Antigone and Socrates
Antigone and Socrates are two of the strongest voices in Greek literature. Antigone, the strong-willed idealist, and Socrates, the great philosopher, what would a conversation between these two in Crito entail? It is my belief that Antigone would do everything in her power to convince Socrates to escape. She intensely believes that their lives serve a greater purpose. In her opinion, it would be unjust of Socrates to give up his mission of philosophizing. Socrates would give her argument much thought, but his conclusion would not greatly differ from the original text. The old, tired Socrates would accept his fate, death, because it would be unjust to disobey the state. This scenario will explore the relationship between morality and the state.
Antigone strongly believes that there is a deeper order that all people should follow. This divine order of the gods surpasses the power of any government. The play Antigone (The Three Theban Plays) explores the story of Creon, the king of Thebes, after a great war led by two of Antigone’s brothers. One brother fought for Thebes, Eteocles, and the other fought against, Polyneices. Eteocles was given a proper military burial, while Polyneices was left to rot on the battle field. Antigone believed it would be unjust for Polyneices to be buried unproperly, as he would not go to heaven. The news of the Polyneices’s burial reached Creon and he sent out forces to capture the perpetrator, who was to be sentenced to
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
The first specification for the tragic hero is one of the few that both Antigone and Creon exhibit; both characters are between the extremes of perfect morality and pure villainy. Antigone’s moral neutrality is illustrated through her noble intentions and the unorthodox way she acts upon them. When she is confronted by Creon and demanded to give an explanation for her disobedience, Antigone says, “For me it was not Zeus who made that order. Nor did that Justice who lives with the gods below mark out such laws to hold among mankind” (Sophocles 207 ll. 450-2). Along with love and loyalty to her brother, Antigone is largely motivated by her desire for justice and appeasement of the gods. While her intentions are noble, Antigone’s actions in the
Antigone takes place just after a war between Antigone’s two brothers, Eteocles and Polynices. Eteocles fought on the side of Thebes whereas Polynices resembled an invader. Afterwards, Eteocles is buried and seen as honorable. However, Polynices is denied a proper burial because he is considered a traitor to Thebes. In this play, Sophocles uses Antigone and Creon as foils by characterizing Antigone as a martyr and Creon as a tyrant to urge the reader to realize that one’s own morals are more significant than the decrees of any government.
Sophocles’ play “Antigone” illustrates the conflict between obeying human and divine law. The play opens after Oedipus’ two sons Eteocles and Polyneices have killed each other in a civil war for the throne of Thebes. Oedipus’ brother in law Creon then assumes the throne. He dictates that Eteocles shall receive a state funeral and honors, while Polyneices shall be left in the streets to rot away. Creon believes that Polyneices’ body shall be condemned to this because of his civil disobedience and treachery against the city. Polyneices’ sister, Antigone, upon hearing this exclaims that an improper burial for Polyneices would be an insult to the Gods. She vows that Polyneices’ body will be buried, and Creon declares that anyone who
To him, Eteocles is a hero to Thebes who died defending the city’s honor. On the other hand, he would not overlook Polyneices’ alliance with other city-states to attack his hometown. Creon feels that the only reasonable way to promote peace in Thebes is to be strict on those who attacked Thebes. His edict read, “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 heroes die; but his brother Polyneices. . . I say, is to have no burial: no man is to touch him or say the least prayer for him; he shall lie on the plain, unburied; and the birds and the scavenging dogs can do with him whatever they like” (163-173). Once he finds out Antigone has disobeyed his orders, he considers her an ‘ungovernable young woman’ and sentences her to be buried alive. He disliked Antigone’s reasoning and thought that the God’s were on his side, seeing Polyneices as a traitor. It is ironic to see him behave the way Oedipus does when he was once king. Creon accuses everybody of conspiracy, including the blind prophet Teiresias. He predicts that Creon’s actions will result in the death of his family. Creon indicts him of being
Written by the Greek writer Sophocles, the play Antigone continues to touch audiences around the world with themes that are relevant to this day. In the play, Antigone, daughter of Oedipus, and his wife Jocasta, is confronted with conflict as both of her brothers had slain each other after Polynices was exiled from Thebes, then marched back to regain his throne. Creon, the now ruler of Thebes, put forth a declaration stating that only Eteocles was to be buried, while Polynices had been barred from burial as he was considered a traitor. During the play, Antigone fights back and forth on her decision of putting the unwritten law of the gods before the law posted Creon. Two important themes that are showcased throughout the story
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
In the plays Antigone and the Crito the two lead characters, Antigone and Socrates, showed completely different ideas regarding their responsibilities to the State. Antigone believes in divine law and does what she thinks that the Gods would want her to do. Socrates, on the other hand, believes that he owes it to the State to follow their laws whether he thinks they are right or not.
Being the leader of Thebes, Creon wants order and loyalty to the city. After the death of Eteocles and Polyneices, Creon makes it known that anyone who acts against the city is an enemy. Creon decides that Polyneices would not receive a burial because he sees him as a traitor. Not burying the dead is uncommon for many since it went against religious beliefs. Antigone saw the wrong that was being done, as did other citizens. Creon says that “for quite a while some people in the
After reading Antigone by Sophocles, readers may believe that the two main characters, Antigone and Creon, seem like polar opposites. However, after digging a little deeper, readers are able to come to a final conclusion that although both characters may not always see eye to eye, they carry a number of similar traits. The characters seem to be so alike that it results in the two to constantly disagree, leading towards the two to continuously find new differences and flaws within each other. They don’t exactly have the same views, for example, Antigone seems to put family over everything else while Creon’s loyalty is more concerned with the well-being of Thebes. However, the two characters do have many similar internal characteristics. They are independent, confident, and stubborn when they want to be.
Both Creon of Sophocles’ Antigone and Achilles of Homer’s The Iliad end up allowing the body of their enemy a proper burial. During the time following the death of Hector, Achilles is in a position very similar to that which Creon deals with in Antigone. Both men show similar flaws, and face similar struggles. The difference between the two men is only subtly discernible until the telling moment when each man is faced with pressure to change his stance on the fate of the fallen warrior. Each man’s initial reaction is quite telling of his character, and the motives behind each man’s decision (although the motives are debatable) also help to expose his true nature. In the end, there seems to be a quality within each man which lies above
The ancient Greek societies had a strong corrective method to maintain order. Authorities had to maintain a self-survival attitude, which consisted of putting away those few that could challenge their power and create chaos. Both Antigone of Sophocles and Socrates of Plato are examples of threat to the socio-political order or their respective societies.
Antigone is a play that was written in ancient Greece by the playwright Sophocles. It is the third play in a trilogy of tragedies about the city-state of Thebes, revolving around Oedipus Rex. Antigone starts the day after a civil war fought between the two sons of Oedipus Rex after his death. The civil war ended in death for both brothers, so their uncle, Creon, assumed the role of King of Thebes. The main conflict of the play begins when Creon gives one brother, Eteocles, a burial with honors, but passes a law forbidding a burial for the other brother, Polyneices with the penalty of death. One of the sisters of Eteocles and Polyneices, Antigone disagrees with this law, and decides to bury Polyneices, resulting in Creon sentencing Antigone to death. A conflict emerges between Antigone and Creon, who appear to be opposites. However, despite Antigone and Creon’s different stances on law, they are ultimately more similar than different because of their shared value of loyalty and their shared characteristic, hubris.
Antigone is a tragedy with the opposition of state laws and religious laws. The main protagonist is King Creon ruler of Thebes, who has recently stepped up to the throne, after his nephews Eteocles and Polyneices had killed each other in a war over the throne. Creon declares, that his nephew, Eteocles shall receive a proper burial for defending Thebes, while Polyneices's body will be left to rot for attacking Thebes. This idea is greatly opposed by Creon's niece Antigone, as it goes against what she believes is morally right, and that Polyneices was a person and deserves to get a proper burial like everyone else. Despite being the antagonist Antigone is the hero of the play. This is because she is doing what she believes is the right thing to do, she claims, "Say that I am mad, and madly let me risk the worst that I can
In the Greek tragedy Antigone, written by playwright Sophocles, a conflict is presented in the aftermath of a rebellion against Thebes, wherein the brothers Polyneices and Eteocles kill each other, as leaders of opposing armies. Creon, their uncle, assumes rule of Thebes, as the only remaining heir of the previous king; then honors Eteocles as a hero, but forbids any burial for Polyneices, calling him a traitor. Antigone defies this, claiming the gods require him to be buried. This essay will argue that Creon was correct to forbid the burial of Polyneices. Both Antigone and Creon have ample justification. The justification, and flaws therein, for Creon’s actions will be discussed, resolving the conflict.