Literary Terms Conflict between Human Law and Law of God in Sophocles' Antigone Sophocles' Antigone focuses on the conflict between human law and the law of the gods when following both sets of laws at a time seems to be impossible. Antigone wishes to honor the gods by burying her brother, but the law of Creon decrees that he shall have no burial since her brother is technically a traitor to the state.
Creon's regard for the laws of the city causes him to abandon all other beliefs. He feels that all should obey the laws set forth by him, even if other beliefs, moral or religious, state otherwise. Antigone, on the other hand, hold the beliefs of the gods in high reverence.
She feels that the laws of the gods should be obeyed above all others, especially when in respect to family. Creon has a very strong opinion about the laws of the city and the laws passed by him.
His method of enforcing them is very strict. In "Antigone" Creon orders that Polyneices will not be buried because of his dishonor towards Thebes. Furthermore, if anyone is caught burying him they will be killed for disobeying his order.
Polonieces is Antigone's brother. He is being punished because he attacked Thebes and betrayed Creon and the people of Thebes. Creon's harsh punishment on those who disobey the law makes many fear him and dare not to go against him. One example is Ismene's regard for Creon's laws. She tries to talk her sister out of burying her brother because of what could happen to her if Creon found out that she went against him.
Ismene says "We must obey them I yield to those who have authority" 5. Not only do the people of Thebes obey the laws of the city because of their fear but because it is a shame to dishonor the king.
To go against the kings claim and dishonor the law is to die a more shameful death then Antigone's mother and father Antigone does not want to let her brother be left without a proper burial.
Her belief is to show respect and love towards her brother she must bury him. Her beliefs in "The sacred laws that Heaven holds in honor" are far more important than those set by the king Antigone She feels that the king cannot override her belief in the gods. Antigone feels very strongly about burying her brother against Creon's orders.
She refused to back down from her opinion even when confronted by the king and sentenced to death. She goes on to say that she does not want to go before the gods after she had disobeyed them because of a decree made by a mortal king The loss of a brother is greater to Antigone then the lose of any other kind.
She says, "For had I lost a son, or lost a husband, Never would I have ventured such an act Against the city's will.
My husband dead, I might have found another; Another son from him if I had lost A son. But since my mother and father Have both gone to the grave, there can be none Henceforth that I can ever call my brother" To Antigone this is another reason to honor her brother; as she honors her brother she is honoring her mother and father as well.
Creon, being a new king, wants to prove his abilities as king. He is being harsh, so the people of Thebes don't take him for an easy king and other problems arise. Creon feels that if someone dishonors the city in which he rules they must be punished.
If Polyneices is not punished then Creon's power may be taken for granted by the people of Thebes. They would think of him as a weak king who can be dishonored without fear of punishment.
Creon wants to be respected and feared as a king because this will give him more power. He does not want to be a bad king, using his power for evil things, but a strong king. However in order to be a strong king, one must be strict and firm in one's decisions.
That is the kind of king that Creon is.Between tendencies of making rash decisions despite harsh punishments, to losing faith in the gods, these two share similar manners of behavior, regardless of Antigone's strife over the suffering.
Conflicting Values in Antigone In the play "Antigone" by Sophocles, Creon and Antigone have distinct conflicting values.
Creon's regard for the laws of the city causes him to abandon all other beliefs. Throughout the play, Antigone follows her fate. She buries Polyneices and is caught by guards. She is brought to Creon and admits to her crime.
The acceptance of her fate is evident when, facing a punishment of death, she says “my fate prompts no tears.” Antigone accepts what she believes is inevitable by committing suicide with her fiance. The ultimate authority in life is the source of conflict between Antigone and Creon in "Antigone" by Sophocles ( B.C.E.
- B.C.E.). - Divine Law versus Human Law Sophocles' famous play, Antigone, can be perceived as a conflict between individual conscience and state policy. Yet the issue of the play goes beyond that conflict and touches the universal conditions of suffering, religion, and loyalty.
By this reasoning, the play could have been named Creon. Meanwhile, Creon did disrespect his nephew Polyneices, disobeyed the laws of the gods, sentenced his niece Antigone to death, and defied his son's request to free her.