Sara Ortiz Mr. Johanson Honors English 10th 29 October 2013 Antigone Essay: Ode to Man Since the beginning man has always been an admirable creation that dominates and controlled almost all of the earth. Man is exalted everywhere because of his capacity to guide entire cities and to follow the rules of the gods to bring honor to him and his city. But fate plays a misfortunate trick on man: death. The only thing that is a man cannot control is death, because, although men are great, death can overcome their greatness. So, men should be careful with their power because it can either destroy hem or glorify them.
In the book Antigone, written by Sophocles, there is an Ode to Man that exemplifies all the greatness and power that a man has but not even his power can overcome death. In the Ode to Man the main point is that man is the earth’s biggest wonder but that he has to follow earthly rules and the rules of the gods to bring honor and glory to his city. The three main points that Sophocles makes with this ode are that man is the greatest wonder in all the earth that not even his power can defeat death, and the decisions that man makes will control his fate. The Ode to man states that men is the greatest creation on earth.
The chorus says, “Numberless are the world’s wonders, but none more wonderful than man” (Sophocles 332). Also O’Brien writes, “Humanity’s awesome, violent capacity to overcome its natural enemies the sea, the earth, and the animal kingdom, forms the subject of the first strophe and antistrophe” (O’ Brien 46). Also, throughout the ode, Sophocles explains that there are many strong and admirable animals that are free and wild but that man has the capacity of taming them and making them work for his wn benefit. What Sophocles wanted to say in this ode was that nothing can compare to man’s abilities and power except one thing.
Like any other mortal being, man has to face death eventually, and that is something not even his greatness can defeat. Like Sophocles wrote “He has made himself secure–from all but one: In the late wind of death he cannot stand” (Sophocles 322). It basically says that man can be invincible expect when it comes to dying because, although he can control almost anything he has no control over his destiny or death. CY Brien also says, “The images shift from those of external control to ones expressive of man ‘s self-control, his capacity to create a polis, to overcome all obstacles except death. (O ‘ Brien 46) But there is another thing that is uncertain about man and it is his fate. The fate of a man is believed to be controlled by two aspects: the gods and his decisions. When Sophocles says, “O fate of man, working both good and evil! ” he is saying that the gods can either favor or punish a man with no particular reason (Sophocles 322). Then, Sophocles explains how a man must keep the laws to make his city proud, that is his decisions that can determine his city’s future.
O’ Brien mentions in her book that tion to the Justice of the then he will be hypsipolis, high in the city’ (O’Brien 46). What Sophocles is trying to show here is that although the gods control most a man ‘s fate he can also mold it by obeying the laws and honoring the gods. In the Ode to Man, in Antigone, the main point is that man is the earth’s biggest wonder but that he has to follow the earthly rules and the rules of the gods to bring onor and glory to his city although his ultimate destiny will always be death.
By analyzing the text and looking at three main points which were that man is the greatest creation and that is dominates everything, that although man has great power he cannot control death, and that the decisions that a man makes will control his fate it has been proven the theme of Antigone. In conclusion mankind is the greatest wonder, but its power does not control every, for example: death, although his actions can improve his fate. word count: 713