Antigone contrasts two types of law and justice: divine or religious law on one hand, and the law of men and states on the other. Because of the centrality of fate and the rule of the gods in the lives of the main characters of the play, religious rites and traditions are elevated to the status of law. While questions of law and justice play a role in all three plays of the Oedipus trilogy, they are most prominent in Antigone, in which Antigone’s standards of divine justice clash with Creon’s will as the head of state.
Questions About Rules and Order
- To what extent is adherence to the law of the state associated with virtue? Adherence to divine law?
- How compatible are divine and state law in Antigone? Where does conflict arise?
Chew on This
Antigone’s adherence to religious rites as divine law is as self-serving as Creon’s creation of laws that serve his interests.