Violence In Antigone And Thucydides

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Violence as Necessary, Excessiveness as Detrimental
There is a reason Athens is taught about in history books, as there is a reason Sophocles’ Antigone is still read to this day. One of those reasons in both cases is the prominent use of violence, how it is justified, and for what reason it is used. Instances of violence in both writings are carried out using force, which is justified to secure the city or empire if that security cannot be reached through peaceful means. The security of the empire is what is best for the citizens of that particular city or empire, and their rulers will go to great lengths to achieve that goal. Both authors agree that sympathy is viewed as weakness when doled out by a powerful person, and if situations
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While the Athenians held off on their initial use of violence at Melos, it is clear that they were willing to use it to maintain their empire. This is justified because peaceful compromise was an option the Melians declined, to avoid being seen as weak and potentially losing strength in their empire, violence was necessary. “…decisions about justice are made in human discussions only when both sides are under equal compulsion, but when one side is stronger, it gets as much as it can, and the weak must accept that (Thucydides 103).” Although Athens resorted to force, they truly believed they were both saving Melos from evil Spartan rule while maintaining what was best for their empire.
The use of violence in place of sympathy is justified to maintain peace for an unstable empire. Athens reached violence to spare themselves from being seen as weak, which would have been devastating blow for the suffering empire, had they gone easy on Melos. The same can be said for Creon in Sophocles’ Antigone, who uses force and violence against his niece for what he believes is for the good of the city of Thebes. Creon in his initial speech upon taking the throne stated, “I could never stand by silent, watching destruction march against our city, putting safety to rout, nor could I ever make that man a friend of mine who menaces our country. Remember this: Our country is our safety (Sophocles 68).” Creon claims here that Thebes is of utmost importance

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