Western Civilization-Antigone Paper
Western Civilization-Antigone Paper In the book Antigone by Sophocles the author portrays an image of how society was back in classical Greece. This book gives us a idea of what a woman’s order was in society, family life, death rituals, politics and religion. In Athens the king ruled over the land and its people. If any of his people questioned his leadership, they would be sentenced to death especially a woman such as Antigone. The book seems to show that men rule and women are ruled. Creon doesn’t respect women enough, to top it off, he was disobeyed by a woman therefore he has to set an example out of her and sentence her to death.
In the book King Creon states that “no woman, while I live, shall order me” (Antigone, 20) thus keeping the women in a state that is inferior to men. Creon has no respect for women at all. These statements show that Creon wants to run a society in Athens that is strictly commanded my man and that the woman are inferior in society and have no say. The people of the Athenian society believe that women should have few right and that they must be pure and stay at home, or else if they enter the public they are afraid of the women getting taint.
In the book the Theban citizens believe that the laws of their religion and there gods over rule the city but when Creon comes to power he makes it a law not to be able to bury Polyneice’s body which is technically breaking the law because the gods state that burial is required for the dead. Creon says that the gods do not honor criminals. He is too prideful to realize that he himself is a criminal for making a city law that violates a religious law. In classical Greece the people of the Athenian society were strict followers of their god’s and goddess’s such as Antigone.
The reason for breaking the kings law is because she feels it is her moral obligation to perform the burial of her brother out of respect and by law of her gods. Through the actions of Antigone burying her brother this shows that family life was important and played a big role. This also shows that families were close and loving of each other. Antigone disobeys king Creon’s law and states state how she is a follower of her gods. “ O city of Theba! O my country! Gods, the fathers of my race! I am led hence- I linger now no more.
Behold me, lords, the last of your kings’ house- what doom is mine, and at whose hands, and for what causes- that I duly performed the dues of piety” (Antigone, 35). Another example of Antigone stating how she follows the gods is when she said “ Because it was not Zeus who ordered it, Nor justice, dweller with the Nether Gods, gave you such law to men; nor did I deem your ordinance of so much binding force, as that a mortal man could overbear the unchangeable unwritten code of heaven; this is not of today and yesterday. ” (Antigone, 17)
It is very ironic that in classical Greece the gods and goddess purposed the idea of a proper burial service for the diseased in Athenian society and in today’s society we do the same. You can conclude that Antigone is telling us that this is the proper and respectful way to bury a human being and not to be left out to dry such as Creon says, “ why pay, then, honors which are wrongs to him? ” (Antigone, 20) This basically means that he shall not be buried for his wrong doings. Work Cited Sophocles. Antigone. New York: Dover Publications, 1993. www. bookrags. com