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.


  1. Chris, I really like the way you write. Antigone seems like a wonderful person to be around, even though she's put in all these terrible situations. Your sentence structure needs a little more work, in my opinion. You had quite a few run-ons from what I could see, and sometimes your thoughts kind of got tangled up in sentences. Other than that, though, this essay really stood out as good to me, Chris. Keep up the good work!

  2. Mr. Cummings, excellent blogpost. This seems like a very intresting book. Was this a hard read because it was set back in Roman Era? Does Antigone have anymore shifts in character? or does she stick to her morals? I liked how she values respect and charity too. do you value these in your life? good post bud!

  3. Will: Thank you Will, and I agree that my sentence organization of grammar and thoughts could use some polishing. Despite that, I'm glad I can express an idea or make a point and then recieve mostly positive feedback on it.

    Grant: The plays are actually quite easy follow. This isn't like reading Shakespeare in your sophmore year and scratching your head after reading every three lines. Antigone is just an example to us all. She puts every other character to shame and comes off as a complete saint. I try to follow that creed in my life and I feel after reading the Theban Plays I should reinforce it more.

  4. I thought this post was excellent Chris. You never got sidetracked and you kept to the form of a persuasive essay. You had a good introduction and a strong conclusion. Also you provided good quotes and were able to provide support for each example. I also like how you chose a book that was very different from the social norm just like Antigone. Other than a few grammatical errors, I thought this post was great. Good job Chris

  5. great post bama. your organization was extremely well formatted, but i think you could use some more background info to give the reader a better sense of what you are writing about. excellent conclusion keep it going