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Book Review
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Philosophy and Literature (Book Review Sample)


The book called Antigone by Sophocles can be used as reference. Nothing else beside the book can be used for this essay. Thus, No online resources or articles can be used; writer needs to read the book or already has read the book. I will add the question in order tracking area. Writer will address the question in the essay.


The main conflict the book Antagone is between doing what is right and doing what is acceptable. This conflict is evident throughout the book. Antagone is faced with a dilemma on how to accept the ruling of the king to let the body of his brother Polyneices to decay without being buried rightfully. She decides to go ahead and offer the dead brother a decent burial, though it is against the ruling of the king Creon. It is right to offer the brother a decent send off, but again it is against the law to burry someone regarded as a traitor.
The king is also faced with hard decisions to make when the war ends and takes both brothers as casualties. The king decides to give his predecessor a decent burial and formulates harsh law to punish the Polyneices. Where else it is right to accord traitors the harshest punishment so as to discourage others from trying it, according to Sopholes (441 BC), leaving dead bodies to decay without being buried is not acceptable by the gods.
The whole story has evidence of the conflict when choosing between the good and bad. Ismene is also faced with a hard decision to make when confronted by Antigone to lend a hand in burying their brother Polyneices. Unlike Antigone, Ismene decided to stick by the rules of the government, only to latter feel the weight of the cause of action taken by Antigone, which makes her willing to die with her.
Origin of conflict
This conflict begins to manifests immediately after Oedipus, the father of Eteocles and Polyneices leaves the throne and moves out of the kingdom. The two brothers are left behind and they fail to agree on the rightful heir to inherit the throne. Eteocles drives Polyneices out of the kingdom, only to return to challenge the throne with war. The war results to the demise of the two brothers.
King Creon takes over the throne and feels that Polyneices acted out of bad faith and portrayed actions of a traitor when he engaged the king in a battle that resulted to both their demise. As a punishment to Polyneices, Creon decides that his dead body will be left to decay and be eaten by vultures while Eteocles was buried with honor. With the love of a brother and the need to do right, Antigone then decides to go against the ruling of the king and decides to bury her brother.
Main characters
The main characters are Antigone and Creon. Antigone is committed to bury her brother regardless of the consequences that are set for anyone who will go against the law. She represents the common man who despite the presence of rules and regulations that are set to govern them, at one point or another they feel that there is something that they can do to bring a change. Antigone can also be used to represent the struggles and challenges that non-governmental bodies face when they use activism and other means to safeguard the rights of the community.
King Creon strongly feels that actions of traitors give rise to severe suffering of the public and as such, traitors need to be dealt with using the most extreme punishment necessary. King Creon represents the governments of today that feel that any threat to their tenure is worse than all other crimes. The governments are quick to punish people that go against their will, without necessarily considering the cause of certain behaviors. From the punishment set by King Creon, leaving the body of Polyneices to decay without being buried could result to health risks for the whole community. Without considering this, the King views it as the most appropriate punishment for a traitor and a man challenging the throne. It is only after the King is informed of the punishment that the gods have accorded him for making the wrong decisions that the King decides to re-track his decision. At that point, it is already too late and the damage is already done as Antigone results to suicide which in turn causes the King to lose his son and wife.
Antigone’s heroic qualities
Antigone strongly believes that regardless of the intensity of the crime committed by Polyneices, he deserves to be buried decently like all other people. She exhibits a high level of courage when she decides to act upon her beliefs and courageously goes to bury her brother...
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