Antigone Rainy River

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Personal Law Vs. Written Law

Morals are defined to be the principle of what is right from what is wrong. What defines whether something is right or wrong is based purely on ones judgment and perspective. Staying true to personal beliefs and morals can sometimes be problematic to retain when conflicting with the written law. In Antigone by Sophocles, Antigone disregards the decree of her uncle Creon, King of Thebes, which forbids anybody to bury Antigone’s brother Polynices who was killed in battle. Although Polynices is considered a traitor to the land of Thebes, Antigone feels that to respect the wishes of the gods she must burry him. She faithfully acts upon her morals, even though they oppose the law. However, in the story “On the Rainy River” by Tim O’Brien, Tim is not so persistent with his loyalty to his morals. Although he is very against the war he has been drafted into, in the end he ends up going to battle due to his fear of letting his family and country down. While both Tim and Antigone struggle with a moral decision, Antigone is more genuine than Tim about her commitment to her beliefs and as a result ended up having a greater impact on her society and family. Without even contemplating the repercussions she would face, Antigone selflessly decides to bury her brother against her uncle’s will. She states, “I will bury him by myself. And even if I die in the act that death will be a glory” (Sophocles 63). She shows her perseverance in standing by her morals by saying this. She says she will bury him her self, displaying how proud she truly is of her pious rebellion. Her willingness to jump into the hands of death, for a sacred burial of her brother, is uncanny. When confronting her sister, Ismene, about her plan to bury their dear brother, Ismene feels that it is the unlawful thing to do so decides not to participate. Ismene then tells Antigone that she will support her sister silently, and will not tell anyone of it. Antigone’s response is, “Dear...
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