The Power of Choice
Choices affect all of our lives. We are always faced with choices. What we do with those choices will determine how are lives will turn out, what destiny lies before us and even what will become of us. The choices we make are in our complete control. Whether we make choices during the heat of the moment or with an open mind there are going to be consequences that follow whether good or bad are can only be blamed on us. Sophocles?s Antigone portrays human emotions and consequences that follow two distinct choices. We can broaden the spectrum by saying that Creon represents public policy and Antigone represents individual conscience. According to E.S. Shuckburgh we must examine which is more important "state law or divine conscience". (Shuckburgh xviii)
Antigone is a story about two people who choose to make choices that each are passionate about and the consequences that follow. I can argue that the choice made by Antigone was noble and honorable because she was standing up for what she believed in. Antigone was trying to do what she felt was the right. She was standing up for her family. I think that many people would feel the same way in her situation. Antigone wanted to offer her brother the burial that she felt he deserved. Although it did not seem as though she agreed with what her brother had done she did believe in family loyalty.When Antigone approached Ismene with her proposal, Ismene said no. She justified her decision by telling Antigone that they were already punished and that there was no need to make matters worse for the two of them by defying Creon?s law.
Oh my sister, think- think how our own father died, hated,
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his reputation in ruins, driven on
by the crimes he brought to light himself
to gouge out his eyes with his own hands-
then mother?his mother and wife, both in one,
mutilating her life in the twisted noose-
and last, our two brothers dead in a single day,
both shedding there won blood, poor suffering boys,
battling out their common destiny hand-to-hand. ( Sophocles 60-69)
Isemene tries to say that herself and Antigone are already living cursed lives why make things worse. I believe that she is speaking out of fear. We all know what?s right and wrong but we don?t always have the courage to do what our heart tells us. All the convincing in the world could not change Antigone?s mind. She has a strong passion for giving her brother a respectful burial. Antigone stands up for her family but also her beliefs. Antigone is not concerned with the edict because, "[she] did [not] think [his] edict had such force/ that [he], a mere mortal, could override the gods, /the great unwritten, unshakable tradition." (Sophocles 503-505) This is the moment when Antigone chooses her personal conscience over state law.
That goes true for our society today isn?t there a little part of everyone that would like to be known for something they accomplished or something that they did? We can
look at Antigone?s role in a broader perspective and say that she stands for our individual conscience. Aren?t we taught to stand up for what we believe in? To stand up for what we
feel is right? Why would you want to let a member of your family rot out in the open? Or to put it into better perspective if your mom is dying of AIDS and the only painkiller is
marijuana would you or wouldn?t you buy the illegal substance for them? I know that I would try to do anything in my power to buy my mother what she needed to relieve her from pain. People
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do this sort of thing and there are even people trying to get a law passed that would enable people with terminally ill diseases to use this substance. Do I think that this is right or wrong? I do think that it is wrong to use illegal substances. In the situation where it would help to relieve the pain of my mother I would choose my personal conscience over state law. While Anigone and Creon assumed to know what God wants I do not, and I can only judge the decisions that I make.
Now there is the other side of the coin that we must