Morals and Laws in Sophocles' Antigone


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Morals and Laws in Antigone                 


A crucial question in Antigone is, "When someone makes a law that is known by the public to be morally wrong, should the public break his/her law? Or should they collaborate with that person by obeying? Antigone felt that the law (no one was supposed to bury her brother Polyneicies) should be broken so she took what she thought to be appropriate measures. This is called Civil Disobedience. Another question is "Is Civil Disobedience morally and ethically correct?" The Nazis say one thing, and the Vietnam war veterans say one thing. The Nazis did not believe that Civil Disobedience was ethically or morally righteous, because of there inhumane acts upon the Jews in the 1940's probably led some Nazi officials to think about Civil Disobedience, after all the were told to do a job and if they didn't they would have been killed. As Adolph Hitler showed the world, just because one idiotic person thinks something is right that doesn't make it right. The Nazi officials parallel Ismene, because there is a law that they both knew to be wrong but they are so afraid to step up that they just collaborate with it. Another parallel is that the Jews and Polyneicies' soul. The Jews were caught up in the middle of the officials, the liberating nations, and Adolph Hitler. As was Polyneicies' soul caught in between Creon, Antigone, and Ismene. Also, in that they both had to undergo extreme pain, torture, and horror. Lastly the invading nations parallel Antigone in that they both fought against the law in both their times. Antigone fought to save her brother's spirit, and the invading nations fought to save the Jews. Civil disobedience is wrong even though it might not go with any religious beliefs, but for Christians, laws are established by governments, governments are established by God, so what is there to go against besides God's own law? Laws are made for the communities own safety, or own good. If a law was passed not to stay outside because of serial killings how many would stay outside late at night, not to many. A law was passed not to steal, how many people are arrested and convicted every week because they stole something. So laws are for the benefit of that area, in order to uphold that law there must be a price of punishment.

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During the Vietnam conflict there was a military draft, some ran to Canada in order to save their own life. Our dear President William "Bill" Clinton ran to Canada to avoid having to go to war. If you live in a country with equal rights you at least owe that country something. The Vietnam veterans think this example of Civil Disobedience, is exceptionally wrong. "When someone makes a law that is known by the public to be wrong?" Then they should be collaborated with. The Jews would say it is alright to break this particular law. The Vietnam veterans would say it is not acceptable to break that law. The real answer is that there is no real answer, because some say it is alright, and some say it is not right.


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