The way that our lives have been established, we have right and wrong, good and bad, and as we get older, these black and white lines get smudged in. Not because it is allowed all the time, but because us children, teens and adults begin to question it. Everyone has a little rebellion in themselves. It is shown in Antigone and just society all around us. But I honestly wonder if just because someone is older, declared an authority, does that mean that we should automatically listen or respect them?
Society, in this world, has order, class and a very adaptive generation. There are repeating factors in destructive and successful countries. There are always the latest currencies, a governmental system and different things that everyone either follows or decides not to that makes most of our cultures up. I realize that respect is wanted by most, me included, but do any of us really deserve it? I get that a lot of people want respect, desire it even, but it isn’t always reciprocated. I honestly can say that I don’t give my little siblings near enough respect all the time, and my friends do the same with their families. I haven’t heard of any family that is completely happy, that is completely getting along. It’s not always because it is a bad family, but because respect isn’t a reoccurring thing. But even if it isn’t reoccurring, is it because the disrespected have been disrespectful to someone else? Is it justified when he started it first? Or is it some bad circle, a thing that won’t stop, or really can’t stop until someone admits that they are wrong. It is a required aspect of life, or a demanded one that isn’t always followed? I’m not really sure at the moment, but maybe tying everything into the play Antigone could help.
Antigone, translated by Paul Woodruff and originated by Sophocles, it is an interesting Greek tragedy that causes controversy and questions in the end. Antigone is a strong willed, independent young woman who endures not only the death of her two brothers, but the ruling against one of them, [AV1] while the other is sanctified. She was determined from the start to bury Polyneices, saying
Go on and be the way you choose to be. I/ will bury him. I will have a noble death/ and lie with him, a dear sister with a dear brother./ Call it a crime of reverence, but I must be good to those/ who are below. I will be there longer than with you./ That’s where I will lie. You, keep to your choice:/ Go on insulting what the gods hold dear. [71-77]
Antigone essentially defied Creon, deciding that he was selfish and cruel. And he was very rude and disrespectful. But he felt that only the leaders should be respected; those who were below you were there for a reason. So when Haemon and Antigone both have their turns at trying to fight him, he cut them off without hearing a word. The chorus on the other hand, were very understanding. They understood that everyone had a voice, and that Creon would be smart to listen. If Creon had listened to both his son and future daughter in law, he would’ve still had a family. Because his whole family, both those who would’ve been so and those presently, killed themselves by stabbing or hanging themselves. It really was only because Creon wasn’t ready to be a ruler or to return some respect[AV2] . And if that isn’t a slap in the face, I really don’t know what is.
But the Creon in my life would have to be my father. In every teenager’s life, there is always one person that just bugs them. Usually an adult, they could be the pushy parent, the annoying aunt, or whatever else there could be. My dad is that person that I quarrel with. Not because we are totally different, but because we are exactly the same personality wise. While I do have aspects of my mom, my dad pretty much rules my personality. And while that sounds like it could be good, all we do is clash. About “bed times”, waking up, computer, TV, phone, curfews, and pretty much all that I am interested in. No matter what, we end up yelling. First because he was mad at me, then because I apparently, “am not allowed to raise my voice back at my parents”. Whether it is because of frustration, being mad, or just being completely upset, I have to stay within a level vocal range. I even have to make sure to smile through my work at 9 in the morning when I was planning to sleep. The reason that he is my Creon is because he doesn’t give me nearly enough respect. He considers my opinions maybe suggestions that he doesn’t need to take. But really, if he listened, we could have a lot more of a peaceful home. Now I know that I am not perfect, but neither is he. I have asked earlier on, even though my dad is older, my authority, why does he get to order me around, delegate his work to me and my brother, when I feel he doesn’t deserve it. Sure he is a good father and all that junk, but he isn’t letting me or my brother enjoy our teen years with him. He has always seen more of my mother in me than himself. But he doesn’t listen, and he doesn’t give the rest of my immediate family near enough respect (with the exception of my 6 year old sister, aka his little princess). But that is truly beside the point. He doesn’t put other perspectives into mind. He is stubborn, strong willed, and he won’t change. He doesn’t listen to my immediate family, but somehow he listens to my cousins. They all apparently think he is cool, that he is funny and all this other stuff that I just miss. Maybe he’ll show me someday, but maybe by then I’ll be sick of him. Whatever the case, I still will have to respect and listen to him. That or I’ll have to become a really strong actress.
By looking at the lives represented, I really do realize that respect is necessary. While I don’t always agree with respecting every single person, I guess it is a necessary part of keeping life in order. I’m thinking that I always new that, but almost wish that there was more of it. I mean if everyone got enough respect, our lives would be so much better. So do we need to respect other people? No, but life would be a whole lot nicer if we did.
[AV2]The quote from Haemon/Creon argument pgs 31-34