• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Greek Justice.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Greek Justice Apparently, then, injustice has the power, first, to make whatever it arises in - whether it is a city, a family, an army, or anything else - incapable of achieving anything as a unit because of the civil wars and differences it creates, and second, it makes that unit an enemy to itself and to what is in every way its opposite, namely, justice. (28) Republic, Plato Since the beginnings of civilization, the concept of Justice has been debated and argued, defined and redefined, molded and reshaped time and again. Wars and civil movements have begun because of conflicting definitions surrounding it. Countless governments have been planned and molded around each society's own interpretation of what it entails. It is altogether necessary for a functioning body of people in any situation. Given the enormous weight and import of justice, one might think a single, generalized explanation of the term would simplify virtually every aspect of modern life. But, as is the case with most integral human issues, the number of variations on justice is nearly equal to the amount of those who prescribe to its doctrine. Even in the reading of Pericles' Funeral Speech and Sophocles' Oedipus and Antigone (three texts by two authors from the same time and culture), three separate views on justice are communicated. ...read more.

Middle

where the rewards for merit are greatest, there are found the best citizens." (33) While Sophocles' story of Oedipus is, like Funeral Speech, centered around community benefit through actions, the surrounding circumstances are slightly different. Thebes has been laid upon by a devastating plague and Oedipus is called to save the city; to do whatever it takes to free them from their malady. When it is found that Oedipus will be required to seek out and kill an assassin to cleanse the city of its ungodly pollution, he agrees. But the motives surrounding this forthcoming deed are deceptively far from patriotism. As an elder tells Oedipus, "You brought us lucky signs and good days; now you need to do the same for us again." (03) Oedipus' own motives are further still from the condition of his country, or even his subjects. He acts out of fear that the assassin "... could kill again and lay those deadly hands on me." (06) Thus, the interpretation of justice and right deeds takes on a more individualistic, self centered and comfort-focused view. This further diversifies the definition, turning justice into whatever is best for each person at a specific time. Also in Sophocles' illustration of justice, a layer behind Self lie the gods and a somewhat Karmic outlook of right living. ...read more.

Conclusion

[Nor] do I think your proclamations had such strength that, mortal as you are, you could outrun those laws that are the gods', unwritten and unshakable." (38) The karmic aspect of justice portrayed in Oedipus is also taken a step further throughout Antigone. Not only will justice affect one's mortal life, but it Webb 5 reaches far beyond our physicality. As her death looms nearer, Antigone comforts herself by remembering that by doing the will on the gods on earth, she will have a better afterlife. In a brief monologue before her sentencing, Antigone reveals, "... I still nurse the hope that when I get [to Hades], I shall come dear ... to my own sweet brother." Once again, after tempering with the gods' irrefutable version of justice (thereby committing the injustice of hubris), Kreon is punished through the suicide of his entire family. Today, what we refer to as justice more closely resembles the models of Pericles and Plato, although it is becoming increasingly individualistic (as it was in Oedipus). While we have a centralized government doling out very simplified justice (in the form of punishment for infractions), the more obscure and abstract forms of personal justice are very much up to personal interpretation. Furthermore, there are hundreds of other existing cultures besides us, each with a (sometimes) completely different form of justice. In our world of misunderstanding, the best thing we can do is to take Plato's example; always continue communication and debate. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. Portrayal of society in "Oedipus the King" and "Antigone"

    By conveying this to the people he could motivate them to join the resistance. As opposed to Oedipus who loves and cares for his people, Creon does not respect or care about the people he governs. He refers to them as "the featherheaded rabble I govern" and says that if

  2. The Effects of Pride and Power

    Also his quick decisions to threat and kill, such as the situation with Kreon and the treason accusation, Oedipus's authority was being questioned and his pride was being questioned, and he could not let that slide by, so he

  1. Free essay

    TMA 03 - Classical Studies

    All the fights beforehand were acts of mercy in comparison. Now the frivolities were banished and we are offered sheer butchery...The only outcome for the combatants is death...' Seneca obviously does not agree with the spectacle of death, even though combatants in question were criminals and killed other people.

  2. How would you direct the actors playing Antigone and Ismene in the prologue? What ...

    She is subordinate and weak-willed. She refuses to stand up to Kreon even though in her heart she knows that his laws are moral. The stage design would be very simplistic so that is doesn't take any emphasis off of the acting that is being performed on-stage.

  1. Tragic Heroes: Oedipus, Antigone, and Medea.

    The moral message in the play Antigone seems to be that Antigone herself is standing up for a divine law that she believes in. By standing against King Creon and his law, Antigone appears to be encouraging audiences to stand up for what they believe in-and be prepared to die.

  2. Cinderella - play script

    That's what's so scary. Prince: Scary... and confusing... and wonderful, all at the same time! (sings) Do I love you because you're beautiful? Or are you beautiful because I love you? Am I making believe I see in you A girl to lovely to be really true? Do I want you because you're wonderful?

  1. czech republic

    We can find lowlands along the rivers. The biggest of them is Polabsk´┐Ż lowland. There are good conditions for agriculture. Waters The Czech Republic has many rivers. Rivers belong to the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea basins. Bohemia has the largest rivers, the Vltava (the longest one - 433 km in CR)

  2. Social Historical Background - Antigone

    Sophocles might use Thebes as the setting of the play as Athenians were against the city thus building more support for the city of Athens. The issue of war was contemporary, therefore the Athenian government would have wished to have it discussed in Athen's favour at the amphitheatre.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work