The Only Crime Is Pride

“The only crime is pride” is a true statement. Multitudes of people take much pride in numerous things some being: their job, family, political views, hometowns even in their favorite sports team. In the play Antigone by Sophocles, the protagonist, Antigone, wants to give her brother Polynecies the same honorable burial given to her other brother Eteocles. Creon, The ruler of Thebes, makes it very obvious to all the citizens that they are not to attempt to bury his nephew or they will be stoned to death.
Antigone deliberately defies her uncle Creon to get her wish and receives punishment as she should for breaking the laws. Subsequent to the sentry bringing Antigone in for her illegal actions, Creon’s niece does not deny anything saying that she had to do it. The ruler of Thebes was appalled that she would ever commit such a crime. This discovery prompts the Choragos to say, “Like father, like daughter: both headstrong, deaf to reason! She has never learned to yield. ” Showing that pride clouds her judgment and directly goes against her uncle and his laws to give Polynecies the honorable burial he deserved.
Antigone knew that this crime was punishable by death but her pride would not let her oversee leaving her dead brother unburied like many of the other soldiers and open for the birds and dogs to eat. Oedipus’ daughter was so involved in doing the right thing that she to take her own life in the process. She says, “If I had left my brother lying in death unburied, I should have suffered. Now I do not. ” This further exemplifies that she cares more about the pride of her family rather than her own life.

Had Antigone obeyed the laws put in place by her uncle, she would not have been forced to die. Instead she could have gone on living a noble life in the city of Thebes. Creon’s pride effects many of the decisions that he makes as a ruler. His dignity makes all the decisions very biased, including in scene 3 when he is arguing with his son Haimon. His son tells him that, “In flood time you can see how some trees bend and because they bend, even their twigs are safe, while stubborn trees are town up roots, and all. He, is telling Creon if he insists with being so stubborn with sticking to what his pride tells him to do; he will corrupt himself and many other who are in his life. Although Creon’s son is much younger he is wiser than his father even if Creon would never admit it. The king of Thebes was told many times that since Antigone is his family that he should not punish his niece, another reason people tell him he should release her is that she is a female. Despite these reasons Creon says that he would look weak to the citizens of Thebes if a girl was able to get away with such a felony.
His level of self-esteem would also diminish if he had let Antigone get away with this illegal act. Haimon is not the only one who tells Creon he needs to change his way. The blind prophet Teiresias tells Creon, “Think: all men make mistakes, But a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, And repairs the evil: The only Crime is pride. ” Creon’s pride made Antigone’s punishment for doing what she believed was right much more severe than necessary. He had to follow through with his decree so he would not look weak in front of the people he governed.
Tragically, because of his pride, both Antigone and his own son, Haimon, died needlessly. Is one’s pride more important than human life? In society today pride corrupts people in every country and over every: gender, race, religion. Most crimes are committed because people take too much pride for things; and because of this take fierce actions. In Libya angered civilians took matters into their own hands after a movie was made mocking their god Mohammed. They were very proud of their religion and to see it mocked in a movie upset them.
Aggressors attacked and killed 4 Libyan ambassadors for the United States. Another example is the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup riot. It was a public disturbance that broke out in downtown Vancouver, British Colombia Canada on Wednesday, June 15, 2011. The riots happened immediately after the conclusion of the Boston Bruins’ win over the Vancouver Canucks in game seven of the Stanley Cup. The Vancouver fans were outraged since they had a lot of pride in their team. They were so upset that they stormed the streets flipping over cars, setting stores on fire, and vandalizing property.
The prideful fans minds were clouded and made rash decisions; not thinking about what they were doing and acting out of instinct. Harper Lee’s book To Kill a Mockingbird also exemplifies people making decisions with clouded minds. Once word gets out that Atticus will be representing Tom Robinson in court people begin to bully Jem and Scout. Since Jem is older he understands that he must not let his pride get in the way and keeps composure until finally he snaps, terrorizing Mrs.
Duboses’ garden ripping out all the flowers. Scout’s self-worth also clouds her mind, beating up many classmates that even thought to bring up that her dad was a bad man. “The only crime is pride. ” Accurately displays that pride makes humans act with clouded judgment making them do things they would not normally do; the same way Antigone and Creon acted throughout Sophocles play, Antigone, and the same way it effects millions of people in today’s world.

superadmin (28431)
New York University

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