Nonconformity In Sophocles’ Antigone And Dr.martin Luther King’s Work

Nonconformity is discussed in both Antigone by Sophocles and Dr.Martin Luther King’s sermon Transformed Nonconformist. In the play Antigone, Antigone wants to break Creon’s law to bury Polyneices. She says that it is not a crime because it is God’s proclamation. In “Transformed Nonconformist,” Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the issues of people conforming to this world instead of being different. Antigone by Sophocles and “Transformed Nonconformist” by MLK are similar because they both share the theme of doing what is right even if everyone else disagrees.

To begin, Antigone and “Transformed Nonconformist” are similar because they both discuss the importance of standing firm to God’s word. In scene two of Antigone, she says “I dared. It was not God’s proclamation. That final justice that rules the world below makes no such laws” (Sophocles 57). This shows how Antigone follows what God says. She wants to honor her brother. Even though this goes against the laws of Creon, she is still following the laws of the Gods. Likewise, Martin Luther King Jr. reminds people of God’s word in Romans 12:2. Romans 12:2 reads, “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” King also suggest, “We are called to be people of conviction, not conformity of moral nobility, not social respectability.” King is trying to encourage us to be world changers and people of conviction. This is important to the general message that both Antigone and Martin Luther King try to portray.

Moreover, Antigone and “Transformed Nonconformist” are similar because they both convince people to be nonconformist through the use of pathos. In the prologue Antigone states, “You may do as you like, since apparently the laws of the gods mean nothing to you” (Sophocles 58). Antigone is trying to persuade Ismene to join her in burying Polyneices. She is appealing to Ismene’s emotions by making Ismene feel bad for not thinking more highly of the laws of the Gods. This is also demonstrated in “Transformed Nonconformist” when Martin Luther King Jr. says, “ Will we continue to march to the drumbeat of conformity and respectability, or will we, listening to the beat of a more distant drum, move to its echoing sounds? Will we march only to music of time, or will we, risking criticism and abuse, march to the soulsaving music of eternity?” Dr.King is using this to make the audience feel a concerned. He wants them to feel and understand why it is so important for them to be nonconformist. He tries to make them think about the choices that they are making and persuade them to take a stand against the ways of the world. This supports his general message of standing up for what is right.

Although Antigone and “Transformed Nonconformist” are both similar, they both show the importance of being a non-confomist through different situations. In the play Antigone, Antigone is faced with the issue of burying her brother Polyneices. She wants her sister Ismene to join her but Ismene isn’t confident in breaking Creon’s law. Antigone is pushing Ismene beyond her comfort zone to be a nonconformist. Antigone says, “And now you can prove what are you: a true sister, or a traitor to your family” (Sophocles 25). However, in “Transformed Nonconformist” Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. is faced with the issue of the worlds molded society and segregation problems. He states, “I confess that I never intend to become adjusted to the evils of segregation.” King uses this to show that you shouldn’t change your beliefs to adjust to what everyone else believes is true and right.

Although Antigone and “Transformed Nonconformist” discuss two totally different situations, they share a common theme of doing what is right even if everyone else disagrees. Everyone is taught that you should follow what the government, society, and even your elders say, but it is important for us to have our own opinions. Sometimes we should need to fight against the urge to conform to this world. It is time for us to take a stand against the ways of this world and be world changers. 

16 December 2021
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