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Divine Law Vs. Human Law

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on 4 October 2015

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Transcript of Divine Law Vs. Human Law

- "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."-John F. Kennedy
Overview of theme
-Antigone contrasts two types of law and justice: divine law and the law of men.
-Rule of the gods shown through lives of main characters.
-Antigone’s standards of divine justice clash with Creon’s will as the head of state.
-Antigone conflicts with sister Ismene, who supports human law.
-Sophocles shows which law he values through the strength of the Antigone

-Strong woman
-Didn't obey her father's will
Divine Law Vs. Human Law
Ismens's Weakness
Divine Law Vs. Human Law in Ancient Greece
Divine Law:
-Everything believed to be determined by Fate.
-Gods at the mercy of fate.
-Impossible to escape fate.
-Everything destined to happen.
-Will of the creator.
Human Law:
-King ultimate power.
-City belongs to the King.
-Citizens are subject to the laws.
-Punishment for crimes were determined by the King.
Sophocles' Bias
Sophocles shows his bias towards the divine law by contrasting the strengths of Antigone’s character with the weaknesses of Creon’s.

Antigone- Divine Law
-A strong and admirable character who dies a martyr


Line 59 “He has no right to keep me from my own”

Line 57 “No one will ever convict me for a traitor”
-Greek theater play writer in Greece.
-One of three tragedians whose plays survived.
-Competed in 30 competitions, won 24, and never judged lower than second place.
-Believed that Divine law was more powerful than The law of men.
-Voiced his opinions through play writing.

Creon- Human Law
His disastrous fate was a warning from Sophocles against overstepping the human right to power

Fatal flaw was hubris
- his excessive pride and belief that his power was unlimited caused his doom
-Weak and Submissive character unwilling to stand up for her beliefs

-Created as foil for Antigone to accentuate her strong characteristics
Sophocles' Message
Line 193 “I now possess the throne and all its powers”

Line 232-234 “Never at my hands will the traitor be honored above the patriot. But whoever proves his loyalty to the state: I’ll prize that man in death as well as life”
Line 78 “I, for one, I’ll beg the dead to forgive me”

Lines 93-94 “I’d do them no dishonour… but defy the city? I have no strength for that”
Sophocles was suggesting we should all be like Antigone and follow the divine law before the human law in every circumstance.

Sophocles’ voice is shown not only by contrasting Antigone and Creon, and Antigone and Ismene, but also often within the monologues of the chorus
Line 144-“brandishing his lightning blasted the fighter just at the goal”

“Wisdom is the supreme part of happiness; and reverence towards the Gods must be inviolate. Great words of prideful men are ever punished with great blows, and, in old age, teach the chastened to be wise.” -Chorus
-The king of gods
-Athena's father(Love and hate her)
Not even death can make a foe a friend.
My nature is for mutual love, not hate.
Die then, and love the dead if thou must;
No woman shall be the master while I live. (522-524)
Full transcript