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Antigone Summary

In: English and Literature

Submitted By NickAustin
Words 3266
Pages 14
State control
A well established theme in Antigone is the right of the individual to reject society's infringement on her freedom to perform a personal obligation,[14] obvious in Antigone's refusal to let Creon dictate what she is allowed to do with her family members. She says to Ismene about Creon's edict, "He has no right to keep me from my own."[15] Related to this theme is the question whether Antigone's will to bury her brother is based on rational thought or instinct, a debate whose contributors include greats like Goethe.[14]
[edit] Natural law and contemporary legal institutions
In Antigone, Sophocles asks the question, which law is greater: the gods' or man's. Sophocles votes for the law of the gods. He does this in order to save Athens from the moral destruction which seems imminent. Sophocles wants to warn his countrymen about hubris, or arrogance, because he knows this will be their downfall. In Antigone, the hubris of Creon is revealed.
[edit] Civil disobedience
The contrasting views of Creon and Antigone with regard to laws higher than those of state inform their different conclusions about civil disobedience. Creon demands obedience to the law above all else, right or wrong. He says that "there is nothing worse than disobedience to authority" (An. 671). Antigone responds with the idea that state law is not absolute, and that it can be broken in civil disobedience in extreme cases, such as honoring the gods, whose rule and authority outweigh Creon's.
[edit] Citizenship
The concept of citizenship appears most clearly in the values clash between Creon and Antigone. Creon defines citizenship as utmost obedience to the will of the state, and thus condemns Antigone to death when he feels that she has abandoned her citizenship by disobeying him. Antigone allows more room for individualism within the role of the citizen. The debate over citizenship,...

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