preview

Divine Law And Civil Law In SophoclesAntigone

Decent Essays
Antigone, daughter and sister of Oedipus, believes to live a fated life. When her brother Polyneices is denied a burial by the King of Thebes, Creon, Antigone gets in trouble for following the laws of the gods. Her choices get her sent away and eventually lead to her death. In Sophocles play, Antigone, the characters show clashes between divine law and civil law, with the divine law having a bigger impact in the play.
Characters who follow civil law tend to be afraid of punishment by the government leaders. As Ismene states, “You just said the new law forbids it.” (Sophocles Pro.32), she wants to avoid any type of negative encounter with Creon or the government. She does not want herself, or Antigone, to get in trouble. This was Ismene’s way of showing her belief in civil law. By her fearing the punishment she may face if she breaks the laws, she chooses not to do what is right by the gods. In her denial of divine law, she believes that it is Polyneices’ fault that he is forbidden a burial. In her opinion, Polyneices chose to become a traitor to the city of Thebes, therefore Ismene will not put her own freedom in jeopardy over his mistakes. Those who follow civil law have a greater respect and appreciation for civil leaders and local governments than the gods. Creon, being a leader, would rather have all his citizens follow the laws he puts in place in order to create a less rebellious society. If the people of Thebes all a bigger faith in divine law, the city would fall to
    Get Access