This study guide for Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau looks at the key concepts and main ideas to help you get a deeper understanding of Civil Disobedience. Defamation and denial are the tactics for shutting down any discussion about an issue. In Sophocles, Antigone, translated by Ruby Blondell, the main character, Antigone, rebelled against the unethical treatment of her brothers, while Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also rebelled against the unethical treatment of African Americans in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. In conclusion, an examination of all the roles in Antigone can expose the various ways individuals in power and those who aren’t interact with political structures and philosophical concepts such as law and justice. ENC 1102 The main themes in "Civil Disobedience" are individual conscience and action, just and unjust laws, and democracy in the United States. The civil disobedient, finding legitimate avenues of change blocked or nonexistent, feels obligated by a higher, extralegal principle to break some specific law. (including. Human law and government are subordinate. This is a wide range of issues. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. (999-1032) Creon’s reaction is to accuse Teiresias of being corrupt with a substantial and vitriolic tirade. The joy the guard claims he feels is not from any malice against Antigone or her cause, but from the relief that he is isn’t going to be punished; he is even sympathetic to her plight but must do his duty for his own personal safety. Thoreau admits, however, that civil disobedience is difficult not just because of the risk of punishment, but also because it requires one to give up both protection from the state and rights to property. Thoreau takes the view that a man under the American government "cannot without disgrace be associated with it" and, since "all men recognize the right of revolution," a man finding himself at odds with the democracy realizes that "it is his duty to wash his hands of it." Some have disagreed with civil disobedience on the grounds that if one breaks the law, of course they should expect punishment. Although, Literary Analysis Of Robert Frost's Mending Wall, Out, And Night, Difference Between Communication Between Teenagers And Parents. Antigoneby Sophocles is an ancient Greek play written around 442 BCE. But simply because it is against the law and the fact that she believes that as women they should obey the social order commanded by men. Cleansing us through pity and terror is Aristotle's famous answer in the Poetics. Refusing to pay taxes is one of the main acts of civil disobedience—a citizen’s non-violent refusal to obey a government’s … Thus, practicing civil disobedience means accepting a less secure life. The chorus are indeed trapped between the proverbial rock and hard place of breaking or following an unjust law, but so was Antigone; it’s just that their lack of agency forces them to rationalise their own passive responses after the events of the play have unfolded instead of actively challenging Creon’s tyrannical behaviour until its too late. Therefore, civil disobedience is justified to combat immoral standards implemented in society.
(1,100–105) When the inevitable does happen that both Haemon and Antigone are dead, they admonish Creon for having realised his error too late. Read the Study Guide for Civil Disobedience…, View the lesson plan for Civil Disobedience…, View Wikipedia Entries for Civil Disobedience…. Not affiliated with Harvard College. (1347-50). Our nominal protagonist and daughter of the disgraced Oedipus who chooses to bury her brother who is at the start of the play being eaten by the carrion birds. Although they both technically broke the law to support a cause, Antigone and King had different approaches in doing so and different goals. A third theme that flies arrow-like through the work, stabbing into the governmental bull's-eye at the end, is that of esteem for individuality above the state. Why should Thebes give burial rites to an exile and a traitor alongside their own fallen soldiers? He suggests that people should not enrich the nation by paying taxes when the government is using that wealth for deplorable actions; that is, withholding funds will limit the state’s ability to do harm. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority […] Only his vote can hasten the abolition of slavery who asserts his own freedom by his vote. (1034-1047) It’s a line that has appeared earlier at the start of the play. The characters are identifiable and the audience relates to the pressures and challenges they encounter. Women were not recognized of importance in ancient Athens, so in turn they were not allowed to attend the plays and any character that was a woman was to be played as a man, wearing a mask. GradeSaver, 2 June 2003 Web. LitCharts Teacher Editions. As sympathetic and admiring as they are to Antigone’s plight, they still blame her for breaking the law, although the law’s ethical integrity is in doubt. After thorough scrutinization of Sophocles’ Antigone, Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience”, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, I can deduce that Antigone’s actions are vindicated and that she adheres to the true principles of civil disobedience due to the fact that she engages in direct, nonviolent action stemming from moral opposition to an unjust decree. Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis. The theme of civil disobedience in Sophocles’ Antigone is already a recurring theme known to students beginning their classical studies. Free + Easy to edit + Professional + Lots backgrounds. Civil Disobedience study guide contains a biography of Henry David Thoreau, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Our, State Submission as a Pretense for Patriotism, LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in, Compare and contrast themes from other texts to this theme…, The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of Civil Disobedience appears in each chapter of. Thus it is unsurprising that he views any form of dissent as a conspiracy or to have come from questionable motives. The audience becomes immersed and they, along with the characters of this play are tasked with the critical dilemma of deciding which is more important, the laws established, The Greek play Antigone, written by Sophocles, demonstrates the idea of civil disobedience, and many other ideas, in a very tragic way. The play is set in the ancient city of Thebes. The Question and Answer section for Civil Disobedience is a great Civil disobedience can be found any where from a fictional greek story, to a real life actor who cares about the safety of the environment, to an ordinary person living their life. In, The Greek play Antigone, written by Sophocles, demonstrates the idea of civil disobedience, and many other ideas, in a very tragic way. Instant downloads of all 1372 LitChart PDFs In terms of Washington and Franklin, Thoreau's allusion speaks to the bravery and courage of the Founders.... their purpose, their spirit, and their willingness to act. His avowed faith in ordinary citizens stands in contrast to the entrenchment of an elite political class that Thoreau perceives as incompetent and ineffectual. And this freedom, ‘parrhesia’ in classical Greek, is something that the Athenians valued to the fullest extent. This tragedy’s main conflict was between man and himself. As the title of “Civil Disobedience” suggests, Henry David Thoreau advocates for disobeying the government when it promotes immoral actions (such as slavery or the Mexican-American war), and he attempts to persuade his fellow Americans to pursue justice through such disobedience. This provides some context for analysing the behaviour of others and especially our own in times of political and social disagreement. Dan Tang is the Athenian Inspector and a certified bachelor in classics from King's College London, surviving on a cocktail of sometimes questionable humor and unending disbelief.