Plato's Socrates and Sophocle's Antigone - Similarities

Topics: Oedipus, Sophocles, Plato Pages: 4 (1713 words) Published: November 8, 2012
The ancient Greek societies had a strong corrective method to maintain order. Authorities had to maintain a self-survival attitude, which consisted of putting away those few that could challenge their power and create chaos. Both Antigone of Sophocles and Socrates of Plato are examples of threat to the socio-political order or their respective societies. Antigone is a woman in the context of fifth-century Athens, Greece who challenges the socio-political orders of the city in name of a blood relationship, which through her eyes is sacred in the name of the gods. The divine law says that all man should be buried following the proper rites. In the ancient Greek household, women are the ones who must do the proper funeral rites and bury the dead; they are the ones who have the privilege of emotional lament over the dead. Antigone is a courageous girl, in a time where woman had no voice, she did not fear to break the law that had been passed over the Thebes by its king, Creon. The two sons of Oedipus, Eteocles and Polynices killed each other. Polynices was with the army or Argos who had invaded the Thebes. Eteocles who died fighting for Thebes “shall be buried, crowned with a hero’s honors” (Sophocles,68); but Polynices had been declared a traitor by Creon, the King. Thus now, “he must be left unburied, his corpse carrion for the birds and dogs to tear” (68), and Creon completes his verdict to the people saying “These are my principles. Never at my hands will the traitor be honored above the patriot” (68). As for Creon, he claims that what matters is the order and safety of his people. Creon will do whatever takes, as long as he has the power and control over what happens in Thebes: honoring those who serve the city and punishing those who dishonor the city’s laws. Antigone believes that is it her duty to bury her brother, blood of her blood. She has an extreme devotion for her family, and she believes she serves the gods. She needs to contend the laws that the...

Cited: Plato, G. M. A. Grube, and John M. Cooper. The Trial and Death of Socrates: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Death Scene from Phaedo. Third Edition ed. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Pub., 2000. 20-42. Print.
Sophocles. "Antigone." The Three Theban Plays: Antigone, Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus. Trans. Robert Fagles. New York, NY: Penguin, 1987. 57-128. Print.
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