Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Antigone

Are the lessons of Sophocles truthful and/or valuable in today’s society? Why / why not?

21 Comments:

Blogger zoe_m said...

The lessons of Sophocles are very valuable in today's society. "Antigone" was a greek tragedy so the lessons in the book are very dramatic but if you simplify them they are very helpful. Some lessons in the book that can be used in today's society are that with power comes responisibilty, and that you need to put your priorities first. Creon had power and he wasn't very responsible with it and it caused some of him family members to die. Antigone put her priorities first and to her it was worth it.

October 15, 2009 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger sarah said...

Even though the setting of this book takes place a very long time ago, the lesson of Sophocles are both truthful and valuable in todays society. In this book, many of the characters learn lessons that influence the way that they live there lives. For example, Antigone learns to follow what she believes in and not be influenced by her surroundings. Her brother, Polynices, was killed in battle, and she wants to give him the proper burial. But, King Creon states that anyone who dares bury him shall face the death penelty. Everyone in the town, including Ismene, Antigones own sister, trembles in fear of Creon. They refuse to bury him. Antigone is disgusted with her sister. On page 2 she states," My own brother and yours i will! If you will not, i will; I shall not prove disloyal." She has no fear. She knows that this is the right decision, and one she will not regret. I admire her for this. King Creon also learns an important lesson throughout the book. He is very strong willed, and hungry for power. Unfortunatley he didnt realize that you have to put your power to good use. He abused it. He attacked the citizens with harsh demands and orders like no one is aloud to provide Polynices with the proper burial. He then ordered that Antigone should rot away in a cave as her punishment. His son, Antigones fiance, disapproved. But Creon didnt budge. She would still die. In the end this all came back to haunt him. His son died by his own hand. Shortly after hearing the knews of her sons death, Creons wife killed herself too. It goes to show what goes around comes around.

October 15, 2009 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Ivy said...

Even though this tragety takes place in a different time period and has different customs, the themes Sophocles incorperated were universal. Creon was written to be a tyrant ruler, to make unjust laws and punishments. Today we have written laws in the Constitution to prevent tyranny, striving for a more perfect government. Antigone was the confident woman with strong morals and followed what she believed in, and ignored society rules. But now, women have full rights as men and are created equal after the women's rights movement. Even though "Antigone" is fiction, the plot and events have happened in real life, based off the same lessons and morals. This is proof that the same story can happen in two separate places.

October 15, 2009 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger ashbugg said...

While the setting of Antigone is in the very distant past, Sophocles' lessons are both truthful and valuable in todays society. It shows that you are responsible for your own actions and need to fix what you have done wrong, instead of letting it spiral into something one cannot control any longer. In "Antigone", each character has his or her own way of life which brings out the best and worst parts of their personalities. Hidden in the book, are the different morals each character has learned or should learn in the future. For example, Creon was self centered, power hungry and felt he was greater than the Gods. Towards the end of the book, he realizes that he is not stronger or more powerful than the Gods, and when he only cares about himself staying king, he looses everyone who might ever love him. He was irresponsible with the power given to him, and suffered the loss of both his only son, and his wife. Antigone stays true to not only herself, but to her brother Polynices as well. She stood up for Polynices and admitted to the crime of burying his body. She wasn't afraid to face the charges of disobeying Creon, even if it meant death. Haemon stood by his dear fiance Antigone and was willing to kill his father for the death of her, but ended up killing himself instead. Life in Antigone's world was difficult, but surprisingly similar to life today. Even today, people make stupid decisions that could mean life or death for others.

October 15, 2009 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Cecile255 said...

Even though the setting of the book is in aincent greece the lessons in this book are still true to life. An example of this is always stick up for what you believe in in the book Antigone believed that Polynecies should have the right to be buried just like everyone else in thebes. Another lesson that apperes in this book that still applies today is to respect your God/Gods. In the book Creon was set on killing Antigone even though the crime she commited was not that sever. The prophet warned Creon that he should spare her because he would be punished by the gods. This applies to today because no matter what time period it is God(s) are important if you believe in a god then you believe they are the one's controling your life as it happens. The last lesson this book teaches is that you should always help your family. This applies because ismene offerd to take part of the blame for burying Polynecies. Even though Antigone refused to accept the help ismene still offerd. This is a valuble lesson that Sophocles teaches becaus eyour family is the most importat thing in anyone's life and you should protect them any chance you get. Just like ismene.

October 15, 2009 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger ally said...

Although this book takes place a long time ago, the lessons of Sophocles are still true and very valuable. One major lesson I saw throughout this book was independence. Every character went by their own ideas and morals. Antigone went against Creon when everybody else was scared of him.
Creon believed that Antigone's brother, Polynices, had gone against him and did not deserve a proper burial. Antigone on the other hand wanted to be honorable to her brother. On page 2 she says, "My own brother and yours I will! If you will not, I will; I shall not prove disloyal." Antigone wanted to honor one whom she loved and cared about. Her sister Ismene however, was scared. She did not want to go against Creon. This shows that even though they are sisters, and both love their brother, Antigone was stronger and more self directed. She did not care that she could be killed if she were caught. She wanted to be loyal and she was proud of what she did. In our world today, following your own ideas and doing what you think is right is very important. If we all did what one person told us to do, there would be no independence, and without independence, everyone would be the same. There would be no self morals or ideas.

October 15, 2009 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger peterJ said...

Sophocles was a brilliant writer and his morals and teachings still set a fantastic example today. Antigone is someone who is strong willed; she never stops fighting until she influences others with her opinions and has made a change. She believed that her brother Polynices held his proper burial rights although he was considered a traitor by King Creon. Antigone wasn't afraid to face the death penalty in order to stay loyal and pay respects to her beloved brother. She was always ready to break the law to keep her morality strong, a lesson that we can use today. King Creon shows how the death penalty can be quite inhumane and affect more than the person being executed. As a result of his decision to kill Antigone, his son Haemon and his wife Eurydice killed themselves in a chain of suicides. His decision in turn left him sad, lonely, and in melancholy. The death penalty is still a big debate and is considered to be inhumane in several states across the country. The writings of Sophocles are still in debate and affect us almost everyday.

October 15, 2009 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger dan a. said...

Sophocles' "Antigone" is such a famous Greek tragedy because of how strong his lessons are to the reader. This story contains so much to interpret and ponder, and so there are countless messages that go along with the book. One major lesson that I got from "Antigone" was that a small action can go a long way. Antigone wanted to do the easy chore of burying her brother Polynices in order to give him honor and so the Gods will be pleased with her. I know this because on page 3, she says, “Him I will bury. Death, so met, were honor . . . . . Far longer is there need I satisfy those nether Powers, than powers on earth.” Doing so ended up starting a major conflict between Creon and Antigone, which led to the torturing of Antigone, and the death of Haemon and Creon’s wife Eurydice. But Creon was the most deeply affected because he lost everything just because of one little thing Antigone did that he didn’t like. In today’s society, several people have done things that have changed the morals and values of many people at a time. For example, Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man, and this started a bus boycott, where no one rode the bus for a whole year. This small action ended up inspiring many different people, and eventually African-Americans were given the rights of everyone else. Today, people encourage kids and adults to “go green” by telling us to do simple things like turning off lights or picking up trash. These things may sound pointless, but in the long run, they may help the neighborhood environment. Even though in Antigone’s case, she influenced others in a negative way, it still showed me how powerful certain actions can be, if you have the intent and determination. I hope everyone will soon realize how much of a change they can make in standing up for what they believe in.

October 15, 2009 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger Eve K said...

Sophocles’ lessons in Antigone are timeless. One of the lessons he gives in the story of Antigone is that one should always do what they know in their heart is right, no matter what others say. In the play, the character Antigone honored her brother by giving him a proper burial, even while it was against the king’s law to do so. This can be applied easily to current society, which it has. For example, a famously courageous woman named Rosa Parks performed a similar act of disobedience to a law she felt was unjust. At the time, African Americans like her were given fewer rights than white people and were treated very unfairly. One of the laws of that time was that if a white person boarded a public bus, an African American sitting in one of the front seats would have to move toward the back and let the white person have their place. She protested this law by refusing to do so. She was punished for this, as Antigone was for her crime, but neither regretted it. Soon afterward, that law and similar racist laws were banned across the nation. These brave and morally strong women are very alike in their beliefs about morality.

Sophocles also used Creon to teach the audience a lesson. Creon was the king of Thebes, who tried to rule with the power of a god. Resembling a modern dictator, this character wanted all of the power he could get, and ruled unfairly. He was later punished by the gods with the death of many of his relatives. This suggests that if you are an arrogant and evil ruler, there will be some sort of punishment, be it real or spiritual.

October 15, 2009 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger T. Van Fleet said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 15, 2009 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger T. Van Fleet said...

Even though Antigone was set a very long time ago, Sophocles' lessons are very valuable in today's society. For example, Antigone's choice of following her heart is a lesson that everyone should learn from. Sometimes, what's right is more important than the law. It was against the law for Antigone to bury Polneices but it was her brother and the right thing to do. She says, "From mine own; He has no right to stay me." She's saying that Creon has no right to stop her from doing the right thing. Another example, as Ivy said, i when Creon was a tyrant. Along with being an absolute ruler, he made unfair laws. With this lesson on how not to govern a country, we've come up with our democratic government.

October 15, 2009 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

Although Antigone took place a long time ago, in ancient Greese the lessons antigone learned are truthful and valuable today in our society. Though they may vary from today, a lot of the lessons Antigone learned from her own and the
actions of other people I can relate to my own life or the life of others. For example, we can all learn from and relate to Antigone's consequence of choosing her own free will over her destiny and breaking the law. Today you wouldn't be publicly stoned to death for giving your brother a proper burial but some people such as Martin Luther King Jr. were punished for standing up for what they belived in and what was right only because our government doesn't believe in it. Antigone's ability to be free-willed and not care about what the rest of Thebes thinks of her can inspire us all to act more like her. Antigone wasn't the only person that learned valuable lessons that we still use today. King Creon brutally starved and isolated Antigone to the point where she commited suiside. When his beloved son and wife went against him and also took their own lives because of the loss of Antigone, Creon realized maybe his doing wasn't the right way to handle the sitution. Today, we often realize that our doings may affect others or come back and bite you. Also, today the death penalty is still in affect but it seems the number of lives taken by capitol punishment is dwindling down due to the reaction of the public. I belive that the characters in this book learn lessons that we all can relate to if we take the time to understand them.

October 15, 2009 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger Bridget said...

I have certainly learned many lessons from this story. And there were many told, however there was one that really stuck out. That fact that you should face reality, face your fears, face all things that hold you back. These messages are both truthful and valuable. With these lessons, I now can stand up and be independent, just like Antigone. Antigone wouldn’t let such a greedy man like Creon get in her way. For example, Antigone says in the prologue, “My own brother. And yours I will ! If you will not, I will; I shall not prove disloyal.” In this quote, she gives the tone of determination. She won’t give up until her deed has been done. Anyway, back to reality. People can’t just assume, they must start facing reality, which is a way to be successful, just like Ismene. Although both characters seem to be opposites at the start, they still teach both truthful and valuable. I mean come on, what’s more truthful than facing life and what it has in store for you. You can’t just sit back knowing your going to make something of yourself, you have to go out and do it. This relates back to being successful. And who doesn’t want to end up successful in life? Answer me that. My last thoughts are that this Greek Tragedy is quite informing, which is important to all readers. And hopefully, future stories we read in this class will also be like Antigone. Because many of the important lessons I have learned, were from stories, just like this one.

October 15, 2009 at 4:50 PM  
Blogger peter34 said...

The lessons taught in Antigone are over dramatic but yet are very well thoghtout and can be a big lesson for everyone whether your living now or in ancient Greece. The reader recieves lessons from all characters stretching from Antigone to Creon. Antigone is loyal and honest while Creon is selfish. The situations the characters are in are obviously much different then ones that we would face in our lives today but no matter what you can still learn from Sophecles' writing. No one in our society would be stoned to death or left in a vault and die a slow painful death. But situations are similar to that and Antigone really knows how to present herself in a non-fearful manner. Almost like no one can stop her. Antigone followed her heart and knew what she had to do. No matter what punishment she was going to recieve she knew that she had to bury her brother. Haemon also knew that even though Creon was his father he wasnt doing the right thing by thinking he was a god. So he followed his moral beleifs and stuck up for his girlfriend. Nothing should hold you back, always stick up for what you believe in. Antigone knew that she had to be loyal to her brother and that she did. In life you can not just expect someone to give you respect, you have to earn it, but here in this story Sophelces' lessons were devastating but yet remarkable. I hope to read more novels like this one and enjoy it just as much as this one

October 15, 2009 at 5:45 PM  
Blogger Petra said...

The lessons in Antigone, even though they are dramatized, are very valuable in todays society. There is nothing wrong with thinking you are always correct but, if you think you are the only one who knows everything and think that you are powerfull, yoiu won't get very far...like Creon. His whole family died because of his idea of doing the right thing. Antigone on the other hand believed in herself and folowed her morals and didn't think she was God. The laws today try and prevent what Creon was doing and support Antigone...well not always. Basically todays society is very free and not overlt controlled as Creons empire was.

October 15, 2009 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Antigone is a Greek tragedy that has withstood the test of time because of the morals and plot woven into the play. The lessons of Sophocles are still truthful and valuable in today’s society even though it is hundreds of years later. Sophocles created four characters with realistic qualities contribute to the themes of the story and to today. Antigone, the main character, is loyal, brave, confident and self-less. Even though King Creon has made a law against burying Polyneices, Antigone’s brother because Creon believes that Polyneices was fighting on the opposite side. Antigone’s does not believe this ruling is right and knows that the Gods expect that every person is buried after their death. Therefore, Antigone takes it upon herself, with no support to give Polyneices a proper burial even though the penalty of going against King Creon is death. Antigone says to Ismene, “Be what seems right to you; Him I will bury. Death, so met, were honour; and for that capital crime of piety, loving and loved, I will lie by his side.” This shows Antigone’s honorable qualities and the strong sense of morality in her life because she is doing what she believes in even if it means she’s going to die. The lesson that can be learned from her deed is that “you should stand up for what is right, even if you are standing alone.” A poster with this exact saying is hanging in my mom’s office, which shows that Sophocles’ message still applies to people today. Another example of this theme is society is in schools. Sometimes a student has to have the courage to speak the truth about an issue such as bullying, even if no one else has the courage, like Ismene at first. Ismene thought Antigone “desired impossibilities” and “was going on a fool’s errand.” However, Ismene proclaims to Antigone that “in her trouble I do not blush to claim companionship of what you have to endure” later in the story. Another character that exemplifies a characteristic that many people still have in the modern day world is Creon. Creon is the king of Thebes and does not make moral choices with his power. Instead, he chooses to be selfish, intimidating, power hungry and has hubris. Creon believes whatever he says is right and is relentless with the punishment of Antigone. In the end, however he ends up losing his son and wife, which are the two people he cared about most. Even when he is talking with his son, Creon implies that “the city is held to be his who rules it.” The most prominent examples of this idea in the world today are the dictators of country, who do not accept any other opinions. These dictators are not respected or liked by the people of their country, just like Creon was even respected by Haemon, his own son, let alone the community of Thebes, when he made the selfish decision to kill Antigone. Countries, such as America have freedoms and the power divided in government so that the abuse of power can be prevented. As you can see, Sophocles included many timeless lessons in Antigone that are both truthful and valuable in our society today.

October 15, 2009 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger Arjun said...

Antigone is a masterpiece by Sophocles and a wonderful representation for Greek tragedies. Though Antigone is a very old and dramatic piece of literature it still holds a valuable lesson. We can still learn from the values of Greek society. First of all it tells us that we should stand up for what is moral and god will side with us. God sided with Antigone by punishing Creon. Another valuable lesson taught by this piece of literature is that if those close to you are repeatedly telling you that something is immoral and wrong then you would be well to reconsider. This is what plagued Creon. He refused to listen to Haemon, Tiresius, and 1 Senator. This then hurt him later when Haemon and Eurydice killed themselves leaving Creon to think about what he had done. This Greek tragedy also connects with another great piece of literature; The United States Constitution. The ninth amendment states "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." This means that the court cannot inflict cruel and unusual punishment. In Antigone Creon tried to impose a cruel and unusual punishment on Antigone by locking her in a stone cave until she died. This had him lose a lot of support and be punished in the end. Maybe the writers of The Constitution read Antigone and learned from his mistake. Though the contents of Sophocles's play are old and overly dramatic the lessons still apply today.

October 15, 2009 at 6:40 PM  
Blogger jack said...

Sophocle's Greek plays that he has writen are known for being life lessons to the viewers and readers. His lessons in the book "Antingone" are usefull today because not only have they been the same lessons being taught through the book through all these years, but we are all still making the mistakes. The lessons in "Antigone" are about going by your moral right, and greedyness because Antigone taught us the moral rights lesson because she showed the reader how if you go by what you truely believe in in life, you will always come out a better person. Also Creon taught us the lesson of greedyness because he was so power hungry that it made him greedy for his power over family and friends. He didnt even take into acount that if he killed Anntigone, then his son Haemon would kill himself with her. There are still people in life who are greedy such as the simple act of giving. There are still people to this day that look at this world like why should I give to anyone, if I dont get anything back? The thing is if you take the greed out of it you will be able to change lives of people and then you will get back the same from those people. Sophocles has written Antigone to inspire the readers about taking the life lessons out of the book and into real life.

October 16, 2009 at 3:38 AM  
Blogger E. Cody said...

Sophocles wrote plays a long time ago. Even so, the lessons in the story are still used today. For example, Antigone was a story by Sophocles that was about standing by your morales. The character, Antigone, stood by what she thought was right even though she knew she would be sentenced to death. Reading it now she is still considered a hero and after his stories there are plenty of examples of people standing up for what they believed to be right. For example, Rosa Parks stood up for her rights and so did Martin Luther King Jr. Sophocles's lessons were truthful because people have done what Antigone did. People have gone against the law to defend what they think is right. Todays society still believes in a lot of the morales believed when Sophocles was alive.

October 18, 2009 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Josh S. said...

The lessons of Sophocles are true and valuable in todays society, even though the example of Sophocles' lesson in Antigone is a bit outdated and dramatically exaggerated. The struggle Antigone went through to bury her brother represents the lesson of standing up in what you believe in. Even though strict laws were made against the burial of Polynices, Antigone believed that everyone had a right to go to the underworld, and no one should be prevented of that right. She stood up for what she believed in even though it was against the law. This relates to many events in American history. Martin Luther King, Jr and Rosa Parks fought the law in order to protect something they believed in. Rosa Parks believed that everyone deserved to be treated the same, so she refused to give up her seat for a white man in order to protect that believe. Martin Luther King, Jr. protested against segregation for the same beliefs as Rosa Parks. Even though all of these people suffered greatly when they stood up for what they believed in, it changed the minds of so many people and changed so many things. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and Rosa Parks was put in jail for a time, but they changed so much that now it is law that everyone is equal. Even though Antigone killed herself in the end, her actions are what taught Creon to listen to others advice and not abuse power. She also changed the mind of many citizens. Making them turn against Creon for his behavior.


One of the main lessons that Creon learned in this book was the lesson to listen to others advise. Creon had too much pride and always thought he was right. When Antigone buried the body of Polynices against his law, Creon was outraged. His believed Antigone deserved to be killed. Ismene, Haemon, and Tiresias all told Creon not to kill Antigone, but he refused to listen to them. He thought he was the only one who was right. This is still true in todays society. We have congress, the UN, and many other organizations were we interact with others and work together to accomplish things. Even the President gets advice from Congress and others in the Executive branch. Without Interacting and listening to each other all of these powers would fail. If we just listened to one person there could be a flaw in his/her plans, but no one would be able to change it.

October 18, 2009 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Marissa said...

Yes, they are very valuble. They are valuble because in today's world we can not have one person making up lame rules. The world would end in complete war, violence, and unhappiness. No one would accept that the one "ruler" would be able to create such laws. The USA especially would not let anyone just take over, for we are acostumed to the democracy in America. If one person, like Creon, made up a bunch of rules that they found important not a lot of people would benifit, especially if the rule was like Creons (no person shall be buried). If no one was buried the world would literally stink and be filled with disease and rotting corpses. Everyone needs laws, but civil laws, and not just one person who calls the shots.

October 19, 2009 at 6:32 PM  

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