Civil Disobedience in Antigone and Trifles Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1102 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Orange      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Civil Disobedience of Antigone and Mrs. Hale

Civil disobedience is the purposeful violation of a law to show that it is unconstitutional or morally defective. In the plays, Antigone and Trifles, the female main characters commit an act of civil disobedience. The plays are respectively written by Sophocles and Susan Glaspell. Antigone, the main character of Antigone, protects her dead brother's honor as she disobeys the laws of King Creon. Mrs. Hale, the main character of Trifles prevents a neighbor from being charged with homicide as she breaks the law in front of two lawmen-The Sheriff and the County Attorney. Both characters' crimes are similar; however, their differences lie in how they handle their violations. Antigone boldly and proudly breaks the law, does not care if she is caught, and loudly admits to the crime in front of her fellow Theban citizens. On the other hand, Mrs. Hale performs her crime artfully and quietly, does not want to be caught, and has no intentions of exposing her crime. Both characters accomplish their tasks, but Mrs. Hale's actions are carried out more effectively. She saves her neighbor and herself from imprisonment.
In both plays, the main characters break the laws for justifiable reasons. In Antigone, Antigone's dead brother, Polynices, is considered a traitor and King Creon "forbids anyone to bury him, mourn him" (Sophocles 88). She knows that all men deserve a proper burial and to not do so will be "an outrage sacred to the gods!" (Sophocles 95). Therefore, she "raise[s] a mound for him [Polynices]" (Sophocles 95) so that her city will not have to "face the retribution of the gods" (Sophocles512). She violates King Creon's decree to appease her gods. In Trifles, Mrs. Hale ...

... middle of paper ...

...f civil disobedience causes a tragic domino effect. Antigone commits suicide. Haemon, who is Creon's son and Antigone's fiancé, is torn apart by grief and kills himself. Haemon's mother and Creon's wife, Eurydice, learns of her son's death. She becomes despondent and takes her own life: "She drove home to the heart with her own hand, once she learned her son was dead" (Antigone 1440-1441). Her words do end many things. The law is banished. Her brother is allowed to be buried, but now he is accompanied by three others.
Sophocles' Antigone and Glaspell's Mrs. Hale both accomplish their tasks. Antigone's glorified act of civil disobedience costs many lives and has horrific consequences. Mrs. Hale's modest act of civil disobedience saves lives. There is no doubt that Mrs. Hale's defiant whisper obtained greater results than Antigone's screams of rebellion.

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
The Civil Disobedience of Antigone and the Teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. - From the monarchs of the ancient era to the democracy of today, order has been maintained by means of rules and regulations known as laws. Compliance with these laws is enforced through punishments ranging in severity according to the crimes committed to reduce violence and misconduct from individuals within a society. However, just as citizens consent to abide by the laws of the state in which they reside, one is compelled to preserve justice and condemn the unjust decisions of man when the social contract contradicts the laws sanctioned by God....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Essays] 1396 words
(4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Importance of Civil Disobedience - For as long as there have been rulers, there has been disunity between rulers and ruled. Citizens have always found ways to show their disapproval of governmental decisions and demanded action. Civil Disobedience has existed since the ancient Greek . From Antigone's defiance of Creon over Ghandi's Salt march in India to the Occupy Movement. What does the aforementioned mean. Civil Disobedience, the term formulated by Henry David Thoreau, in his essay in 1848, to describe his refusal to pay the state poll tax, to fund the U.S....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Essays]
:: 7 Works Cited
1612 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Pros and Cons of Civil Disobedience Essay - Civil disobedience is the refusal to obey civil laws in an effort to induce change in governmental policy or legislation, characterized by the use of passive resistance or other nonviolent means. The use of nonviolence runs throughout history however the fusion of organized mass struggle and nonviolence is relatively new. The militant campaign for women’s suffrage in Britain included a variety of nonviolent tactics such as boycotts, noncooperation, limited property destruction, civil disobedience, mass marches and demonstrations....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Essays] 1017 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about The Need For Civil Disobedience - To grasp the meaning of Civil Disobedience one would have to say that it means the refusal to obey the civil laws so that the government can change the policy or legislation, characterized by the use of. I have read Thoreau’s essay on civil disobedience and the obligation that your conscience mind follows and in reading this it states that people should not let the governments overrule or atrophy their consciences and that we as people are obligated to not allow the government to make them agents of any type of injustice....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Essays]
:: 9 Works Cited
1281 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay Civil Disobedience and Change - How has civil disobedience been used to engender change. The human race has a long history of disobedience, beginning in the early biblical texts with the story of Adam and Eve. There are also many examples of civil disobedience the permeate known human history that include various forms of civil disobedience, including mass exodus, boycott, strike, non-cooperation and conscientious objection. Henry David Thoreau was a pioneer of modern civil disobedience when he refused to pay a poll tax because he believed the money would be used to fund the Mexican War....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1050 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about America Needs Civil Disobedience - Civil disobedience, showing defiance against obeying a law or accepting a principle deemed unjust by his or her conscience. Advocates of civil disobedience, usually used as a form of passive resistance, use their morals to support their illegal actions for the sake of bringing awareness to their plight. Many faced beatings, imprisonment, and even death for pursuing a change and a revolution. The strategy of breaking laws has evoked the controversy of the integrity of civil disobedience. The proclaimers of civil disobedience have many points that obviously substantiate their views on the topic....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
1123 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Civil Disobedience - Civil disobedience has been around for a long time. In Bible times Christians would disobey laws that would go against their beliefs, such as the law that they couldn’t preach. (Acts 4) Christians still disobey laws in many countries that do not let them practice their faith, some end up in jail or killed. In the past in this country, Thoreau wrote an essay on Civil disobedience saying that people make the law and have a right to disobey unjust laws, to try and get those laws changed. Under British rule in India, the British were harshly oppressive and only interested in exploiting products from India for their own use, causing many Indians to become extremely poor....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
577 words
(1.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Civil Disobedience - The political concepts of justice and how a society should be governed have dominated literature through out human history. The concept of peacefully resisting laws set by a governing force can be first be depicted in the world of the Ancient Greeks in the works of Sophocles and actions of Socrates. This popular idea has developed over the centuries and is commonly known today as civil disobedience. Due to the works of Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. civil disobedience is a well-known political action to Americans; first in the application against slavery and second in the application against segregation....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
932 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Civil Disobedience Essay example - Abstract Civil disobedience is the term assigned to actions taken by individuals to sway public opinion about laws that individuals deem unfair or unjust. Actions taken are usually nonviolent, and can include sit-ins, mass demonstrations, picket lines, and marches. Citizens are acting on their consciences, demonstrating highly advanced moral reasoning skills. Generally, these advanced skills fall into Kohlberg’s Six Stages of Moral Development, Stage Five and Six in particular. Characteristics of civil disobedience include no expression of anger, no cursing or insults, no retaliation, and submission to punishment by law enforcement....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Essays]
:: 7 Works Cited
1516 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Significance And History Of Civil Disobedience Essay - Introduction Civil disobedience has always been a debated and polar opinionated topic since the first days that it was presented. Whenever it comes to going against a law that is set in stone as something to abide by in a society, some controversial actions are going to follow. The person who played the role as somewhat of a backbone in this movement was Henry Thoreau. In 1849, when Henry Thoreau re-iterated the idea of civil disobedience to the people of American following the Mexican war, it was viewed by some as extremely controversial, some viewed it as treason, and then there were the followers that were completely accepting of it and felt it necessary....   [tags: Protest Social Civil Disobedience] 1968 words
(5.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]