Antigone : Human Law Vs. Divine Law

1418 Words6 Pages
Lauren Wolfson
Professor Neil Scharnick
THR 3270 History of Classical Theatre
30 November 2016
Antigone: Human Law vs. Divine Law The most prominent theme in “Antigone” by Sophocles is the conflict of divine law vs. human law; it is the driving force behind the entire play. It is an issue of which law is the "right" law, and if Creon 's and Antigone 's acts were justifiable. It is also a question of what motivates them both to act as they do and if they were predestined to their fates due to their ties to a doomed family. There is also a significance of which character is in the play more and which holds more power of the play.
Divine law involves morals and beliefs that are presented by the gods and most obviously this type of law is in effect when the idea of morals are apparent, such as when a moral decision must be made. Divine law is not only in decisions, but also in the everyday actions of people. Human law is more based around governing the land and community and is directly and immediately enforced. Antigone herself disobeys human law that was set up by King Creon, a law that went against the beliefs she held towards the law of the gods. Charles Paul Segal wrote in his essay "Sophocles ' Praise of Man and the Conflicts of the Antigone" that the characters, like the play itself, have many levels which fuse organically, sometimes indistinguishably, into a complex unity; and here the confrontations of the two protagonists create an ever-ramifying interplay

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