Explain this quote by chorus in Antigone: "Wisdom is by far the greatest part of joy, and reverence toward the gods must be safegarded. The mighty words of the proud are paid in full with mighty...

Explain this quote by chorus in Antigone: "Wisdom is by far the greatest part of joy, and reverence toward the gods must be safegarded. The mighty words of the proud are paid in full with mighty blows of fate, and at long last those blows will teach us wisdom."

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The chorus is giving a warning to Creon. In the first part of the first sentenc, "widsom is by far the greatest part of joy", the chorus is pointing out that in order to be happy, one must be wise and act on that wisdom. In the second part of the sentence explains that wisdom mean following the gods' laws. Creon has disregarded the laws of the gods by preventing the burial of Polyneices. Creon has been warned that this disobedience is caused by pride, or "hubris" as the Greeks called it. The second sentence spells out what the consequences of pride and disobedience to the gods is. The Chorus says that Creon's words forbidding the buial of Polyneices will be "paid in fully with mighty blows of fate." In other words, the gods will see to it that events will occur that will punish Creon for his disobedience. The final consequence will be that "these blows will teach us wisdom." Thus, after suffering the consequence of his actions, Creon will finally learn wisdom and will realize the consequences that go with disobedience to the gods' laws.

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