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How to Understand Antigone

August 05, 2010 | Comments: 0 | Views: 133


As human beings we all tend to hold on to and cherish memories of loved ones, sometimes so much that is seems to outweigh the importance of ones own life, just as Antigone did. The word "Cherishing" (L 986) is significant in one of the speeches done by Antigone in regards to the death of her brother. Antigone cherished the wishes of the God's and her family, by burring her brother, she cherished the idea of seeing her family together again in the afterlife, as well as cherishing closely the relationship she had with her brother.


To cherish, to adore, to protect, to hold something so dear that it becomes a part of ones own self. Antigone had just lost both of her brothers, her parents were dead, and her sister is to afraid to stand up to the king, their uncle. Her brother deserved the respect of having a proper burial so he could continue his life in the underworld, and be reunited with the rest of his family. There was no way, anyone, even the new king of Athens was going to tell her otherwise. Antigone "cherished" (L 986) much more the wished of the Gods than the new tiresome law put down by the king. If this was a man in which she didn't know, it would be a simple task to abide by the wishes of the king, but it wasn't, it was her own brother. If "A husband dead, there might have been another. A child by another too."( L 1002-1003) however no one could ever replace her own flesh and blood, her brother, and this is why she felt so strongly to honor him.


Her committed, cherished, and preserved memories of her family and beliefs of an honored burial may have cost Antigone her life but in the end kept her true to who she was. Everyone is afraid to die, therefore dying for someone or something higher than oneself seems like the most selfless and dignified ways to go.

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