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The Consequences of Disobeying Civil Laws for Moral Beliefs in Antigone

Feb 1, 2023 | 0 comments

Feb 1, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

The play, Antigone, is about the choices we make and their consequences. The play attempts to explain the suffering of the few who against the law for the benefit of the society. The play’s setting is an ancient Greek society but is still relevant in our society today. For instance, sometimes we are faced with conflicting situations and the consequence of either choice is severe thus we end up torn between what is morality right and what the law demands of us. The play encourages people to abide by rules that are realist and enhance their living condition, and fight oppressive rules just like Antigone did in the play.

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The major theme discussed in the play, Antigone, is the disobedience of state law for moral beliefs.  The main characters, Antigone who is depicted as a brave, strong woman who stands up for what she believes in and is ready to do anything to fight undesirable laws put in place by those in power to oppress the disadvantaged and Creon who uses his power as the king to oppress and control his subjects by punishing those who break the law and does not consider the relevance of a particular rule to his subjects.  Antigone and Creon find themselves always in conflict with each other as they both have strong but disputing beliefs and are ready to stick to them to the latter. Sophocle & Florence (14) confirms that the two disagree over the state laws in most part of the play. The theme is consistent with the plot of the play that is about the fight for justified rules that Antigone does throughout this play and the reaction she gets from authority for her brave move.

Sophocle & Florence (20), Antigone disobeys the laws put in place by King Creon. Creon beliefs the laws of the state ought to be obeyed to the latter and those who goes against it should be punished without any consideration whatsoever. Often, some laws are unreasonable, unrealistic and at times conflicts with moral values making it difficult for people to willingly abide by them just as Creon’s rules that were mainly of his benefit with no interest and respect for the people’s religious beliefs and customs. Disobedience of civil laws is seen when Antigone goes ahead to bury her brother against the King’s command who says that his body should be left for wild animals. However, Antigone feels that her brother deserves a decent honor which is a proper burial. Her action makes the king sentence her to death.

Antigone’s bravery motivates others like Creon’s son who disobeyed the rule by siding with Antigone and tries to kill his father after fruitlessly persuading him to change the rules and spare Antigone and just like Antigone committed suicide, dying for what they believed in. This persistent fight against the oppressive rule eventually made the King reverse the law revealing that those who died did not die for nothing as explicated by Kennedy & Diana (10).

Disobedience for civil laws in favor of what is morally right is a bold move that often results to severe consequences as in most cases the law is always more powerful than an individual and often manage to crack a person as explained by Kennedy & Diana (18). Just as Antigone’s choice led to her being sentenced to death which did not discourage her from the fight since she encourages the members of community to stand for what they believe in, in her speech before taking her own life. This theme is in line with the whole play that encourages people to make the right choices and be ready to face the consequences of their actions especially when against authority.

In conclusion, the play Antigone, talks about need to go against civil laws with the notion that most of the time those in authority may be carried away by their power and influence in the society making them come up with unrealistic, selfish and insensitive rules and need to be reminded of w. The lesson from this theme is that one should always be ready to defend their rights and believes because power can always take them away. Those who dedicate themselves to fighting for what is morally right ought to be ready to face the consequences of their action without fear even if it means dying for it just like Antigone and Creon’s son since their sacrifice do pay off just like in the play when the king eventually reverses his rule freeing the rest of the community.

Works Cited

Kennedy and Dana, Goia.  Literature: An introduction to fiction, poetry drama and writing. (12th ed.). New York: Pearson, 2013. Print.

Sophocle, and Florence Dupont. Antigone. Paris: L’Arche, 2007. Print.

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