Moral and Political Law in Sophocles' Antigone

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Moral and Political Law in Sophocles' Antigone

In Sophocles' play Antigone, the tragedy is brought by the conflict

between the moral laws and manmade political laws. Neither Kreon nor

Antigone is clearly "right" or "wrong". In other words they are both

"right" and "wrong". The moral laws are essential to keep faith in

one's heart and have strength in oneself. Political laws help

determine what is just and unjust to prevent the chaos that might

occur if everyone did what they think is right. Kreon and Antigone

exhibit both their negative and positive qualities throughout the


Antigone is a strong, courageous character and she has no fear towards

death. She believes that the burial of Eteokles must take place

because she loves her brother, and family royalty is very important to

her. For example she says:

"I love my brother and I'm going to bury him, now." -Pg.24 lines 100-1

Antigone's motivation towards her brother causes her to take her

actions. She considers that one's family love is the factor that must

be valued over every thing else. Antigone is also extremely

determined, and is not easily convinced by other people. At first

Antigone asks her sister, Ismene to join her in the burying but after

Ismene refuses to take part in the action, she immediately makes her

mind to carry out the burying on her own. Even her one and only

sister's pleas does not convince her. Antigone's one other reason for

carrying out the burial is her respect towards the gods. She believes

that the gods requires the burial for the dead and they would not be

pleased by the fact that a dead body was left in the public, unburied.

If a body i...

... middle of paper ...

...would discriminate

and execute people just because of their color, religion, or ethnic

group. They made their judgments according to how they felt about the

certain groups of people and not according to how the people behaved.

This meant that you have to have strength in your belief, and to go

against the ridiculous laws. But many common people followed the laws

that were passed out because of the fear of being punished. In

Antigone, Ismene plays the part of the common men, not being able to

be determined which law she would follow, the political or the moral.

On the other hand, Kreon and Antigone were determined on which law to

follow, and they played their role as the representative of the

political and the moral law. I think that they are both right because

they did what they thought was good for their own position.
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