Pride in Antigone
Gandhi once said, “Anger is the enemy of non-violence, and pride is a matter that swallows it up.” Pride is never an acceptable notion and it often leads to ones downfall, as we see often throughout Sophocles’ play, Antigone. Multiple characters in Antigone experience prideful thoughts and actions during the course of the play resulting in the tragedy of negative outcomes in the end.
In the beginning of Antigone the two sisters, Antigone and Ismene, are discussing their mal situation of their dead brothers, Polyneices and Eteocles. The prideful brothers had fought against each other for the thrown in battle, only to both be killed by the other. Creon had now taken rule of Thebes and made the decision to only give Eteocles a proper burial, and to leave Polyneices out to rot. This infuriated Antigone because without a proper burial ones soul cannot go to the after life with the gods. Antigone decides she is going to put Polyneices’ soul to rest and asks Ismene if she will “share the labor” (line 50, pg. 954). Ismene is put in between a rock and a hard place when Antigone asks her to assist her because it is against Creon’s law to bury Polyneices, but she wants to honor her brother as well. The main difference between Antigone and Ismene is that Antigone is full of pride for her family and holds her family over the law of the city. Ismene, on the other hand, holds the good of the city over the good of her family when she declines Antigone’s offer to bury their brother. With all of the drama her family has endured, Ismene wants to stay clear from any more conflict. Instead of standing up for her family, Ismene belittles herself as she tries to persuade Antigone to rethink burying Polyneices as she states, “remember we are women, we’re not born to conflict with men” (line 74 – 75, pg. 955). Ismene’s statement infuriates Antigone even more so, as Antigone insists she will follow out the law of the gods by giving Polyneices a proper...
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