Antigone 3 Essay, Research Paper
The critical lens states that when a dictator dies, his ordinance ends, but when a self-sacrificing individual dies, their legacy begins. This statement is true because oppressed citizens do not fondly mention a mean ruler, such as Creon from Antigone, after he passes away. Yet a martyr, such as Antigone, also from the story Antigone, is remembered for her self-sacrificing deeds. Creon will not be remembered because he did not allow Antigone to bury her dead brother Polynices, and decides to execute Antigone for trying. Antigone s legacy will live on because she has the courage to defy Creon, and chooses to sacrifice herself for Polynices’ honor.
First, Creon is a tyrant. His rule will not be remembered for many reasons, one being that he desecrates family honor. When a son or father dies in battle, they are carried home to be properly buried by their families. Eteocles, Antigone s other dead brother, is a patriot and is buried because he fights for Thebes. However, Polynices is not buried because he rebels against Thebes. Creon leaves Polynices body out to be attacked by dogs and vultures. This angers the people of Thebes because family honor is very important to them. Therefore, the people of Thebes will not remember Creon because of his offensive deeds performed while he is on the throne.
Second, Creon will be forgotten because he decides to execute Antigone. Her punishment is to be locked in a blocked cave until she dies. Although later on in the story, Creon does decide to free her, it is too late. The people of Thebes are astounded at the fact that Creon would even conceive of such a horrible punishment. Antigone acted on family honor, which is understood. Therefore, his people will forget Creon.
Third, Antigone is a wonderful example of a martyr. Her legacy will live on, and inspire many other rebels to stand up for their beliefs. Antigone dared to defy the King s threat of death to bury her brother, and shows true family pride. The people take pity on Antigone, and feel that she should be let alone. On page 145, Haemon, Creon’s son and Antigone’s betrothed, states how the people of Thebes feel. On every side I hear voices of pity for this poor girl doomed to the cruelest death for an honorable action-burying a brother who was killed in battle has she not rather earned a crown of gold? This quote proves that the town supports Antigone, and is inspired by her bravery. One may conclude that although many claim to support the crown, they secretly side with a brave and honorable girl.
Finally, Antigone chooses to sacrifice herself to give her brother respect. By giving him a burial, she is setting his soul at rest so it may continue into the realm of Death peacefully. Yet, she is digging her grave with her own teeth. By burying Polynices, Antigone practically hands her life over to Creon, to use as he wishes, because the punishment for defying his orders is death. However, Antigone does not complain. She is proud to die for something she believes in, which she says on page 150. It was by this service to your dear body, Polynices, I earned the punishment which now I suffer, though all good people know it was for your honor. Therefore, Antigone s memory will live on, not only in people s minds, but also in their hearts.
One may deduce that Antigone and Creon are somewhat alike. They both stand up for what they believe in, and never falter. Although their causes are completely different, the focus remains the same. Antigone is a hero in the eyes of the people, and Creon the bad guy. Therefore, when a dictator dies, his ordinance ends, but when a self-sacrificing individual dies, her legacy begins.