Antigone And Mandela Analysis

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Often in times of oppression, the oppressed are not the only group to suffer. The oppressor also faces the consequences of their actions, although it may be difficult to see at first. No one is immune to the effects of living in a poisonous society. Mandela views the oppressor as anyone who forces another to violate the natural laws of the world. Although the punishment is not prison, there is still a penalty to pay for violating these natural laws. Antigone and Mandela recognize this fact, and they are determined to do what they view as right. These actions are the impetus for societal development and advancement. Antigone, by burying her brother, can liberate Creon from his crimes against the gods. Although Creon feels betrayed, Antigone …show more content…
You be as you think best, but I shall bury him. To me it’s fine to die performing such a day” (Sophocles 69-71). Antigone understands the importance of her actions, but she knows that others may only see them as reckless. To the Ancient Greeks, a proper burial is necessary for passage to the Underworld. By denying his burial Creon is denying Polynices the chance to reach his final rest. “They say that this is what good Creon has proclaimed for you and me-yes me as well!- and that he’s coming to make his proclamation clear to those who do not know” (31-34). Creon firmly believes that he has chosen the correct course of action. The gods have made their rules for a reason, and they will punish those who ignore them. Creon ignores the rules of the gods by denying burial to a Greek, and he may be punished accordingly. However, since he is a king his punishment may extend to those under his rule. Antigone buries Polynices to regain justice and spare Thebes this punishment. After completing the burial the story unravels and leads to the death of nearly every main character except Creon. The Chorus in the story believes that if not for Antigone then all would have ended peacefully. That may be true, but the peaceful ending is not always the best ending. Antigone’s actions had consequences, but those were …show more content…
However, they do not view their oppressors as incapable of being saved. In fact, one of their main goals is the healing of their oppressors as a means of healing society. Societal growth stems from oppression and other forms of suffering. The oppression of Creon allowed Antigone to see the necessity for change in Thebes. This inspired her to bury Polynices, a truly revolutionary act of disobedience. Mandela saw through the horror of apartheid to the necessity and opportunity for societal growth it provided. He took it upon himself to visualize what that new society could entail, and turn that vision into reality. It took a lengthy imprisonment and many hardships, but eventually Mandela became Prime Minister of South Africa. Society will never be perfect, and perhaps that is a good thing. Without hardships and oppression society would lose its incentive to evolve and improve. But it takes the insight, determination, and courage of those such as Antigone and Nelson Mandela to bring the idealized vision of a perfect society closer and closer to

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