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Antigone Essay Civil Disobedience

Civil Disobedience in Antigone and Trifles Essay

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Civil Disobedience of Antigone and Mrs. Hale

Civil disobedience is the purposeful violation of a law to show that it is unconstitutional or morally defective. In the plays, Antigone and Trifles, the female main characters commit an act of civil disobedience. The plays are respectively written by Sophocles and Susan Glaspell. Antigone, the main character of Antigone, protects her dead brother's honor as she disobeys the laws of King Creon. Mrs. Hale, the main character of Trifles prevents a neighbor from being charged with homicide as she breaks the law in front of two lawmen-The Sheriff and the County Attorney. Both characters' crimes are similar; however, their differences lie in how they handle their violations. Antigone…show more content…

Wright. Mrs. Hale knows that even if Mrs. Wright murdered her abusive husband who was "like a raw wind that gets to the bone" (Glaspell 1298), the wife will not receive a fair trial. Mrs. Hale is aware the laws are made and carried out by men. In addition, she knows "juries when it comes to women" (Glaspell 1300). With this in mind, Mrs. Hale hides all incriminating evidence to prevent Mrs. Wright from having to face a judge and jury composed of biased men. Both women defy the rule of the land to prove the law is defective. This is where their similarities end. They both break laws for good reasons. Their strategies are very different. Antigone's plans are brazen and have disastrous consequences. Mrs. Hale's actions are surreptitiously handled and do not cause any damage. Mrs. Hale's scheme is better approached and is smartly executed. She prevents herself and her neighbor from any punishment. As the Sheriff and the County Attorney search for "some definite thing" (Glaspell 1300) or "something to show anger" (Glaspell 1296), Mrs. Hale finds a dead canary. Knowing Mr. Wright is "a hard man" (Glaspell 1298), Mrs. Hale assumes the husband killed the wife's pet. Mrs. Hale notes, "No, Wright wouldn't like the bird-a-thing that sang. She [Mrs. Wright] used to sing." (Glaspell 1299). Mrs. Hale realizes the significance of the dead bird. The dead bird is "something to show anger" (Glaspell 1296). She

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Civil Disobedience in Antigone

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Olaf Thorson Johnson IB English, Period 4 January 1, 2013 Civil Disobedience and Antigone Martin Luther King Jr. ’s “I Have a Dream” speech focuses on the importance of freedom and brotherhood in a nation and is intended to rally Americans to demonstrate their anger at the injustices of segregation and racism through “creative protest. ” While King’s passion and anger at the status quo is obvious in the text, he specifically states that they “must not allow [their][protest] to degenerate into physical violence. ” He is pushing for defiance against the government.

Antigone exhibits the same kind of defiance when she goes against Creon’s law and completes her brother’s burial rites. Antigone, like Martin Luther King Jr. , was faced with conflicting obligations; the obligation of a citizen to follow the law, and personal obligation to fight what one feels is wrong. A theme appears in both texts that one’s morals are more important than the law of the land. Antigone sacrificed her life to complete what she felt needed to be completed based on her religious beliefs. King dedicated his life to obtaining freedom for black people in America and was eventually killed for what he believed in, linking the two.

If Sophocles and Martin Luther King Jr. were to have a conversation, the two would most certainly agree on some things. Both would agree that one must follow their heart and fight things they feel must be changed. They would agree that one must not stand idly by as injustice takes place, such as segregation or the body of one’s brother left to rot above the ground. While Antigone is not a central figure in a civil rights movement, she does exhibit civil disobedience, bridging the “I Have a Dream” speech and Antigone.

Author: Brandon Johnson

in Antigone

Civil Disobedience in Antigone

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