Duty And Duty To Family Conflict In Sophocles's Antigone

1459 Words 6 Pages
Every society struggles to find a balance between duty and law; it is a part of human nature to feel responsibility towards their kin, but also to develop a set of standards for their comunities to follow. In many cases, the law and duty to family conflict with one another, as they are both central to the values of human beings, creating a constant conflict in every society. Sophocles demonstrates this conflict in The Antigone, where duty and law conflict and cause a tragic end for the royal family. The Antigone depicts the concepts of duty and law by assigning them to play’s two tragic heroes, Antigone and Creon, showing the flaws of each moral standpoint through the dowfall of either character.
The plot of The Antigone is centered around
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As he is introducted to the audience, he in his first moments as ruler following the deaths of Antigone’s brothers. In his opening monologue, he assures the chorus that he will step up to the position of leader and remain faithful to his nation. He declares that in accordance with Thebian laws, Polynecies will not be given a proper burial because he fought against the city, making him a traitor. Here, he shows that the law takes precidence over family, and he believes that in order for him to be a successful leader, he must remain practical and abide by the law. Creon explains why this is so important to him, stating that. “It is impossible to know any man- / I mean his soul, intelligence, and judgement- / until he shows his skill in rule and law” (193-195). For Creon, it is more important for a person to be challenged morally, needing to make tough decisions on the behalf of others rather than the passions of the self, so law would be the perfect way to test his character. By using this method, he would be forced to act impartially to his family, treating them as any other citizen under the law. His tendencies and beliefs collide with Antigone’s, providing the conflict throughout the play; Antigone against Creon’s rule and Creon against Antigone’s unstoppable passion and …show more content…
Her development is static, as she takes a certain stance and keeps it through the entirety of the play. Her purpose is made known intentionally, so that the audience members will automatically assume that Antigone is the tragic hero and underdog who will fulfull the role of a tragic character. Her sole purpose as this character type is explained in philosophy professor George Boas’s “The Evolution of the Tragic Hero”, where he notes that, “Sophocles has his heroine state clearly her course of action and her knowledge of what will happen if she pursues it… even here the hero knows what the oracle has said, though the sting of the tragedy is his inability to so choose as to refute the oracle”

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