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The common definition of politics is a peaceful settling of beauty. This definition can in no way be applied in the play Sophocles by Antigone. Politics is best correlated with the community. The relationship between Creon and Antigone is not peaceful but turbulent. The two characters are seen to be stubborn thus taking away any peace in the plot development of the play. Such a form of politics is commonly referred to as political drama involving peaceful conduct requiring some kind of agreement on the political rules. In the play, the way Creon regarded the city laws made him to abandon his other beliefs. He believed that everyone should abide by the laws he sets no matter the other religious and moral beliefs. Antigone regarded the god’s beliefs in high reverence. She believed that the god’s laws had to be obeyed and should come before any other especially with regards to family. The position taken by these two characters makes the play stand out as a political drama (Antigone 78).
‘Sophocles’ by Antigone is a Greek drama modernized with the use of sidebar notes, difficult vocabulary and terms and modern characters. These inclusions were intended to make the audience enjoy the wisdom, beauty and intent of the play. The curse on Oedipus haunts and lingers the young generation in this brilliant and new Sophocles classic drama translation. The daughter of Jocasta and Oedipus, Antigone is introduced in the play as heroine who is unconventional and pits the beliefs she has against the Thebes King. This manifest itself in a bloody test involving wills which end up leaving only a few unharmed. The play gets emotional as Antigone challenges the king stating her rights to have her brother buried. Though doomed, she shows her determination and in her inner strength as the play unfolds.
Through Antigone, political morality and law that is relevant today is brought out despite the play being staged thousands of years ago. The plot of the play revolves around Antigone narration of the main character, Thebes’s former King, who unknowingly married the mother and killed his father after which he renounced the kingdom after discovering what he had done. The other striking issue in the play is Antigen fight against her uncle, Creon who was the new Thebe’s king, to bury her brother. The play pits the unwritten laws of the gods against the humankind laws which tie the family against civic duty as well as man against woman. Sophocles is among the many Ancient Greek playwrights that were used to comment on political and social concerns. Sophocles was written with the intention on commenting on the political and social concerns to the Pericles and Athenian general on the authoritarian rule dangers (Antigone 65).
The ‘Day of Affirmation’ is a philosophical essay which has proved to be relevant in the analysis of Antigone. The philosophical essay focuses on political issue, individual liberty, power of governance, the role of women and the youth in the society and the beliefs of people before the law and God. These are some of the issues that the play addresses thus the two correlate. The Day of Affirmation addresses the right to communicate and express ideas aimed at recalling government obligations and duties while addressing the right of affirmation of the people’s allegiance and membership to the political and social body governed by people who share the heritage, land and the future of the children. According to the affirmation, the decisions made by any governance should be aimed at improving the lives of its subjects. Thus the essential of the people humanity can only be preserved and protected not just to the wealthy, poor, religious or people from a particular race but to all the people. The ‘Day of Affirmation’ goes forward to state that the power of governance should be limited to the common people’s act so to ensure they are no interference in the people’s right to security at their homes and the right to worship with no imposition of penalties and pain and no restrictions on the peoples opportunities (Antigone 102).
This is closely associated with Creon and Antigone positions in the play. Creon carries with him strong opinion on the city laws and the laws he passed. His ways of implementing them are very strict to ensure that they are followed. He orders Polyneices not to be buried as he dishonored Thebes. He went ahead to order that anyone found burying him will face a death sentence as this was considered as disobeying the orders he had put in place. In this context, contrary to the ‘Day of Affirmation’ that favored the common man rights, Creon orders count more than the common man wish. This decision proved to be problematic to Antigone as the subject in question was her brother and more so she had her family values to be so valued that she could not leave the corpse to rot.
Antigone on the other hand is passionate and principled in everything that she does. She represents the voice of the common man in the play. No matter how her sister tried to convince her to change her mind about the burial of her brother, she stuck to her words despite the dangers she was putting herself in with regards to going against Creon and the entire state. Just as it is stated in the ‘Day of Affirmation’, the common man was expected to obey the laws put in place by those who govern them. Ismene states that it was a must for them to obey those who are in authority. Antigone continues to fight for what she believed were her rights until when she met her fate and died honorably as a proud woman (Antigone 122).
The philosophical essay calls for everyone to recognize human equality before the law, before God and the government council. This should be done as it is the right thing to be done and not because it has economic advantages, or God’s laws command that, or that’s what is expected by everyone. It should be the dream of all systems of governance to increase the freedom of its subjects, ensure justice to all and put in place that will ensure that it remains flexible and strong so as to meet the people’s demands. Antigone in the play can be interpreted as being a wise and noble young woman who stood and fought for her rights for justice in relation to traditional beliefs.
Creon on the other hand fights for what he believes is based on might. The two bring out the a subtle variation with Antigone standing out as being the best representation of ethical imagination opposite to the sister, Ismene, who does everything so long as the law of the community states so. The laws in the system of governance witnessed in the play are a convention of a given time and place representing an imperfect image of unwritten laws that come above the normal rational level leading to incapable and infinite final formulation. The position taken by the Antigone and Creon contradicting the laws of Thebes makes the play a perfect example of political drama.
From the play, it can be possibly maintained that Creon was always in the wrong while Antigone in the right. The entire play is centered on a beautiful cause and martyr while Creon is only out to do anything to ensure that his apotheosis and triumph come to pass. Creon is punished for punishing Antigone but by stating that Antigone was right and Creon was wrong means that the law which Antigone vindicated was supposed to supersede the ones which Creon had vindicated. Antigone stands out as being a pathetic as well as a noble creation who makes no effort to conciliate Creon. However, she maintains a defiant attitude through out the play glorying her actions and the penalty that followed. It is hard to picture out how Creon without considering his authority and position could have in a different way from what he did in the play. Antigone though proved to be brave, she courts death. The Gods were against Creon’s actions towards Polyneices and this can be viewed as being a justification of Antigone actions. For the two, it was not a matter of their action but the temper in which they acted that resulted to their ruin. Thus Creon and Antigone were both right in their actions and roles in the play (Antigone 98).
Nothing illustrates better the complexity involved and underlies the simplicity of Sophocles than Antigone ethics. The central role assumed by Antigone is the law relations that have sanctions in the law and political authority with regards to the obligation on members of the states and citizens. The laws in Thebes present themselves in a crucial form that is in direct collision. The same laws justified Antigone position to insist on burying her brother as well as Creon edict which meant that Polyneices was deprived his funeral rights. Polyneices was a heinous criminal while Creon the head of state thus was expected to typically impose punishment on him. Antigone also had the right to burry her own brother thus the political drama and dilemma in the play of who was right and who was wrong.
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