CEdwards BP_10 Sacrifices

Many times non-fictional and fictional heroes of all kinds identify sacrifice as an essential component of accomplishing great deeds. Melba Pattillo Beals sacrificed her security and her easy going high school years in order to integrate Central High in Little Rock. Sir Gawain saw fit for him to essentially sacrifice his life in pursue of the Green Knight for he was certain of his demise on his journey. Sacrifice is also evident in the journey of Antigone, who sacrifices her own life for what is right, and can be analogized to the sacrifice of Daniel in the Bible.

Antigone, daughter of Oedipus, lost both of her brothers on the same day in battle. Creon, the king, forbid the proper burial of anyone who attacked the city but rather be left where he was killed. One received a proper burial; while the other left in the wilderness to rot and be eaten by the birds. Antigone wanted to offer her brother the proper burial that not only he deserved but that was lawfully his. Antigone did what she believed was right, although it required her to go against the law instituted by Creon. She believed that no man should be able to institute a law that goes against those of the gods. In doing what she believed was right, she understood that death was the consequence. This same respect for the gods and refusal to follow laws that go against them is seen in the Biblical story of Daniel.

King Nebuchadnezzar erected various statues and wooden idols throughout his land. He commanded the inhabitants of his land to bow down and worship the man-made idols and not God. Daniel chose to break the laws instituted by the king because they were in direct violation of the God he served. Daniel continued to pray to God loudly and unashamedly and did not care who saw him. In doing so, he, like Antigone, knew he would be punished but he chose offer his life for sacrifice for what he believed in and valued. Both heroes agreed that laying down their life was of more value to them than adhering to laws. Essentially, they embodied Dr. King’s quote “An unjust law is no law at all.”

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