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Bryan Macatangay Ms. Deck Period 5 12.11.

2012 Righteousness of a woman and the face of the Devil

There are many ways people interpret good and evil Stealing is one such example because things can be stolen, due to greed, while it can also be used for helping others in need. Another example would be murder. Killing a ruthless leader may be seen as a great and noble deed, while murdering an innocent man may be seen as a heinous crime. In the play of Antigone, certain characters show actions that are either right or wrong. After the death of her father, the brothers of the main character Antigone: Polynieces and Eteocles were to share the land equally. When Eteocles would not share it, Polynieces became a traitor and brought war to their kingdom. They were both killed in battle, and Antigones uncle, King Creon, announced that Polynieces should not be buried. However, Antigone opposed this view and believed that her traitor brother should have all the rights to a proper burial, despite his crime. This play was intended by the author, Sophocles that the actions of King Creon are wrong, and those of Antigone are correct. In this Greek drama, Antigones actions are correct, while Creons is wrong for these reasons: Antigone respects humans, Creon shows arrogance throughout the play, and his actions led to the destruction of others and that of himself. To begin with, Antigone shows respect and compassion to humans, living or dead. She most especially displays this trait in a risky attempt to bury her brother. The fact that she risked her life to do an illegal act shows that she possesses much love for her brother. In Scene II , she

states a very unselfish message, while talking to Creon. This death of mine is of no importance; but if I left my brother lying in death unburied, I should have suffered (Sophocles 208.) The point of her quote is that she was suffering because she could not stand to see her that her brother is not going to be being buried. She further explains how she values the lives of dead men. .his own brother, traitor or not, and equal to blood (Sophocles 211.) To her, once a person is dead, they should be buried, no matter what good or evil deeds they have committed in their lifetime. Many of those who oppose Antigones righteousness may say that she was being too overly arrogant and headstrong herself. This is agreeable, but she is only this way because she needed to do what she felt was right. These reasons, all the more, suggest why Antigone should be seen as a righteous woman and not as an arrogant one. Second, Creon displays arrogance, in which he is dead to reason in many ways. Throughout the story, he is known for having too much pride and having lack of compassion towards others. For example, in Scene II, he mentions that, An enemy is an enemy, even dead, which shows that he lacks the ability to forgive those who have done wrong to him (Sophocles 220.) It is surprising, mostly, because he refuses to show any compassion to his own nephew. It is true that Creon was obviously defending the law of man, and believes in the justification of crimes. Although he upholds these beliefs, he actually enforces his own laws to be the laws of man and subjects everyone to his rule. His own words support this reason. My voice is the one voice giving orders in this city (Sophocles 220.) Lastly, his arrogance causes him to threaten others, so they will stay under his rule. Go join them, then if you must have your love, find it in hell! This is an ironic statement because those are the words only a demon in hell would say. This only further how wrong Creons actions are.

Third, the last and final reason why Creon is wrong in his acts and Antigone is correct, is because the consequences at the end trace back to King Creon. He is responsible for most of the deaths that occur in this tragedy. In the Exodos, he is guilty of burying Polynieces before releasing Antigone. She had made of her fine linen veil and hanged herself. Even though he himself did not murder Antigone, he is ultimately responsible for her death. Antigone is not the only person he had driven to suicide, but loved ones as well. As explained by the Choragos, Haimon is dead; and the hand that killed him is his own handhis own, driven mad by the murder his father had done (Sophocles 239.) It is not reasonable that that Sophocles would have Creon punished if his acts were good deeds. Critics of this tragedy may reason that Creons punishment is all due to the family curse, which was brought unto him by Oedipus. The family curse is a legitimate reason to prove this reason correctly, but it is only one of the factors leading to his downfall, the other being his arrogance. As said in Exodos, But, here is the king himself, his own damnation upon himself (Sophocles 242.) Creon is guilty because the punishment matched the crime. In conclusion, Creons faults prove that his actions are incorrect, while those of Antigone prove otherwise. This is mainly because: Antigone displays a sense of love and compassion to her dead brother, risking her life to bury him, Creon shows much of his arrogance by the way he treats those who are below him, or even those who deny his opinion. And finally, the tragedy of everyone in the play, and that of Creon serves as a punishment for Creons evil. He wouldnt have received it if he hadnt done evil. All too often, arrogance accompanies strength, and we must never assume that justice is on the side of the strong. The use of power must always be accompanied by moral choice.-Theodore Bikel