While one may strive to fulfill what they see as the good life, it often comes at the cost of our interpersonal relationships, as demonstrated in Sophocles Antigone, and in Harold Brighouse's Hobson's Choice. In Antigone, Kreon makes an attempt to uphold his beliefs and values to obtain what he views as the good life, and it costs him his family, while in Hobson's Choice, Henry Horatio Hobson attempted to maintain a certain standard of living so he could have a good life for himself, and it came at the cost of his daughters. In Antigone, Kreon is struggling to fight for the good life in the way that he see's fit. As the ruler of Thebes, he declares that the body of one of the two brothers who fought a civil war over Thebes, Polyneices, not be buried. In Kreon's eyes, this edict was a necessary precaution in order to protect his city and his people. However, this decree came at a great cost to his interpersonal relationships. Originally, his niece, Antigone, was caught attempting to bury the body of Polyneices, who was her brother, in order to give him the honor that he deserves in death. This greatly angers Kreon, he sees her actions as a direct opposition to him, and orders that she be sentenced to death. At this point, we see the collapse of his first relationship. Kreon is being forced to chose between upholding his values, or facing the consequences of sending Antigone to her death, and he chooses to fight for what he views as right. Moreover, once he decides that
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In Sophocles’ piece, King Kreon prohibited the burial of Polynices, Antigone’s brother, because he was seen as a traitor to his country. Antigone blatantly disobeyed King Kreon’s proclamation because she thought that Polynices ought to be buried not only because he was blood- family, but because the gods law states that burial is a necessary ceremony. Her sister, Ismene, tried to warn her of the trouble she could find herself in, if King Kreon finds out that it was Antigone who had buried her brother, the traitor. (Blondell, 21). In addition, Antigone does not hesitate to admit to this illegal deed when the guards catch her in the act (Blondell, 37,38). While she acted out of respect for her brother and the gods, it was selfish in the fact that she was only thinking of herself. She did not hesitate to disregard King Kreon’s law and did not take any factor into consideration. Antigone accepted that her life was the price to pay for her civil disobedience, but her actions also, unintentionally, led to the death of two other people. Although, in the end, King Kreon sees that Antigone was right, the reason for which she had fought, and ultimately lost her life for, had no significant positive effect on anyone else.
The major moral conflict in Antigone by Sophocles is the conflict over which value is most fundamental. The play presents the moral conflict over whether the god's law or the city's law is more powerful. This seems to be the most prominent theme. The conflict arises mainly between the tragic heroes Antigone and her uncle-in-law Creon, King of Thebes. The city of Thebes had been through a war in which Antigone and her sister Ismene have lost both of their brothers to it, Eteocles and Polyneices. Eteocles's fighting for Thebes was buried and honored as a hero. (lines 24-26) Polyneices was left unburied and dishonored because he is considered an enemy of the city. (lines 27-32) Creon edicts that whoever broke the law by burying
While Antigone followed her belief of burying Polyneices for religious reasons, she went against the law of Kreon. Antigone new that the punishment for burying Polyneices was a stoning by the city’s people (Sophocles 36), but she chose to bury her brother anyway, claiming, “He has no business keeping me from what is mine” (Sophocles 49). Antigone’s lack of negotiation is why her civil disobedience is a failure. Her choice to bury Polyneice’s body without any attempt of finding common ground with Kreon is foolish. Although Antigone met with Kreon after being discovered burying Polyneices body, she never actually attempts to negotiate with Kreon, instead choosing to accept her punishment as something already set in stone. When Kreon first meets Antigone, he asks if Antigone admits to the deed (Sophocles 442). Antigone’s only response was, “I don’t deny it; I admit the deed was mine” (Sophocles 443). This shows that Antigone made her choice of civil disobedience and accepted her fate before exhausting all options. Rather than pleading with Kreon and
We read that Creon has issued a law that if anyone buries the body of Polyneices they will be sentenced to death. Antigone plans to bury her brother regardless of the law set into place. She is going to try and do it in secrecy and to avoid detection. She asks her sister, Ismene, to join her in the burial, but she refuses. At this point in the play the you realize the fear setting in. Ismene believes
She was committed to honoring her family and that is why she felt Polyneices deserved proper burial rites along with Eteocles. She took the idea to bury him to Ismene. Since it was against the law, she did not agree. Antigone responds to her by saying “That must be your excuse, I suppose. But as for me, I will bury the brother I love” (65). She argues that Creon is not enough to stand in her way (35) and Polyneices has the right to be buried being that he fought as bravely as Eteocles. So, Antigone took it upon herself to bury Polyneices. A sentry brings the news to Creon and soon Antigone follows. When taken to Creon, she fights that he is disobeying the laws of heaven. She argues, “Your edict, King, was strong, but all your strength is weakness itself against the immortal unrecorded laws of God" (360-363). She stressed to Creon that even though he holds a powerful position of authority, divine law will always come before civil law. Along with her upholding of the laws of heaven, Antigone expresses how her love for a brother is stronger than any other. She gives one last plea: she would not have defied Creon if the unburied body were her husband’s or her child’s. Both of those could be replaced, but a sibling whose parents are dead is suitable to accept such punishment. She would rather die with honor than live with the guilt of her brother’s soul left to wander the earth. With Polyneices left unburied, she feels she would have
Antigone thought that by understanding if she doesn’t give her brother an appropriate funeral, she is disobeying the gods “For me, therefore, to meet this doom is equal to no grief at all.” (line 465). Hence, we are able to recognize that Antigone values her morality and principle values more than Kreon’s state laws.
Leading up to the point of her death, Antigone resisted Kreon’s (the king) decision to leave her brother, Polyneices to die in the open with his remains picked upon by stray animals. According to Kreon, Polyneices was a traitor to the city after being defeated by his brother (who was also killed in a duel) in a war over the throne. Kreon used the law as his
Antigone is the sister of Eteocles and Polyneices. Both Eteocles and Polyneices agree to jointly rule Thebes as mutual kings. After one year, Polynices distrusts his brother, resulting in Polyneices fleeing from Thebes, only to later return with an army. In the battle, both sides are massacred. Eteocles and Polyneices kill one another, consequently giving their power up as king to in Creon, Antigone’s uncle. As acting king, Creon orders that, “Eteocles who died as a man should die, fighting for his country, is to be buried with full military honors, with all the ceremony that is usual when the greatest heros die” (Sophocles, line 160). As for Polyneices, Creon passes a law for Polyneices to be left unburied, to rot for every citizen to witness. Antigone viewed this law as immoral and unjust, for one brother to be buried with military honor and not the other. Antigone, expressing her love for Polynices, rises against Creon's higher authority command
The opening events of the play Antigone, written by Sophocles, quickly establish the central conflict between Antigone and Creon. Creon has decreed that the traitor Polynices, who tried to burn down the temple of gods in Thebes, must not be given proper burial. Antigone is the only one who will speak against this decree and insists on the sacredness of family and a symbolic burial for her brother. Whereas Antigone sees no validity in a law that disregards the duty family members owe one another, Creon's point of view is exactly opposite. He has no use for anyone who places private ties above the common good, as he proclaims firmly to the Chorus and the audience as he revels in his victory over Polynices. He sees Polynices as an enemy to
The story of Antigone deals with Antigone’s brother who’s body has been left unburied because of crimes against the state. The sight of her brother being unburied drives Antigone to take action against the state and bury her brother regardless of the consequences. The concept of the Greek afterlife was far more important and sacred than living life itself. Everything they did while they were alive was to please the many gods they worshipped. They built temples for their Gods, made statues to symbolize their Gods, and had a different God to explain things that we now say are an act of mother nature. Antigone percieved her actions to be courageous and valid, and Kreone, the King, percieved them as blasphemous. The entire story focuses on
Although Creon and Henry Hobson may have attained their good lives by only adhering to themselves, both demonstrate the destructive consequences of when one puts selfish intentions above all else. Creon’s downfall is contributed by his pride and unwillingness to listen to others. He realized his fault too late and ended up losing the ones closest to him. Henry Hobson was enveloped in his business and accumulating wealth, without acknowledging the hard work of his daughters or Willie Mossop. The result was having lost control of his life to Maggie.
Antigone chose to give her brother Polyneices a proper burial even though it was against the king’s law. She tried talking her sister Ismene to join her on her quest because Polyneices was both of their brothers, but Ismene did not want to disobey Kreon’s order (Blondell 19-24). This left Antigone to handle this on her own, which takes a lot of courage and dedication to what she believes in. Antigone went on with her plan to bury Polyneices and his body was eventually found by a guard (Blondell 30). When the guard brought the news to Kreon he was furious and the Chorus had suggested it was a Gods doing, which led me to believe that they did not think anyone one else was willing to risk it all by not listening to their kings orders (Blondell 32). A good lesson to learn from Antigone is that even if you break the law you have to admit your doing especially when you know what you did was morally right and what you stand for as an individual. When Antigone was accused of breaking the law and burying Polyneices she did not even hesitate saying, “I don’t deny it; I admit the deed was mine.” (Blondell 38). She even goes on to tell King Kreon that his choice to not allow the burial of Polyneices is morally wrong and how he is disobeying the God Zeus who is offended by improper treatment of a corpse (Blondell 38). Though Antigone knows the consequence for disobeying the king, she continues to fight for her brother’s honor and makes sure to point out the king’s foolish decision. Even in her last words she questions what kind of men can make suffer and then gives her respects to the town, gods, and rulers.
In the text, Antigone wants to bury her brother, Polynices, after hearing about what occurred with their brother, Eteocles. Polynices and Eteocles had an argument over who should be the king and they ended up slaughtering each other to death in a battle for the throne. Polynices is looked at as a traitor. Antigone did not care and still wanted to bury him. The obstacle in the way her uncle Creon. Creon was the king and he proclaimed that the body of Polynices shall not be buried. Both Antigone and Creon followed separate rules and laws. That causes the difference in viewpoints between the two. With Antigone, she believes that it would be right to bury him, so she did. Once Creon found out, he was very angry. With the body of Polynices being banned due to the proclamation
As the play begins Antigone is just meeting up with her sister and is telling her about the decree of King Creon. Antigone and her sister, Ismene, had two brothers who had killed each other on the battlefield. One of their brothers, Eteocles, was buried with the military honors of a soldier’s funeral, and yet the other, Polyneices, was to be left out to be food for the carrion birds since he died fighting against the city of Thebes. King Creon forbade publicly for anyone to bury the body of Polyneices under the penalty of death. Antigone is now determined to bury her brother and wants Ismene to help her. Ismene does not want to go against what the king has ordered and is fearful of what may become of her if she
Throughout time society has developed a system from which humans are able to define good and bad, Ethics. Although Ethical norms have been adapted throughout the passing of time, its most intrinsic values have prevailed, enabling individuals to agree on standards of what good and bad are built on their moral standards. Morals are what give the individual the capacity to distinguish good from bad. In the ancient Greece morals were indeed the individuals perception of good, and bad however, these perceptions were greatly abided and driven by the divine laws imposed by the gods. In Antigone, a tragedy written by Sophocles, we see the how the main character defies the kings rules and stands for her own perception of what she believes is the rightful thing to do .We are able to able to see the decision chosen by the two main characters, Creon and Antigone are the ones to define and condemn their faith and the one of those who live around them. In Bernard Knox’s Introduction poet T. S. Eliot states, “Antigone did the right thing for the wrong reason”(pg53). I believe that Antigone by deciding to mourn for her dead brother does indeed the right things but for the wrongs reasons. Through her actions she evidently follows the ethical norms imposed by the Greek divine laws, but it is her moral judgment the one to ambiguously expose her true reasons, the fulfillment of an unalloyed lust, creating a rupture beyond the scopes of rationality by incarnating the simple desire of taking upon