main character focused around the idea of karma because of some of the actions he performed early in his life that he believed resulted in bad karma caught up with him and made him lose his winning lottery ticket. Not a bad show at all.
        My next point is something that I take a lot of pride in despite recieving criticism from the people around me. Independence makes me feel like I don't have to depend on anyone to accomplish my goals and make decisions that I feel were my decisions alone regardless if they were poor or smart decisions. I learned early in my life that I didn't just want to do follow groups blindly or simply always go with the majority. Instead, I chose to make well thought out decisions and to pursure activities and interests that might not have always been seen as popular by other people, but still offered me a sense of self and independent choice and reason.
        Tied to independence is the final point of my morality compass. Creativity is something I praise whenever I witness it whether it's from and individual, movies, television, videogames, etc. It honestly pains me to see Holywood seem so uninspired with most of the movies that come out in a year. Rolling my eyes is simply something I can't resist when I see a group of kids praising a sports simulator which barely gives the customer any new content(here I am talking about video games in a blog, aren't I such a nerd?) or the next generic military shooter that also comes out every year with the same old formula. Making leaps in bounds to try and produce something that may seem a little odd to the general populace is something I always appreciate and continue to support to this day.
        These are the points of my morality compass and what I hold dearest to me. To anyone who reads this blog and does enjoy sports games and military shooter games, those games are absolutely fine and I'm not condemning anyone who likes those kinds of games, but I just feel after so many years of the same old thing it has become a quite predictable genre.

Week 1 Comments

And here you have it:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Spectacle of What We Live By

          Morality...there are a number of theories behind how we come to grasp what morality is, but in its most basic sense, it is knowing the line between right and wrong. Good and bad if you will.
          First of all, our first ideas on how we view morality begin once we are able to walk, talk, and understand other people's actions and behavior. More specifically, how we are raised and the lessons we are taught from our parents. When a child performs a certain task, action, or behavior that is met with applause and happiness from the mother or father, the child will begin to realize that these tasks, actions, or behavior are the "good" or "right" way to go about an individual's daily life. Likewise, when a child performs tasks, actions, or behavior that is recognized as "bad" or "wrong" it clicks in the child's mind that performing these undesirable actions will only be met with disdain and dissapointment. If there is a punishment on top of the parental scolding, that will leave and even impact on a child's future moral choices, mind set, and future behavior.
          Religion may also become an external factor on an individual's sense of morality, but that may depend on just how religious that individual might be or even how that individual's friends or family might be. For the sake of this blog, lets say that an individual was a Christian. On top of the moral support from their friends and family, the teachings and lessons of The Bible also offer a moral guide. In religion, following the teachings and lessons of God and his followers is looked upon as moral and humane behavior. As you might expect, behavior and actions going against these teachings were labeled as sinners and punished in some of the worst ways ever imagined. The Ten Commandments themselves are a very straightforward moral guide.
          My last thoughts on morality stem from what popular medias such as television, books, movies, videogames, and what the popular media portrays as moral. For example, in any typical movie or television series you have your protagonist and antagonist. The protagonist is portrayed as doing the right thing, fighting for a noble cause, sacrificing for the greater good, etc. The protagonist's behavior will leave an impression on the audience's viewers with a portayal of moral heroism. Many role playing video games offer players choices throughout the game which offer different results and reward depending on which moral path they choose to pursue. The popular video game Mass Effect allows players to create their own character and complete a number of quests. The catch is depending on how the player's character interacts with the rest of the game's characters is kept in check by the game's morality system. Solving problems through diplomacy and peaceful negotiations will yield the player paragon points while if the player's character is cruel, ruthless, and violent, they will yield renegade points. Turning on the news is the easiest way to view a society's general moral standpoint and how it portrays the concept of right and wrong to the rest of the country.
          All of these influences shape our very minds on how to view our own actions as well as other people's actions and will continue to do so for future generations.