Antigone

The Representation of Civil and Divine Law in Antigone 11th Grade

The influence of the gods is often seen in Greek literature. Civil law and divine law were important ideals that cause opposition when they are juxtaposed. In the Greek tragedy Antigone by Sophocles, the juxtaposition of civil law and divine law creates a conflict between Creon and society. Creon’s hubris creates a desire for power and clouds his judgement, leading him to hold civil law higher than divine law. The resolution of the conflict which is Creon’s suffering, shows how disobeying the gods’ law can lead to one’s tragic ending. Sophocles utilizes Antigone in order to convey the importance of divine law in Ancient Greece. Antigone wanted to give her brother, Polyneices, a proper burial for the gods to treat him well in the afterlife. When someone has died, burying them in the correct fashion brings them honor, which can be seen when Antigone explains that her other brother, Eteoclês, was buried, “…beneath/ The Earth with proper rites, as law ordains, / So he has honor down among the dead” (23-25). From these lines, the readers can see that being buried properly was actually a law in Thebes because giving praise to the gods was a necessity in order to be treated well after death. Antigone knew that her brother, Polyneices,...

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