Sophocles Antigone Term Paper

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¶ … Sophocles Antigone

In Sophocles play Antigone, human law is contrasted with love, and in this case the strong divine love and sense of duty Antigone has for her family. The play also concerns itself with divine love opposed with man's reliance on the law for order and justice. In Antigone law is not better than or more evil than love, and love is not better than the law. However both are presented as oppositional, represented in the thoughts and actions of the two main characters, Creon and Antigone. Creon represents human law as that which maintains order and righteousness on earth, and Antigone asserts that divine law and subsequently love should overcome human law in the face of controversy. The play also addresses love as a side effect of being human and a necessary aspect of humanity, but also emphasizes mans reliance on the law for order and justice. The play reveals how sometimes love and law oppose one another, which in this case results in tragedy.

Analysis

Love and law are contrasted as opposite ends of the spectrum in Antigone. Neither is wrong nor right however, rather love is portrayed as representative of that which is human, and law is represented as something humanity needs to maintain order. Hegel (1991) suggests that the tension existing between Creon and Antigone is the result of "higher laws" or divine intent (1). Further he asserts that existence in itself is "an empty task" and that people will go through periods of activity without opposition but also periods where opposition occurs as necessary for history (Hegel 1).Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Sophocles Antigone Assignment

His ideas suggest that both Antigone and Creon were one-sided and too stubborn but both held good points that must be considered; that divine love is just as important as law is to mankind's health and well being (Hegel 1). For Hegel Antigone was the ultimate representation of a tragic collision between love and law, a conflict between "one-sided positions" each of which held valid points and represented some good (Gonzales 1). Both Antigone and Creon at times are correct, but Creon must defend human law by defying divine law and love and Antigone defends the diving but must defy human law to do this (Gonzales 1). In this respect the play almost represents a battle of good against good (Gonzales 1).

Creon attempts to overcome Antigone's assertion that love should dictate mankind's actions throughout the place. He for example, in the play tries to turn Antigone's loyalty, suggesting that Antigone's brothers made her father unhappy and that her brother Polynices was actually a cruel and vicious voluptuary (Tan 1). Too "cowardly" to imprison his own son, Creon suggests that Oedipus let his son join the army, however asserts that Polynices then proceeded to attempt to kill Oedipus. Creon further suggests that Eteocles is no better, a gangster at best also attempted to usurp his father's authority (Tan 1).

Creon establishes one essential fact regarding law in the play, that "society does depend on a central authority for all that law brings is of benefit" (Bethune 1). His beliefs are valid, but so too are Antigone's that suggest divine law and therefore love should dictate mankind's behavior.

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