Summary convinced by the prophet Tiresias and the

Summary of the Story

 

 

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.

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                                                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 prideful and cannot acknowele
that he has done wrong so he should just concede defeat then move on. 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,In this line King creon is arguably insisting that his commands and laws
are above that of the gods. 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 Versus 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. In Antigone we
see various themes, that are repeated throughout the story. One significant theme
we should dive into is the theme of emotions vs reason

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

 

One of the most telling topic we see in Antigone is the conflict between
men and women. In ancient Greece, men normally ruled women, they hardly left home,
hardly had a say in proceedings but still played a major role 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 courtesans nor goddess, Antigone feels compelled
to obey the customs and bury he brother Polynices. Her determatio put her in conflict
with Creon, with the public watch he was compelled to show his might after
being challenged especially by a woman but not only his manhood was being
challenged. 

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