DIMENSION OF JUSTICE IN THE PLAY OF ANTIGONE

Topics: John Rawls, Social contract, Justice Pages: 5 (1343 words) Published: February 12, 2015
LASMAIDA MIKHA THERESIA ROGATE
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DIMENSION OF JUSTICE IN THE PLAY OF “ANTIGONE”
In this second essay entitle ‘Dimension of Justice in the Play of “Antigone”, I would like to compare the understanding of “justice” in Creon and Antigone’s point of view as well as the justice’s point of view according the truth. There are number of reasons why I am interested to analyze the term of justice in this second essay. One of them is that it is a challenging issue to discuss. To support the essay, I am using John Rawls’s theory of fairness. The first issue to discuss is the term of justice according to Creon. In the play of Antigone, two blood brothers, Polyneicies and Eteocles battled. Polyneiceis attacked his state because he felt that he deserved to lead his father’s legacy empire rather than Creon, his uncle. While Eteocles stood on his uncle’s side because he thought none of them (sons and daughters of Oedipus) that were old enough to inherit the throne of his father’s empire. Both of them died in war. Finally, Creon, the King of Thebes at that time proclaimed his decision. Creon made a decision that he would treat the corpses differently. Eteocles would be buried with the honored and completed ceremony because Creon thinks that Eteocles was shed for defending his nation. Eteocles deserves to be a hero. On the contrary, the corpse of Polyneiceis would be treated oppositely. The body of Polyneiceis would be laid offhandedly in the wilderness without the burial and honor so that the body of Polyneiceis would be a prey of crows and wolves. And for those who touched, moreover buried the Polyneiceis’s body would be executed. According to Creon, the king will have power after using his authority and power. In this case, he will show himself as an impartial king. He is impartial. Even though Polyneicies was his own nephew, because he was considered to be guilty, so he must get punished. For if he gave a mitigation because of blood relations, he was afraid people would against the laws that he made. That was justice in Creon’s version. The second issue to discuss here is the term justice in Antigone’s point of view. Antigone, a sister of Polyneicies and Eteocles felt that the decision which was announced by the king was not fair. Although Polyneicies died because he attacted her state, but he was still a member of empire, was a brother who must be buried decently. Antigone felt that the laws which were made by Creon contradict with the Gods’ laws. Antigone draws a distinction between divine law and human law, between the “great unwritten, unshakable traditions” and the edicts of individual rulers such as Creon (502–503). The corpse may not be let offhandedly without the burial ceremony. And people who are still alive that oblige to put on the dead to the hereafter by holding a sacramental. And Antigone decided to held a ceremony for her brother although she knew that whoever that take care of Polyneiceis’s body would be executed by Creon. He insists he would punish Antigone even if she were a closer blood relative (543–545), and he quite arbitrarily decides at that point to punish Ismene as well. Creon’s rage at Antigone’s “insolence” (536) entirely consumes him, and he acts with a rashness terrifying to all who have heard him claim to hold steady control of the “ship of state.” However, she didn't care, she wouldn't even do it by stealth. Antigone was willing to die to do what she think is right. Antigone is more afraid of Gods’ laws than Creon’s laws that she thinks completely unfair. However, Creon is the man who can still do mistakes. Creon heard that Antigone buried the Polyneicies’s corpse and he was very angry. Then he punished Antigone a death penalty, although Antigone is his son’s fiancé, Haemon. The third discoussion here is the term “justice” according to the truth. Based on the two view points above, then we can see that the problems arising on the basis of Justice caused by differences in the definition of...

References: Rawls, Johns. 1997. Theory of Justice, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachussetts.
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