Insert Name Tutor Course Date Introduction Antigone is a tragic play which was written by Sophocles about 441 BC. Although Antigone was written first, yet it features as the third among the three Theban plays. The play adapts the Theban legend which predates it and proceeds from the point where Seven against Thebes by Aeschylus ends…
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The gravity of the conflict at this point is underpinned by the fact that Creon, the new ruler of Thebes, had just decreed that as a rebel brother, Polyneices’ body was not to be accorded proper and holy funeral rituals on one hand. In this light, Polyneices’ body was to be neglected in the battlefield, as carrion for scavengers and worms. On the other hand, because of the persuasion that her brother Polyneices deserves to be buried, Antigone is compelled by her conscience to burry Polyneices, despite the death penalty which may accompany this act. To show that all odds are against Antigone’s persuasion that Polyneices is granted proper burial, all the Theban Elders and the Sentry have pledged their support to support Creon and Creon’s edict concerning Polyneices’ body. Thus, in intending to have Polyneices buried, Antigone is actually going against the duties and dictates of the Theban state. Unlike Antigone, Ismene is not able to overcome the fear of capital sentence (Riley, 101). The truth above corresponds with that of the civil rights activist, Martin Luther King, Jr. Despite all the obstacles that had been placed against civil rights activism for the African American. The obstacles against engaging in civil rights activism for racial equality was imperiled by possible detentions, intimidating investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (the FBI at the time had formed COINTELPRO) and even possible violent ambush by white supremacist groups (Sussman, 43). On one hand were these state-orchestrated dangers as a real threat and as a reason for Martin Luther King Jr. not to engage in civil rights activism. On the other hand, was Martin Luther King Jr.’s strong and indubitable persuasion that the African American and other people of color had the right to be treated with dignity. King’s noble belief in racial equality prevailed over these dangers and setbacks and ultimately even over the love for his own life (Amin, 156). Again, according to Seamon, to show that the conflict of duties owed to the state and duties owed to conscience are a thematic reality in Antigone, Antigone and her sister Ismene are imprisoned temporarily, when they neither deny having engaging in Polyneices’ burial, nor shown any remorse for the act. It is also made clear that Antigone could eventually lose her life and the love of her life, Haemon. However, all these setbacks, however serious they are, do not shake or dissuade Antigone’s resolve at all. This is because Antigone and Ismene totally believed that it was right to burry Polyneices (Seamon, 279). The development immediately above parallels that of Martin Luther King Jr. King was totally convinced that African Americans and other people of color were equal to white Americans and as such, had to be treated equally in all spheres of human existence, public and private. Just like Antigone, King was also subjected to incarceration. King was arrested in 1963 and sent to Birmingham City Jail. Like Antigone, King lost his freedom, his character was assassinated (King was subjected to smear campaigns which portrayed him as a communist ideologue, an adulterer and as a man so controversial that only suicide could absolve him of his problems and controversies.
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