Opposing Ideas In Play Antigone By Sophocles Sample Assignment

Antigone by Sophocles describes the aftermath of a war in which two brothers, Polyneices and Eteocles, murder each other. The author centers the main conflict on individual conscience and the obligations to the state. The play depicts the clash between human and divine law in which Antigone and Creon deny the essential elements of justice equally. Creon is a dictator who firmly believes in the duty towards the state over family and religion. However, Antigone’s motivation is primarily rooted in family and faith. Sophocles depicts the struggle between Antigone’s strong will against fate, observed in her decisiveness and courage. In that way, the play strikes a balance between law and justice, where both Antigone and Creon are unrelenting in their defiance against state power and religious laws. Sophocles accurately constructs the characters in the play portraying their ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind simultaneously. This characteristic is mostly observed in Antigone and Creon, although Ismene, the Chorus, and Haimon show their ability to hold opposing views while maintaining flexibility in their actions.

The characters in the play acknowledge the uncertainty of beliefs, also known as negative capability. This concept allows individuals to explore opposing ideas and to embrace flexibility in their actions. Sophocles depicts each character differently, creating a conflict of perceptions regarding religion, women, and power. While Antigone holds a genuine dedication to family and religion, her sister Ismene completely ignores family obligations and remains indecisive. In essence, the play shows a significant contrast between Ismene’s actions and beliefs with those of Antigone and Creon. Antigone holds opposing ideas in her mind as she is torn between burying her brother and rebelling against the state. She understands the complexity of the issue and attempts to incite her sister to join her. She speaks boldly to Ismene, You be as you think best, but I shall bury him. To me it’s fine to die performing such a deed,” showing her loyalty to family as she is ready to sacrifice her life to honor her brother (Sophocles 71-72). However, Ismene contends that she cannot dishonor the state for the sake of the family. This indicates Antigone’s commitment to her ideals while her sister remains indecisive.

Ismene holds opposing thoughts in her mind about her sister’s course towards family and against the state. She refuses to join Antigone to bury their brother Polynices, saying that it is easier to be submissive to the rule of men as a woman. The conversation between the two sisters shows Ismene’s stand “Yes, bury my own brother-and yours too-if you’re not willing. I will not be caught in treachery. Audacious one! Against Creon’s express command?” (Sophocles 45-47). She has a slight inclination towards the obligation to family, in burying Polynices and standing with her sister. However, she entertains other thoughts of remaining loyal to the state to avoid defying Creon’s command. Later in the play, she regrets having not followed Antigone in her path after realizing that once Antigone is dead, she will have no family left. Besides, despite refusing to join her sister in burying Polynices, Ismene is quick to admit that she took part in the burial when Creon asks. Having opposing ideas in her mind makes Ismene indecisive as she shifts from one belief to another. Although she claims she wants to follow Antigone in death, she fails to commit suicide due to her weak strength.

As the ruler of Thebes, Creon bears the responsibility of making difficult decisions on behalf of the citizens. When Eteocles and Polyneices kill each other in the battle for the throne, he decides that Polyneices’ body be left unburied for scavengers to eat while his brother is offered a proper burial. This decision is contentious as Polyneices was the rightful heir of the throne because he was the eldest and had their father’s blessing for the throne. When Antigone proceeds to bury her brother Polyneices, she is buried alive as punishment. In the play, Creon also chooses to punish Polyneices for treason when he should have handed his power to him and accorded him the throne. On the other hand, he rushes to save his family when his political decisions threaten to rob him of his family. In the end, however, he is too late and he loses his wife, his son, and his niece in pursuit of power and pride. He tells his son, “Am I to rule this land at someone else’s whim? By law is not a city his who holds the power?” (Sophocles 736-738). He does not take civil disobedience easily, but his arrogance and total commitment to political law is his downfall.

On the other hand, Antigone, daughter of Oedipus and sister to Eteocles and Polyneices goes against the king’s orders, despite knowing that she would be punished for her actions (Sophocles 443-464). She attempts to give her brother a proper burial, which contravenes the land’s political law. As a reflection of her rebelliousness, her name means “the one with an opposing opinion” in Greek. She does not care about the charges against her brother Polyneices, and she risks her life to honor him posthumously. Additionally, she is the one who stays with her father Oedipus after he was banished from Thebes for his crimes of patricide and incest. While she acknowledges that her actions will attract punishment, she goes ahead to do what is right in her opinion. Finally, she also goes against natural law when she takes her own life because of the frustration of Creon’s disregard of the gods’ wishes (Sophocles 443-464). This reflects her inability to function when she is conflicted in her decisions.

For his part, Haimon implores his father to spare his betrothed, Antigone, despite knowing well that she committed civil disobedience. He is blinded by love and asks his father to forgive her transgression against the law. He does not understand why his father is pursuing power instead of listening to the gods. In his conversation with his father Creon shows his feelings “Haimon: Yes, since in justice I can see that you are wrong. Creon: So I am wrong to show due reverence for my rule? Haimon: Irreverence, trampling on the honors of the gods” (Sophocles 743-45). When his father refuses to reconsider his punishment for his fiancée, he runs away and goes ahead to commit suicide next to her. He also shows that he cannot make difficult decisions, especially when a loved one is involved. He risks encouraging civil disobedience, as long as he gets to spend the rest of his life with Antigone.

Other characters who have a moral dilemma and have to rely on their intelligence to make the right decision are the members of the Chorus of Theban elders. At first, they fully support Creon’s decision to punish Polyneices. They do not doubt that the political law of the land has to be upheld, and the crime of treason has to be deterred at all costs. However, at the back of their minds, they acknowledge that natural law is superior to political law. They promptly remind the king that the prophet’s warnings will come to pass because they know that the gods will avenge Antigone’s and Polyneices’ punishments. They tell the king, “As quickly as you can, my lord. The gods’ avenging Harms, swift-footed, cut down those with evil thoughts” (Sophocles 1103-04). Additionally, they rejoice when the two brothers kill each other and claim that the gods punished their arrogance and later supported the king’s decisions over the gods’ wishes. This council of elders continually grapples with choosing between natural law and political law throughout the play.

To sum up, one of the motifs in the play Antigone by Sophocles is the conflicting nature of natural and political law. As demonstrated throughout the play, many characters continually choose between what is right and wrong, often agreeing with contrasting ideas. Usually, they risk or sacrifice their lives and as they stand for what they believe to be right. The willingness to do so shows that indecision and moral dilemma are the prevalent themes in the play. The characters rely on their intelligence to make decisions when they hold conflicting ideas in their minds at the same time.

Work Cited

Sophocles. Antigone. Translated by Ruby Blondell, Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2012.

Medical Assistant’s Actions In Challenging Situations

Difficult patient encounters

Despite the fact that difficult patients do not occur so often in practice, medical staff should be prepared for their appearance. A difficult patient is one who causes unpleasant feelings in the doctor, which can become an obstacle on the way of treatment – anger, fear, guilt, and other similar emotions. The reasons for complex relationships may be manipulation by the patients, their anger and closeness, the fuzziness of complaints, or exaggerated anxiety. On the part of a medical assistant, the situation can be complicated by professional burnout, fatigue, and lack of sleep.

In such a situation, the medical assistant must, first of all, behave professionally and comply with the rules of the hospital or office. Second, it must be remembered that the majority of difficult patients do not act in a harmful way deliberately but have psychological problems or severe pain due to illness. Awareness of this fact will help arouse sympathy and recall the medical staff’s obligation to help patients and maintain therapy. However, there are exceptions including the relations with the patient, which may not improve, and a subsequent need to transfer him or her to another specialist. One more exceptional situation when the assistant is almost powerless in helping difficult patients is in case of the danger they may carry. The threat possibility signals the need for the mandatory presence of a second representative of the personnel, and in extreme situations – the need to call the security or police.

Educating patients to follow the doctor’s instructions

The medical assistant makes a significant contribution to working with the patient by conducting some educational conversations. First of all, the treated person’s education involves an actual description of what he or she needs to do and why. Second, a sensory description of possible sensations, such as pain or dizziness after the procedure, is required to prevent anxiety. Third, it is vital to make sure that the patient understood everything that was explained. Involving patients in the treatment process is vital as it helps to reduce their anxiety, as well as to understand the situation and follow the instructions more strictly.

The education of the patient also requires the availability of certain instructional materials. At the first visit, the assistant should familiarize the person with the hospital or office rules and the information sheet can help. The materials may also include data on the patient’s problem in both print and electronic forms, such as drawings or videos of necessary exercises. Following the doctor’s direction, the clinical assistant can give information about a healthy lifestyle, getting rid of bad habits, or preventing diseases. The main task of all the mentioned educational measures is the patient’s understanding of the importance of following the doctor’s instructions.

Educating staff members about patient privacy and confidentiality

Patients’ privacy is an integral part of their relationship with medical personnel. Health information records allow doctors of various specializations to select essential factors affecting the overall person’s condition and track a patient’s history. Privacy is protected by the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), and under this law, no one except the patients and doctors working with them can see personal data. Each office and hospital should take the necessary measures to protect the patient’s confidentiality to prevent unpleasant situations, fines, and other possible consequences.

A medical assistant can play an essential role in keeping patient data private. First, the task is to inform all staff of this need. This can be achieved by providing them with information about the law and its importance, and the possible consequences of non-compliance. The assistant can provide training materials on these aspects to all staff conducting training on an annual basis. Second, the assistant needs to ensure that appropriate guidelines and procedures to preserve privacy are present in the hospital or office rules. If the department has started to operate recently, it is necessary to create them. Third, it is essential to recall the procedures for keeping data private, for example, by the regular change of password, which allows access to them. Compliance with rules and procedures will create the basis for trusting relationships with patients.

Opening and closing the office (safety concerns)

There is usually equipment, money, computers, and other important things in the medical office. With the neglect of safety measures, an accident or robbery can occur. For these reasons, a crucial part of the medical assistant’s routine work is opening and closing the office. To prevent thefts, staff needs to take care of the presence of alarms. Then the day will begin and end with its turn on-off and check. Nevertheless, these actions will protect the office from a possible robbery.

Another aspect that requires the constant attention of the assistant is fire safety. The office must meet all requirements, and the staff is aware of the necessary actions in case of danger. When opening the office, the assistant checks and turns on the equipment required for work ensuring all cords and sockets are in the correct state. Closing the office also requires some special safety review procedures. Electrical devices for which there is no need for constant operation should be turned off and checked for the absence of damage. After that, the assistant inspects whether the windows and the necessary locks are closed and turns off the light. The working day ends with the closing of the office doors. While such measures take time, their enforcement can prevent significant losses.

The Molecular Cause Of Cystic Fibrosis


Cystic fibrosis, a chronic disease that develops gradually is a disease that would cause one to have a reduced life expectancy. This is a disease that affects some systems in the body specifically the digestive, reproductive, and the respiratory affecting young adults as well as children. This may also affect the sweat glands. This is the disease that this paper would look into. What is really cystic fibrosis and what are the causes of the said disease.

The paper will discuss the molecular cause of the disease that affects 1 in every 3,300 Americans and is a common disease among the Caucasians. This is a disease that would cause shortening of one’s life span into 30 years the most (Stafferton, 2007). The research would look deeper into what the disease is, how an individual is prone to having it and the other causes that might contribute to the disease. This information would help us better understand what the disease is all about.


Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a disease that can be inherited. This is a disease that affects the ion transport of the epithelial cell that in turn affects the systems in the body. This can also cause a progressive disease of the lungs and insufficiency in the pancreas’ exocrine function during the childhood stage. Little is known about the disease until this was given attention to. In 1989, the gene that is responsible for the said disease was successfully cloned by Tsui and his colleagues (Shalon and Adelson, 1996).

In the data that was collected by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, they found out that the disease affected 20,000 Europeans, 30,000 Americans and 300 Canadians. Although this disease affects all people of any race or ethnic group, this is more common among the whites which have their roots traced back in Northern Europe. This is the disease that affects around 2500 babies in the United States alone every year and there is 1 in every 20 Americans are unaffected carriers of the said disease (Tait, 2001).

Cystic Fibrosis, autosomal recessive disorder, is caused by the mutations inf the CFTR gene (or the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator). This is an inherited disease that if a person has one copy of the altered gene, they are asymptomatic but are carriers of the said disorder. This is a disorder that will appear only when two altered genes are present in a person (Tait, 2001).

This is a disorder that affects people in different ways with different manifestations as this disease affects many organs in the body. It may affect the sweat glands, the respiratory system and the digestive system to mention a few. Thus the signs and symptoms of the disease may vary from one person to another.

With this paper we will be looking deeply into the molecular cause of cystic fibrosis to have a better understanding of the disease. This paper will discuss what the disease is, the incidence, and the gene that is involved in the disorder and its normal function. The paper will also discuss how the gene causes cystic fibrosis.

What is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is a disease that is a heterogeneous genetic type. This is a genetic disorder that is believed to be caused by the mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator or the CFTR gene. There are two types if the said disease one being the classic cystic fibrosis and the other one being the nonclassic cystic fibrosis. The classic CF is the one that does not contain any CFTR functional protein. This is the disease is characterized by chronic bacterial infection that occurs in the airways and in the sinuses. This can also cause fat maldigestion because of the insufficiency on the exocrine function of the pancreas.

This also causes infertility because of the obstructive azoospermia. The person may also have increased concentrations of chloride in the sweat. The nonclassic cystic fibrosis on the other hand has one copy of the mutant gene that gives the person a better chance of survival because there are still functional CFTR genes. The person having this type of cystic fibrosis may not have overt signs of the said disease. A part of the pancreatic exocrine function is preserved, the sweat chloride is lower compared to the classic CF (Knowles, Michael and Durie, 2002).

This disorder causes thick mucus production of the body that may lead to conditions such as pneumonia, infertility or even diarrhea and poor growth. This is a fatal disease that can even take a child’s life. This is a disease that shortens a person’s life to 30 years until better treatments are found (lenetix.com, 2007).

Incidence of Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a disorder common to the white people which is considered to be a fatal autosomal recessive childhood disorder. In the Untied States alone this disorder affects 1 in every 1900-3700 live births (Report of a joint meeting of WHO/ECFTN/ICF(M)A/ECFS, 2002). In Europe this is a disease that is well documented affecting 1 in 2000-3000 live births. In North America 1 in every 3500 is affected by the said disorder (Shalon and Adelson, 1996).

In Cuba and in Mexico, the incidence of cystic fibrosis may range from 1 in every 3900 up to 1 in every 8500 neonates born (Report of a joint meeting of WHO/ECFTN/ICF(M)A/ECFS, 2002). Although the disease affects all races and ethnic groups, this is a disorder that is more common among the whites thus there is a low incidence of the said disorder in the African countries. This disorder may have the incidence of 1 in every 17,000 in the black population that are residing in the United States (Shalon and Adelson, 1996).

This is the disorder however may occur in non white people and should be considered when diagnosing the non white when they are showing signs of the said disease. Careful diagnosis should be done to people showing signs of pancreatic insufficiency or those with chronic lung disease or having both of the manifestations.

What is the CFTR gene?

The CFTR gene or the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, ATP binding cassette is a human gene that gives out instructions for the reproduction of the protein called the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator. The function of this protein across the cell membrane is to act as an ion channel. These are the channels that are found in the tissues responsible for the production of mucus, tears, sweat, saliva or even digestive enzymes. Chloride is one of the components that are transmitted through this channel which is a response to certain cellular signals.

This is a movement that would help control water movement in the tissues and would help maintain the fluidity of the secretions such as mucus. Under normal conditions, this is the function that would ensure that the organs like the lungs and the pancreas would function properly. This would help lubricate and protect the linings of the airways and the systems of the body such as the reproductive and the digestive systems including other organs and tissues (Genetics home Reference 2008).

Cystic Fibrosis as a Result of the CFTR Gene Mutation

It has been found that there are more than a thousand mutations were identified in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator genes in people diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Mostly mutations found are changes in the single protein amino acids in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator protein or it could be a deletion of a small amount of DNA from the said gene. The most common mutation that was discovered is the deletion of one of the amino acids at position 508 in the identified protein, a mutation called delta F508. This would result to abnormal breaks in the channels that in turn causes malfunction in the transport of chloride ions.

The mutations that occur in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator genes would also cause alterations in the production, the structure and the stability of channel that is called the chloride channel that would prevent this channel to function properly and would in turn affect the functioning of the organs like the pancreas, lungs, and some tissues. With the presence of the abnormal mucus that would obstruct the airways and the glands then leads to the signs and symptoms of Cystic fibrosis (Genetics home Reference 2008).

Molecular Causes of Cystic Fibrosis

A single locus on the 7th chromosome of humans constitutes the cystic fibrosis gene. It has an mRNA encoded around 6kb long and is 168 kD in weight, is responsible for encoding for a membrane-associated glycoprotein. The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator proteins has 5 domains which are the two nuclloetide binding folds, this is responsible for binding ATP which are the NBF1 and the NBF2. Another domains are the two hydropjobic trnsmembrane domains (TMD and the TMD2) and the regulatory domain (Baralle, 2009).

In normal circumstances the 27 exons are found in the mature mRNA, however, the mutations that affects the cystic fibrosis process in splicing affects was known associated in the occurrence of the disease. The cystic fibrosis disease has been associated with the production of the CFTR protein that followed after the loss of the exon 9 in the coding of the mRNA that is caused by the aberrant alternative splicing. Thus studies has been done to explain what might cause the splicing process and an element TG(m)T(n) has been identified which is a polymorphic element. Another polymorphic locus that is based on (TG)m repeats localized in the (T)n tract was found to influence the efficiency of the exon 9 and thus causing the disease (Baralle, 2009).

The mutations found in the CFTR genes causes’ cystic fibrosis. This is a mutation that is located at the log arm of the chromosome 7 that is located at the position of 7q31. This is where the cyclic AMP regulated chloride channel protein of the 1480 amino acids is encoded. The most common mutation found is called the AF508 which is a deletion of the 3 nucleotide base-pair. This mutation causes a missing a phenylalanine at position 508 in the sequence of the amino acids. This is a common mutation that has been found in 70% of the North American cystic fibrosis genes that has been studied. Another mutation known as the mutation W1282X occurs with a frequency of 60% (Shalon and Adelson, 1996).

For over years, mutation has been the identified cause of cystic fibrosis and it was thought that the CFTR gene causes the mutant CFTR proteins to be degraded prematurely thus preventing to reach the surface of the epithelial cells found in the lungs where these proteins are needed. In studies, it was shown that that the CFTR protein was really being degraded in the cells of the before reaching the surface that was found in most CF patients.

However in a recent study done by Balch along with his colleagues, the results showed that the degradation is an effect and not the cause of the problem. In the kids with CF according to Balch, the CFTR protein gets stuck in the endoplasmic reticulum of the cell where the synthesis of proteins like the CFTR and other important functions of the cell takes place. The mutation of the AF508 that is found to 90% of CF alleles that causes the appearance of the signs and symptoms. This mutation, according to Balch, is not the primary cause of the premature degradation but this rather causes the CFTR protein to be stuck in the cell’s endoplasmic reticulum. This is because for the said protein to be out of the endoplasmic reticulum of the cell, the CFTR protein must first engage in a protein complex that is called as coat complex II of the COPII.

This is a component that is responsible for the recognition of the synthesis of the CFTR is done and grabbing it to be placed in the transport vehicle then sending it on its way to the surface of the cell. However, the mutation AF508 loses the CFTR’s “exit code”, the one needed for the COPII to recognize it, thus it fails to engage in the COPII and fails to exit the ER. As the CFTR protein stays in the endoplasmic reticulum and with the endoplasmic reticulum conducting a routine housecleaning, the CFTR now is degraded. Thus the cystic fibrosis can be caused by the failure of the CFTR protein to exit the endoplasmic reticulum because of the missing phenylalanine residue caused by the AF508 mutation (Bardi, 2005).

Who gets the Disease?

As cystc fibrosis is an autosomal recessive disorder, this would need two copies of the CFTR gene for the signs and symptoms of the disease to show. If a person ahs one copy of the said CFTR gene, the person would then be a carrier of the disorder and would show no manifestations of the said disease. If two people who are both carriers of the said disease, their offspring would have two copies of the said disease and would then show the phenotype of he said disorder.

However, people who have the disease would have varied manifestations because the disorder is not only caused by the genes that they have but us also influenced by the environmental factors that they are in. The fact that cystic fibrosis has more than 900 mutations known; this may also cause the varied phenotypes of the cystic fibrosis disorder. Some may even show little or no effect at all to the CFTR function alteration. In a case of a CF patient in Netherlands, CF patients who have one copy of the delta F508 deletion paired with one A455E mutation has a milder pulmonary manifestation compared to the patients who have the homozygous delta F508 (Gene Gateway, 2003).

The different mutations found in cystic fibrosis present different phenotype that would make it harder for scientists to determine a certain cure for the said disorder. Thus further tests are done to people who are diagnosed with cystic fibrosis are done to determine the type of mutation that they have.


Cystic fibrosis is a disease that is caused indirectly by the mutation of the CFTR genes. This is a disease that can be acquired by a person from parents who both have the recessive genes. And since this is a disorder that is identified as an autosomal recessive genetic one, this would need two pairs of the said gene for the person to show its signs and symptoms.

This is a disease that affects the multiple organs of the body that causes serious illness shortening the lifespan of an individual that to 30 years and often cause death among children. However, there are 900 different mutations known to cause the said disease, there are also different manifestations that are caused by the said difference. Some may have milder signs and symptoms of the said disease while others cause a serious illness that would need intensive care of the patient.

Whatever the manifestations of the cystic fibrosis, this is caused by alterations in the structure and the function of the CFTR genes. This would cause the manifestations of the disease thus causing the disorder to become fatal. The disease may be caused by a small part of the cell, but it creates a fatal result affecting major systems in the body.


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Baralle, Francisco (2009) Cystic Fibrosis, (online) Eurasnet. Web.

Gene gateway – Exploring Genes and Genetic Disorder (2003) CFTR: The Gene Associated with Cystic Fibrosis. Web.

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