Antigone says to her sister Ismene, I am not afraid of the danger; if it means death, it will not be the worst of deaths- death without honor (Sophocles 80) when Ismene refuses to help her bury their dead brother after the king made burying their brother illegal. Antigoner’s I am not afraid of danger, shows her resolution to do the right thing, even if that meant going against the kingr’s law. Ismene is rightfully afraid to help the brother because death is the most probable consequence of defying the king.
Antigone was willing to take full responsibility for her actions because she believed that her crime is holy especially because she believed that the afterlife is more important than life on earth. This is because Antigone felt that burring her brother would honor the dead hence showing that she was willing to go against the king’s directives in order to honor the higher laws set by the gods rather than the laws set by men. Therefore Antigone expresses her will to stand up against Creon based on her belief that the Gods are superior to the king and that they were more powerful to provide her with protection if she does the right thing or destroys her submitting to Creon. Antigoner’s sister Ismene, on the contrary, finds the punishment to be too steep to risk being defiant.
By displaying fear of Creon’s law, Ismene reveals her inner thoughts about kingr’s superiority and her conviction of horrible repercussions that would ensue instantaneously if she decided to help her sister. Most importantly, Ismene is convinced that because she and Antigone are women, they cannot override the command of the man, the king.
Antigone finds her brother’s dead body undisturbed by the animals after some days, and she saw this as a sign that the gods wanted a proper burial for him. Antigoner’s it will not be the worst of deaths- death without honor shows her superstitious nature in that she believed in the afterlife and bad omen. Also, the quote shows her acknowledgment that each individual is bound to die despite the timing. Additionally, it shows her resolution to honor the dead and appease the gods rather than please a man whor’s based on her idea that dying in honor would make more sense than dying without it and having eternal troubles. On the contrary, Ismene is not as superstitious, therefore she believes that it makes more sense to follow set rules and regulations. This quote encourages people in society to be courageous enough to stand up for what they believe is right despite the negative repercussions that may ensue, whether the issue is on sexuality, on discrimination, on harassment by the police.
Creoner’s Whoever is chosen to govern should be obeyed- must be obeyed in all things, great and small, just and unjust (Sophocles 530) was said by the king, Creon following Antigoner’s defiance that made her bury her brother yet he had made it illegal. The quote whoever is chosen to govern should be obeyed is significant in the play as it reinforces the theme of rules and order within the Greek society. Finally, the quote must be obeyed in all things, great and small, just and unjust is significant as it shows how the Sophocles thought of dictatorships and how dictators ruled the people.
On the contrary, this same statement allows readers to reflect on Antigoner’s character that shows how she is driven by justice and refuses to follow the dictatorship of the king, such as directives on what she should do with her late brotherr’s body. Most importantly, this statement may explain Antigoner’s character in that she seems fed up with the tyrannical rule that required everyone to follow blindly. For this reason, she was willing to face whichever consequences so as to stand up against oppression, so as to open the eyes of others in society to see the outright oppressions that they faced, and so as to set an example to other women that the choices and directives that men make are not always great. Sophocles may have chosen the words just and unjust in this particular play to highlight that Creon was commonly unjust and that Antigone was tired of the cycle.
Today, the quotes remind all individuals to obey rules and laws regardless of how insignificant they seem so that they do not get themselves in trouble. As much as these quotes by Creon are extreme, they remind people to be courageous to stand up for what they believe in but to always try and negotiate with the governing bodies to try and find middle ground before acting on their beliefs which may get them in trouble. For example, in the play, Antigone may have approached Creon to plead or request him to allow her to bury her brother rather than being defiant. Therefore, people, today can utilize ways that are legal to achieve or lobby for what they want as well.
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