Sophocles classical Antigone can be said to be one of the most common tragedies viewed by scholars as a decisive model regarding civil disobedience. The concept of civil disobedience is well illuminated. This is manifested in Antigone who is fighting to bury her deceased brother, and this intention is being rejected by Creon. Exploring the apparent conflict pertaining to the burial of Polyneices I am of the opinion that Antigone had a right to bury her brother. This can be attributed to the fact that despite Creon’s opinion, Polyneices could never cease to be a brother to Antigone whether dead or alive. More so, it ought to be noted that the vocal hostility between Creon and Antigone only served to sustain their standings on individual convictions in regard to what they perceived as justice.
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In essence, the crisis between the two is immediately established in the play’s opening. The way Creon paints Polyneices as a traitor and subsequently declares him as a traitor establishes a bruising conflict on the nature of his burial. Though Creon had overwhelming authority to make civil decisions, it was the duty of the community to make the right choices in regard to the decisions flouted. This gave Antigone a broader berth in establishing her argument in favor of burying her brother. Hence, according to ancient Greece traditions, blood relations were of more value than any other social ties. From such a perspective, I do find that Creon had no concrete authority to deny Antigone the right to bury Polyneices. Equally, Creon’s rigid stance only served to make the situation more volatile.
According to the play I am convinced that Antigone based her argument on the dynamics of higher moral principles greater than the established human laws. Antigone realizes the price she had to pay for her rigid stance, it is evident that the core objective of longing to give her brother a decent burial. This is fuelled by a desire to invoke social justice to all. As the play takes on a greater spectrum Antigones stance can be said to be more justified than is Creon. Consider the fact that Creon is depicted as being a ruthless tyrant while Antigone symbolizes the social plebiscites. Though, the two do not come into close dialogue. Antigone is more civil than Creon, the burial of Polyneices acts as a platform on which the two individuals are mirrored to reflect on the innate social decay.
Hence, I do opt to side with Antigone in that by standing up against the oppressive authority she demonstrates that justice can and will never be defeated. As is illustrated in the play, Antigone is a brave heroine who opted to disobediently engage her superiors for the sake of justice to be realized and to be seen to be affected. This is well testified by the manner Ismene appeals to Creon, indicating that Antigone was a woman who was ready to sacrifice her life for the sake of others.
In contrast, Creon had formulated the bylaws which had compelled Antigone to rebel against the highest authority in the land. The objectives behind the edicts were Creon’s sole purpose to guard his position. Therefore, my position is to support Antigone, this is due to the fact that she has demonstrated that civil disobedience is essential when faced with challenges from oppressive governance (Fagles 38).
Fagles, Robert. The Three Theban Plays. New York: Penguin, 1999.