рат: Greek Justice In Antigone Essay Research Paper

Greek Justice In Antigone Essay, Research Paper

In many respects, Sophocles explains the meaning of Greek justice in Antigone.

On the surface, we see Antigone as a conflict between divine law and man’s law.

Antigone is the believer in divine law and Creon is the believer in man’s law.

Sophocles could have suggested one character as morally superiority over the

other. However, Sophocles shows us how justice is equally mitigated to Antigone

and Creon. In presocratic Greece Justice will equally apply herself to both and

favor no one. While rulers demanded social justice from lawbreakers like

Antigone, the Gods also demanded justice from the rulers like Creon. Justice

equally applied herself to the poor and the mighty in presocratic Greece. Creon

and Antigone are the main characters whose inability to listen to reason is

their fatal flaw. Creon is a new leader and feels the need to assert his

authority. This makes him willing to break divine law. Furthermore, Antigone’s

zealot nature forces her to break man’s law. So we see the unwillingness to

reason, corrupt the minds of people with the best of intentions. Justice will

balance the right with wrong and equally apply herself to Creon and Antigone.

Creon begins his rule as an honorable man (200-210). For the good of his country

and all his countrymen, he will make an example of Antigone’s brother, Polynices.

Polynices was a traitor to his country and tried to destroy it. Antigone,

steadfast in her religious beliefs is determined to bury her brother and defy

the orders of Creon. We begin to get a glimpse of Creon’s inability to listen to

reason when he meets the sentry. Creon accuses the sentry of conspiring to

assist Antigone bury Polynice’s body (350-361). Creon’s accusations against the

guard are unfounded, unreasonable and unjust. Creon also shows himself unwilling

to compromise. Creon’s traits are juxtaposed to Antigone’s inability to see her

brother as a traitor and perhaps deserving of some punishment. Antigone is not

interested in persuading Creon. She will bury her brother and she will not back

down from her position. She does not try to persuade Creon. She is following the

law of the God’s. Creon’s justice is of no consequence. We see the two character

heads strong and continue to be inflexible. Even Haemon, Creon’s son who

expresses his concern that perhaps Antigone is justified in burying her brother

cannot persuade Creon. In addition, Haemon states that perhaps Creon should

temper his laws with compassion and let Antigone bury her brother (784-820).

Again we see Creon is unwilling to compromise any part of his position. Echoing

Creon’s coming tragedy, Antigone in the cave laments her death and seems to see

the error in her actions (913-923). All the characters are in motion to meet

their own form of justice. Antigone hangs herself shortly before Haemon enters

the cave where she is kept. A blind prophet who warns him that his actions do

not please the Gods visits Creon. Creon slowly realizes he may be wrong and in

an attempt to avoid the blind man’s prophesy, goes to bury Polynices, then visit

Antigone. Upon entering the cave he finds Antigone dead and argues with his son.

Haemon, in a fit of passion tries to kill his father and finally kills himself.

We can see that the characters of Antigone are possessed by their emotions and

are unwilling to be reasonable. The characters are all justified in their

beliefs, but also have created injustices and are deserving of retribution. This

illustrates the prosocratic belief that some form of justice will always balance

an injustice.