Moral and Political Law in Sophocles' Antigone Essay

Moral and Political Law in Sophocles' Antigone Essay

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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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