Antigone Essay 6

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crime is pride /
pride is crime

While everybody makes mistakes, the person who has too much pride to admit that he is wrong only causes further damage. In the play Antigone, by the Greek playwright Sophocles, there is a perfect example of this shown through the character Kreon. The brother of the late queen of Thebes, Jocasta, and brother-in-law of the late king, Oedipus, Kreon assumes the throne of the city of Thebes. He regards his nephew Polynices, the attacker of Thebes, as a traitor. Consequently, in his first act as King of Thebes, he forbids the burial of Polynices under pain of death, a ruling that appears to violate an ancient moral law and sacred tradition: the right of all families to bury their dead. Antigone, the sister of Polynices, condemns the decision. After learning of it, she tells her sister, Ismene, that Kreon has decreed an honorable burial for Eteocles, enabling him to enter the afterlife as an esteemed and worthy soul, but has ordered Polynices to lie unburied, a feast for the vultures, dooming his soul to wander aimlessly. Though only a girl, Antigone decides to defy the decree. Ismene, horrified, urges Antigone to keep her place in a male-dominated society that surely will not tolerate the defiance of a young woman. "No, we should be sensible:/ we are women, born unfit to battle men;/ and we are subjects, while Kreon is king. / Now, we must obey, even in this, / even if something could hurt more" (Lines 73-77). Here, Ismene is telling Antigone that she should not try to bury the body of her brother- instead she should ignore her desire to satisfy ancient traditions to instead satisfy the traditions of a king and his patriarchal laws. This dilemma of what standard to adhere to- what values to place pride in, for both Kreon and Antigone becomes the cause of individual downfall.

A wise prophet once said, "The only/Crime is pride." This quote is both legitimate and compelling; for it applies to two very different characters in...
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