Civil Disobedience/Antigone Quote Analysis

“they [natural laws] are not merely now; … operative forever, beyond man utterly” (208) Spoken by Antigone. Natural laws, unlike State laws, are special codes of behaviors that have governed man’s behavior since the beginning of time. They are applicable to present dilemmas, and would continue to directly/indirectly influence human decisions. Natural Law must come before State Law.
“words are not friends” (212) Spoken by Antigone. Words mean nothing without action, since many can and have idly stood by and watched while injustice took place. Actions make changes.
“I should have praise and honor for what I have done” (210) Spoken by Antigone. This statement depicts her strong belief in upholding Natural Law over State Law. From her point of view, she deserves ‘praise and honor’ for going against State Law (Creon’s decree) and burying her brother, Polyneices, which was the ‘right and moral’ thing to do.
“both [sides] speak well” (220) Spoken by Choragos. Haimon had presented his case to his father: to prevent anarchy and support the strength and unity of the state (Thebes), State Law had to be upheld. However, disregarding Natural Law would be a fatal mistake for King Creon, because Natural Law was not only the moral standard of human character and ethics, but also divine law (law of the gods).
“she should have all the honor we can give her” (219) Spoken by Haimon. Unlike his father, he had the ability to see and listen to what others said (218). He listened to what others said and is trying to show his father the importance of Natural Law.
“I have heard them muttering and whispering in the dark about his girl” (218) Spoken by Haimon. Haimon is telling his father that people “whisper in the dark” behind Creon’s back because they do not wish to incur his wrath.
“there are other men who can reason too” (218) Spoken by Haimon. Haimon is trying to get his father to listen to other ideas and be open-minded, because a democracy cannot survive on the decisions of one leader.
“do not believe that you [Creon] alone can be right” (219) Spoken by Haimon. Haimon is trying to warn his father that having excessive pride (hubris) would blind him [Creon] to the reality around him (Creon is believes that he holds a special elevated status in rank and intelligence).
“stand up and give us your seats; why don’t you all make it light on yourselves and give up these seats?” Spoken by Montgomery Bus Driver. It is easier to submit to injustice than to actively be disobedient. It was easier for those who were favored by the law to ignore those being trampled by the law. However, in this situation, when the oppressed actively participated in civil disobedience, the situation forced the whites (in this case) to see a glimpse of the truth of the injustice in segregation.
“Why do you push us around?” -Rosa Parks”I do not know, but the law is the law” – Policeman Dialogue between Rosa Parks and Policeman. King had quoted Saint Augustine “an unjust law is no law at all.” However, like many around him, the policeman refused to face the truth of the law; it was unjust: unfair and lacking in a sense of equality.
“injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (Pg. 334, line 21) Spoken by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. You cannot ignore injustice even if it isn’t near you, because as King said in the Unwise and Untimely letter, ‘we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.’ (pg. 334)
“this wait has almost always meant ‘never'” (Pg. 335, line 39) Spoken by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. People’s way of postponing change.
“any law that degrades human personality is unjust” (Pg. 337, Lines 3) Spoken by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. His definition of a ‘unjust/wrong’ law. Laws that degrade the human personality automatically goes against Natural Law.
“justice too long delayed is justice denied” (Pg. 335, Line 43) Spoken by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. Justice is never delayed, only denied.
“one who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly” (Pg. 337, Line 29) Spoken by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. This is reply to the ‘white mother’s rants’ against the civil rights movement and their acts of civil disobedience. King is trying to say that it if one participates in civil disobedience, they must do it with kindness and peace, not with hatred or violence.
“if gov’t requires you to be an agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law” Spoken by Henry David Thoreau. It is better to uphold the law of moral and ethical goodwill rather than follow the injustice of laws formed by men.
“if a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer…” Spoken by Henry David Thoreau. It is alright to not always agree with your fellows; many people have their own point-of-view on things because of their past experiences and beliefs.
“when the laws are kept how proudly the city stands” Spoken by Chorus, relating to government. State Law has the ability to unite and empower a nation by controlling the people’s behaviors, and therefore maintaining order through conformity.

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