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Antigone thinks she is obeying the gods' law. However, is she still guilty of hubris...

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seeker-of-truth | eNoter

Posted October 2, 2011 at 7:20 AM via web

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Antigone thinks she is obeying the gods' law. However, is she still guilty of hubris because she is disobeying the king's law who is the gods' representative on earth?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 2, 2011 at 7:36 AM (Answer #1)

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There are a couple of elements in this question that might need to be addressed.  One might be able to claim that hubris is evident in the assertion that the king is the "Gods' representative on Earth."  Certainly, Creon does not demonstrate this.  I am not certain that Creon represents the best elements of the Gods' representation in his own stubbornness and the destruction that his insistence on his word causes to his family.  The deaths of his son and wife could not be the Gods' will.  I think that Creon would like to see himself as a representative of the Gods' will, but the reality is that he understands that his own stubborn ways have wrought destruction on nearly everyone he loves.

With this in mind, I think that Antigone does show her own hubris.  It is Sophocles' greatness to show that passion and intensity can be a form of stubbornness and intense pigheadness.  Antigone's passion and zeal both result in her stubborn and defiant attitude, something that causes pain to Ismene, her beloved sister.  While Antigone does deserve praise for passionately following her beliefs, Sophocles' construction is one where her love and commitment move very close to hubris in the belief that no one can understand her own level of following her ideals.

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