Antigone

Antigone
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In Sophocles’ Antigone, there is a clash between the world views of Antigone and those of Creon as far as the power of the state over the individual is concerned. Antigone does not believe that the state should have power over the individual while Creon believes that the laws of the state must be adhered to even when they contravene individual rights. From the way the plot of the story unravels, it is clear that Sophocles is of the idea that the state should not have authority over the individual. This is seen in the way Sophocles arranges his story so that people choose Antigone’s side. Sophocles also shows his disagreement with Creon’s view when in the end; those close to Creon kill themselves leaving him alone and in distress. Creon’s stand does not come out in his favor.
In accordance to state law, Creaon forbids the burial of Polyneices as he is deemed a traitor. Antigone goes ahead to bury him insisting that religious duty comes before civil duty. Antigone says that “He [Creon] has no right to keep me from my own!” (line 48). Antigone also tells Creon that “Nor could I think that a decree of yours– / A man—could override the laws of Heaven/ Unwritten and unchanging” (lines 453-55). After Antigone is caught burying her brother, she is send to prison. Those near Creon take Antigone’s side forcing him to agree to release Antigone. However, they find that she has killed herself and so does Creon’s wife.
Whereas Sophocles through Antigone propagates the idea that individual will should not be surpassed by state law, I do not agree with this assertion. Both the individual and the state must coexist. A state cannot be a state if it did not have laws that had to be adhered to. The individual should also be seen to exercise some personal will. Both personal will and state law are important for the welfare of the people. in my opinion, both Antigone and Creon did not achieve, and all because they chose to ignore one side of the coin. For there to be consensus and harmony, both sides of the coin must be seen to be important.
Works Cited
Sophocles. “Antigone.” The Bedford Introduction to Literature: Reading, Thinking, and Writing.
9th ed. Ed. Michael Meyer. Boston: Bedford / St. Martin’s, 2011. 1465-1501. Print.

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