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Antigone - Moral Law V.S Political Law.

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Introduction

Antigone -Moral Law V.S Political Law- 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 play. 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. ...read more.

Middle

Nations should belong to the citizens, not the king. This excessive pride of him blinds him the truth, and it is too late when he realizes his mistake. Kreon also disrespects the gods and holds hubris. When Teiresias the prophet foresaw the future, Kreon did not believe in him and called Teiresias as a "fortune teller". Teiresias is the messenger of the gods. This means that by offending Teiresias, he is also insulting the gods. He also says that he values his laws more than the god's laws. "No, not if the eagles rip him for food, not if they carry him to the throne of Zeus!"- Pg.61 line1202-3 He sees himself equal or more important than the gods. Kreon is strong-minded to keep his state safe and in ordered. He believes that the state and its laws must be valued over anything else. "And he who cherishes an individual beyond his homeland, he, I say, is nothing."Pg.28 line-222-3 A person who sees themselves and their moral laws more important is considered as "nothing" to Kreon because he is eager to keep the state controlled as a king. ...read more.

Conclusion

The conflicts between the two laws are still seen today. In theory, the political law should be made according to the moral laws and in this case, the conflict would not occur. However in reality, this is not always the case. For example in the time of the W.W.II (1939-1945), the Nazis ruled Germany. The Nazis which was led by Hitler had no morality in their laws that they passed out. They 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. ...read more.

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