The Power of Man
In Antigone, by Sophocles, a young woman tries to respect her dead brother and bury him accordingly, even though it is against the law because her brother is considered an anarchist. Creon, the king, punishes her and meets a series of bad events. Sophocles uses a series of odes to help push his point across. In Ode I by using personification, imagery and rhetorical questions Sophocles reveals to the reader that man is powerful but cannot stand against death, and man needs to follow strict laws so life can stay in order. Sophocles uses personification to reveal the power of man. He says that, “The stromgray sea Yields to his brows, the huge crests bear him high,” (203). The powerful entity of the sea yields to man, and carries his boats throughout the world. It is also said that, “words also, and thought rapid as air. . . And his skill that deflects the arrows of snow, The spears of winter rain: from every wind,” (204). Man is intelligent, and using words and thought, he is able to protect himself from the harsh reality of nature. Yet despite the power man wields, he is never completely in control of his or others’ lives, “O fate of man working both good and evil!”(204). Fate is always the unseen force that controls everything. Imagery is used in Ode I to show the power man wields, but it shows as well the one thing man cannot overcome. It says that the, “Earth, holy and inexhaustible, is graven, With shining furrows where his plows have gone Year after year, the timeless labor of stallions,” (204). Man has figured out how to cultivate the land and has gained power from it. He has conquered the land he has always lived on, he has conquered the earth. Despite the fact that man is powerful he still cannot conquer the power of mortality, “He has made himself secure – from all but one: In the late wind of death he cannot stand,” (204). Even though man is powerful he cannot stand against death, because fate decides death and fate controls all....
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