The Play Antigone, by Sophocles


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If you were told not to do something, even if you knew it was the right thing to do, would you go ahead and do it anyway? The Play Antigone was written by the Greek author and playwright, Sophocles. The Story of Antigone takes place in Ancient Greece, about a young woman who has lost her both of her brothers, and is told by her King to not give her brother, Polyneices a proper burial. It is important to follow the laws of government, but sometimes, when you know that something is morally right, just like Antigone did, one must be able to make that decision, even if it goes against the law.
Although both sisters have lost their brothers, Antigone is the only one who will go against her king to do what she knows is right. When Antigone asks her sister if she will help her bury their brother Polyneices, Ismene responds with, “We are only women; we cannot fight with men, Antigone! The law is strong; we must give into the law…” (Ismene 774). Naturally, Ismene should be afraid for herself, as well for the safety of her sister because what Antigone is asking of her will mostly likely cause them both to be killed. However, she should be braver like Antigone, and realize that she must do what is morally right for their family, and give her brother the proper burial that he deserves. Afterward, when Antigone has already been captured, Ismene then comes forth to try and share the punishment that has been given to Antigone, but Antigone tells King Creon that she has done nothing. In addition, when Creon asks Ismene if she had anything to do with the crime, and Antigone denies it, Ismene then replies, “But now I know what you meant; and I am here to join you, to take my share of punishment” (Ismene 785). Although now Ismene feels like she needs to stand up to the King and do what is right for her
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family, she did not believe what Ismene thought was right in the first place. At the same time, Ismene did not decide to take on this decision, until after Antigone had already finished her ceremony for her brother, so Ismenes help not very useful by that time.
At first King Creon does not back down against his word, even though it means having his nieces killed, but then he decides to change his decision, only when it s too late.

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Earlier, Creon does not back down, but then when he realizes what he has down to his family he cries out, “…Here you see the father murdering, the murdered son- and all my civic wisdom! Haimon my son, so young to die, I was the fool, not you; and you died for me” (Creon 806). It is true, that Creon was mistaken in all of this, and tried later on to try and do what was right, but it has already been too late, because Ismene and Haimon were both dead. After all, Creon would not let Ismene be free and punished her, just for doing what she knew was right, and he lost the most important things he had. Also, when the Choragos tells to stop praying for death, because the Gods are deaf to his prayers and wishes, Creon shouts, “Lead me away. I have been rash and foolish. I have killed my son and my wife. I look for comfort; my comfort lies here dead. Whatever my hands have touched has come to nothing. Fate has brought all my pride to a thought of dust” (Creon 808). Of course, Creon now wishes that he too could be killed, but for his own selfishness, he must live with the guilt and shame that he brought to himself. After all, he knew all along that what he was doing was wrong, and that it affected so many other people, but he just thought of himself and what he thought he should do.
The play Antigone, written by Sophocles, is a well written drama that sends a strong message. Although many people don’t have to make a decision everyday that could lead them to death, there are many moral issues that people always are deciding where or not to do. As been said, sometimes when there is a conflict that is determined by a big decision, one must be able to make that decision whether or not someone else says it is right or wrong


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