The Concept Of Justice In Sophocles Antigone

1891 Words 8 Pages
In Sophocles’ Antigone, we are introduced to a plethora of different viewpoints regarding character and judgment. The main conflict that is brought to light in the play centers around the treatment of Polyneices’ body after he perishes. The individuals who take up this conflict, Antigone and Creon, are locked into a debate that discusses the concept of justice. Antigone uses familial ties and divine reasoning in her case, while Creon argues that protecting Thebes takes precedence over the family and that those who live against the city lack any sort of rights. Both perspectives have strong attributes as well as their own faults. While I lean more towards Antigone’s case, both arguments can be explored and analyzed independently from one another. …show more content…
Upon hearing Creon’s judgment, Antigone wholeheartedly questions the ruling that her brother Polyneices lacks the right of a proper burial. She asks, “Why, has not Creon, in regard to a tomb for our brothers, Honored the one, and dishonored the other”(21-22)? Antigone believes that as a sister, it is her duty to bury her deceased brother. She feels that if she takes up the more passive role, like her sister Ismene, and obeys Creon’s word she will have denounced her relationship to Polyneices. As Antigone proclaims, “Him who is my brother, and yours-even if you would not wish it…I will not be caught betraying him”(44-46). In response to this, Ismene recounts all of the terrible things that have happened to their family. Their father’s incestuous marriage and involvement in patricide, their mother’s suicide, and their brother’s reciprocated slayings are not enough deterrents to prevent Antigone from going against established law for her sibling. It doesn’t matter to Antigone whether she alone defies a king. In fact, she resolves to her sister, “But you be whatever sort suit your opinion-while I Will bury him”(70-71). The simple fact that she and Polyneices are siblings is enough justification for Antigone’s choice to bury …show more content…
Creon comes to admit his mistake of imprisoning Antigone and going against the traditional laws of the Gods. He exclaims, “Alas! It is hard, but I renounce doing what my heart was set upon…I fear that it is the case that it would be best to end one’s life having preserved the established laws”(Sophocles 1105, 1113, 1114). While Antigone does struggle with true justice, Creon completely abandons his own argument and accepts another. I feel Antigone would never regret burying her brother, but Creon is described as someone who “rapidly abandons his belief…and comes to embrace the very thesis…he had challenged”(Ahensdorf and Pangle

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