Sophocles presents us with a high criterion of ethical courage and also personality in his play Antigone. Among the several thematic inquiries raised, Sophocles goes after in depth the concern of whether it is best to obey the law or to comply with one’s conscience. Antigone shows the toughness to follow her conscience against the demands and risks of authority, and as a result she confirms herself to be a truly exceptional and also excellent heroine. Such a moral choice is one that might drive a much less endure individual to chaos.
Antigone is required to select in between love and life in her circumstance in the opening of the play. Her two options are clear: she can either disobey Creon and hide her sibling Polyneices, or she can accept authority and leave Polyneices unburied. Yet Antigone lets us understand that in her mind, there is no choice to be made, for she recognizes what she will do. She insists: “I will not show false to [my brother] […] It is not for [Creon] to maintain me from my own” (52-54). As she speaks to Ismene, we see that each sister represents either side of the debate as well as all the going along with characteristics: Ismene is obedience, passivity, and also subservience; Antigone is loyalty, honor, valiance, as well as truth to one’s self. In the dialogue between the two sis, we see that yielding to the law definitely has its advantages, such as the evasion of problem with Creon, nationalism towards the state, and the salvaging of Antigone’s own life. Yet for Antigone, these advantages are hardly worth consideration, since the intentions for disobedience completely discount them. These reasons have their own incentives: household loyalty, sisterly love, mercy, reality to self, and personal as well as family honor. Therefore, Antigone’s strategy calls for merit that few individuals possess and also less are able to defend despite misfortune.
Additionally, Antigone’s willpower to do what she really feels is right is unshakeable, even when she is surrounded by opposition. To begin with, as it has currently been kept in mind, we exist with her sibling Ismene as an aluminum foil for Antigone’s courage. Ismene’s weak effeminacy permits her to satisfy perfectly the stereotypical role and assumptions for a woman in Creon’s society. She tells Antigone: “You ought to realize that we are only ladies,/ not indicated in nature to fight against guys;/ and that we are ruled, by those that are more powerful,/ to obedience in this as well as even more excruciating issues” (70-73). She does not desire Antigone to enter problem, which is both reasonable and forgivable, however her cowardice makes her disgraceful and loathsome to Antigone and just verifies Antigone’s decision to be real to her principles as well as her honor. Of course, Creon is the chief competitor of Antigone. Creon is staunch in the belief of his own power and also authority, as well as in his disrespect of ladies. He informs his son Haemon: “There is nothing even worse/ than disobedience to authority./ It damages cities, it destroys residences;/ it breaks and routs one’s allies/ […] we can not provide success to a female./ If we need to accept loss, allow it be from a guy;/ we must not allow individuals claim that a female defeat us” (726-734). For that reason, Antigone plainly stands for everything that Creon most greatly worries. He yearns for all people not just to obey him, yet additionally to cower to his power. He tells his son it “is vile [to generate] to a lady” (808) and also refers to ladies most completely as “areas [to be] till [ed] (627 ). From these characters’ mindsets toward Antigone, we have the ability to recognize and also value her freedom and also moral courage. We can see the concern that underlies words of Ismene as well as Creon, whose displeasure of Antigone’s decision and activities is encouraged by their own individual intimidation at one so bold in love and also integrity.
Creon explains that he alone has the power to differentiate right from incorrect, merely because he is the public authority, the just one able to apply his own impulses. Yet what justifies his power? What offers him or any various other such federal government or influence the right to enforce its ideas and also desires on any individual else? Most of us have the power of free will; most of us have the capability to identify good from evil. Antigone understands this, and also she insists: “Who understands/ if in that various other globe this is true holiness? […] My nature is to participate love, not dislike” (573-576). It is crucial for Antigone to appreciate and recognize those to whom she owes love and also gratefulness, whereas Creon is inspired by self passion. Haemon notes this, informing his daddy: “You want to talk but never ever to hear and also pay attention” (821 ).
Sophocles. Antigone. Ed. David Greene and Richard Lattimore. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1991.