Antigone is another tragic story written by Sophocles. I found the plot of Antigone is similar to Oedipus the King to some extent. They are both Greek plays surrounding the theme – of fate and free will. Antigone is a commendable person that deserves to be learned by all of us. First, she is particularly not fear of death and loyal to herself.
Die I must, I’ve known it all my life —
how could I keep from knowing? —
even without your death-sentence ringing in my ears.
And if I am to die before my time
I consider that a gain. (p.82, 511-516)
From the quote above, which is said by Antigone, shows her determination and audacity to act right and meaningful. She is not fear and is daring to face death. People should not be loyal to the death, instead, should be loyal to themselves. Antigone is loyal to herself and her family; she insists on buying her brother, Polyneices’s dead body whom she loves and is loved by him. She knows that she will have the death penalty but she persists. This makes her life significant.
The characteristics of Oedipus and Creon are different, yet their outcomes are identical. They both experienced the loss of their relatives and the people they loved the most in their life as a result. However, Oedipus is stubborn when Creon is only slow on the uptake. Oedipus refuses to admit the things he does till the last minute, till he finds out the events collaborate with the things he does. On another hand, Creon notices right after Tiresias tells him the prophecies. He is worried and he decides to free Antigone. Unfortunately, by the time he decides to free Antigone, it is already too late and she already hangs herself. This is Creon’s fate. Fate dominates everyone. I realized Ancient Greek is a place where they believed in fate and Gods’ will. I would not like to like to live in Ancient Greek as I do not want to be “cursed” and dominant by the Gods.
Loyal to the state vs loyal to family describes Antigone the best. Antigone is loyal to her family while Creon is loyal to the state. Antigone has gone through the loss of her family since she was still a child. Her mother commits suicide, her brother/dad, Oedipus is exiled, and her two older brothers are dead from fighting each other. After her parents’ death, I believe that Antigone cherishes her siblings greatly. She wants to bury Polyneice’s body as she wants him to be memorized. On another hand, Creon is loyal to the states and he claims that Polyneices is a traitor and he deserves to be left for the dogs and vultures to eat. In my opinion, there is no absolute right or wrong. One of them shows his loyalty to the state and one shows her loyalty to her family. They are both behaving ethically from their perspectives which affects by different backgrounds and personal experiences. Thus, they have contrasting actions on Polyneices’s death.
I could relate to Ismene when I was reading Antigone. Hong Kong was in an ambiguous situation in which people were protesting whether it was a part of China. Even though I believed that Hong Kong is not a part of China, I did not participate in any of the protests as I was fear of the “death”, and penalty. I respected Antigone when I was reading the play. I found she was courageous to face death and the penalty. she is not remotely scared and she persists in doing things that she thinks are ethical. This is a trait that everyone should learn from Antigone. People should be loyal to themselves instead of the other people or death. Therefore, I should also loyal to what I think is conscientious.