Antigone Research Paper

1804 Words 8 Pages
Law enforcement officers and their right to use deadly force: the revitalization of Creon’s concept of justice?

Julia Kemp

Big Books Dr. Diederik van Werven Word Count: 1807

“The law authorizes a law enforcement officer to use deadly force in certain situations”, said St. Louis County’s prosecuting attorney Bob McCulloch of the assassination of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown. In doing so, McCulloch infuriated thousands of people who then claimed to have found a fault in the American legal system. For them, such a legal provision allows law enforcement officers to use their weapons
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This civil war of Thebes resulted in the brothers’ death and left their antagonistic uncle Creon to be king. While Creon acknowledged Eteocles as a righteous defender of the city of Thebes, he condemned Polynices a traitor who must “be left to rot unburied, his flesh eaten by dogs and birds, creating an obscenity for everyone to see” (Antigone, p. 231). In doing so, Creon did not only leave his nephew to rot, but also declared that anyone who would attempt to do otherwise would be publicly stoned to death. Ruled by outrage and a sense of justice, the title character of Sophocles’ Antigone decided to carry out the forbidden act of burying her brother Polynices. To the city of Thebes he might have been an enemy and the obscenity of his body a warning to all aspirant rebellions, but to her, Polynices was a man whose body was supposed to be buried like any other man, according to the Gods’ laws and Greek culture, that said that the spirit of an unburied corpse is doomed to wander the earth if not buried by sundown. While Antigone’s sister Ismene recognized this desire to fulfill the Gods’ wishes, act according to Greek culture and honor her brother Polynices, she refused to violate the King’s orders, emphasizing that, as women, …show more content…
According to Antigone, the divine laws “are eternal; no man saw their birth” and no one “could override the laws of Heaven/Unwritten and unchanging”. By pointing out that Creon’s edicts are yielded to the rule of the gods or the traditions of men, Antigone prizes divine law, individuality and conscience above the will of the state. In doing so, she rejects Creon’s societal infringement on her freedom for “He has no right to keep me from my own”. On that account, she could be described as one of the first heroines in literature. She is a woman who threatens gender roles and hierarchy by fighting the male power structure. Therefore, she is a danger for the society but lives up to her name “worthy of one’s parents”. That is to say, she exhibits greater bravery than any of the men who scorned her by acting according to her self-belief and her own convictions about right and wrong. The question remains, however, whether the convictions based on divine laws; moral duties and values, or the convictions based on a set of laws that make a good civilian life attainable, are just or

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