Great Work literature
When Oedipus discovered the truth about his origin, he felt bad and got himself exiled so his two sons, Eteocles and Polyneices left behind to rule Thebes. They agreed to rule by turns, one year at a time. That is, the first-year Eteocles, the next year Polyneices and so on. However, after the first year of Eteocles governing, Eteocles refused to conceed the throne to Polyneices. So Polyneices left Thebes, went to Argos, where he married the daughter of King Adrastus and enlisted his help in attacking Thebes. The attack against Thebes was ultimately unsuccessful. but the two brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices, engaged in single combat and both struck each other down and killed. After their death, Creon, brother of Jocasta, ascended to the throne of Thebes and he decreed that Polyneices’ corpse was not to be buried or even mourned because he betrayed his own country. Leaving someone unburied was considered as the ultimate disgrace. King Creon saw Polyneices as a traitor because he brought army from Argos to attack his own country, Thebes. Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus, gives her brother, the traitor Polyneices, a form of ritual burial (she scatters his corpse with dust) against the explicit instructions of her uncle, King Creon, and the advice of her sister, Ismene, even though she knows that the consequence will be her death. She thereby initiates a grimly tragic process: not only does Antigone die, hanging herself when Creon, in retribution, buries her alive in a cave, but Creon’s son Haemon, who is betrothed to Antigone, also kills himself out of grief, as does Creon’s wife, Eurydice. Creon, eventually convinced by the prophet Tiresias and the play’s chorus of elders, does relent – too late but Antigone is intransigent, despite a striking moment of self-doubt before her incarceration. We will go through serval controversial topics in this essay, how does justice determine and carried out in the burial at Thebes, who determines what’s just and unjust when a crime is committed. Antigone actions were against the will of the king but it is just according to the will of the goods, we also must take into consideration that Antigone actions was instilled with emotions since Polyneices is her brother, would her action or opinion differ if she wasn’t related to Polyneices .
The concept of divine law
How is law interpreted in the burial of Thebes, and is there any conflicts between the law of the gods and the law of man. King Creon opted not to follow due process and bury polyneices but weather is he justified to make that decision being the king of the land regardless of the law saying otherwise. Creon’s tragic flaw, hubris, causes his downfall. Creon will not listen to anyone. He is stubborn and his pride is so great, he cannot bring himself to acknowledge that he could ever wrong. When Creon is talking to Teiresias, he thinks that he is being paid off. He does not want to believe he could be wrong about Antigone. Creon even says, “Whatever you say, you will not change my will.” Creon also has a self-righteousness and cockiness, a feeling a he is superior to all. “The State is King!” says Creon, which shows that he even thinks he’s better than the gods are. Creon has too much pride, and the gods do not like that. The debate between the sisters Antigone and Ismene about which law comes first,the religious duty of citizens, or the civil duty, to clarify this we need to dive into the law of divine. The concept of divine law can be described as the law of God. Divine law involves morals and beliefs that are presented by God. Charles Segal describes the idea of divine law as being the “unwritten laws of the Gods” (Sophocles 64). This type of law is most likely in effect when the idea of morals is apparent, such as when a moral decision must be made. This type of decision would probably be considered right or wrong. Divine law is not only in decisions, but also in the everyday actions of people. Things that are morally “right” are in accordance with the law of God, while things that are morally “wrong” tend to be actions that go against the law of God. Divine law may not apply to those who do not believe in God. Even those who do believe in God may not follow this type of law because they do not think that this law will have any type of impact upon their lives. Most people are very skeptical about whether the laws of god are truly upheld.
Democracy Vursus Dictatorship
Weather justice is carried out by the state or an individual all the depends on weather society is ruled by either a democracy or dictatorship. If the latter then we can’t sit here and argue whether Creon is justified for his action but if it’s a democracy Creon was out of jurisdiction and should’ve followed the norm, the Athenian leader Cleisthenes introduced a system of political reforms that he called demokratia, or “rule by the people.” This system was comprised of three separate institutions: the ekklesia, a sovereign governing body that wrote laws and dictated foreign policy; the boule, a council of representatives from the ten Athenian tribes; and the dikasteria, the popular courts in which citizens argued cases before a group of lottery-selected jurors. Although this Athenian democracy would survive for only two centuries, Cleisthenes’ invention was one of ancient Greece’s most enduring contributions to the modern world.
Ancient Greek system
Creon’s interdiction against the burial of Polyneices by tracing its trajectory throughout the story. It argues that although the interdiction seems to have institutional force, it is a deformed speech act, since Creon does not possess the authority to make law. An Athenian audience of citizens would recognize that the democratic voice, necessary for the creation of law, has been silenced. Antigone offers a contesting speech when she announces that she will bury her brother; in her exchange with Creon she functions as an exemplar of democratic free speech. Antigone, however, does not possess the authority to say that she will bury her brother since this was not a role performed by women in fifth?century Athens. Nonetheless she activates a shadow democracy whose critique of the interdiction in the streets of Thebes resembles the informal discursive processes of the Athenian legislature.
Antigone’s actions are certainly just, she’s polynecies sister and like another other close relative you’d expect her to act purely on emotion and when acting on emotion your actions aren’t expected to be practical.
Emotions Vs reason
In Antigone we see various themes, or important ideas that appear throughout story. One significant theme that we should explore in Antigone is the conflict between feeling and thinking.
Much of the action grows out of Antigone and Creon’s intense emotions. Antigone fears that her brother Polyneices will be deprived of an afterlife if his body remains unburied, as the king, Creon, has ordered. Left in the open and preyed upon by wild animals, the state of her brother’s body outrages Antigone just as her defiance and determination to bury Polyneices infuriates Creon, who is also afraid of the sympathy her actions might inspire in Thebes’ other citizens.
Powerful as these emotions are, they are overshadowed by pride. Both Antigone and Creon are excessively proud of their convictions about whether to bury Polyneices. This type of pride is called hubris, an extreme and destructive emotion.
Hubris, of course, contrasts with reason. As Creon’s son -and Antigone’s fiancée — Haemon explains to his father, ”It is not reason never to yield to reason.” Creon, however, cannot find reason until both his son and his wife kill themselves. When Creon finally attempts to bury Polyneices and save Antigone, she has already died. Haemon once told Creon, ”Reason is God’s crowning gift to man,” but Creon cannot find the truth in these words until it is too late.
Women Versus Men
A central ”conflict” in Antigone focuses on the balance of power between men and women. In ancient Greece, men generally dominated women, who rarely left their homes. Sheltered as they were, women still played important roles in society.
Women took responsibility for washing the bodies of the dead and participating in funerals. Women also frequently appeared as powerful warriors and strong-willed goddesses in Greek mythology — for example, in representations of mighty Hera, speared Artemis, or fierce Amazon fighters. In society, as well, women of a class held sway hetaera as these women were called were courtesans who were often well educated, free to go out in public and often highly influential, among the powerful men with whom they associated.
While obviously not a couttesans nor goddess, Antigone feels compelled to obey the customs and bury he brother polynices.her determatio put her in direct conflict with creon, who responds to her challenge not only as her king but as a man.His manhood is threatened by Antigone ,creaon feel threatened ,a king losing to a citizen but not only that it’s a female ,tht when things got a lot more interesting .