Free «“Antigone” by Sophocles» Essay Sample

Antigone is a tragedy from Ancient Greek that was written by Sophocles in 442 BC. The play is divided into eight sections, but this paper will focus on the last part of the book; parts 7 and 8, where King Creon passes judgment that Antigone should be executed for disobeying his orders. It happened that, Eteocles and Polyneices, the brothers of Antigone, had fought and killed each other over a war between the city of Argos and Thebes. However, because, Polyneices had fought against Thebes, King Creon ruled that Polyneices’ corpse be left on the streets unburied; a ruling that Antigone defies. She is determined to ensure that her brother is buried properly. The king does not want his subjects to feel that he is being partial since Antigone is betrothed to his son, Haemon. So, he is forced to pass a judgment that Antigone be executed for defying him. However, the king changes his mind on the issue following prophet Tiresias’ confirmation that Antigone has the backing of the gods. This change of mind comes too late, as Antigone had already hanged herself.

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“Antigone” is an illustration of self-sacrifice and a clash between obeying human law and doing what is right. Antigone is opposed to the king’s ruling that his brother’s corpse be left unburied because she believes that it is improper, and that his brother’s spirit will not rest in peace. In the end, we see Antigone sacrificing her life for the sake of ensuring a decent burial for his brothers. This is a show of how strong Antigone’s moral values are; she is courageous and steadfast in her beliefs. Not everyone would sacrifice their life for their brother. Therefore, Antigone’s moral values are valuable and worth emulating in our current society. The lesson in this play is that people should stick to what they believe is right without wavering.

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