Antigone and Laws
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 and Vietnam War veterans have different opinions. The Nazis did not believe that Civil Disobedience was ethically or morally righteous because of their inhumane acts upon the Jews in the 1940s, which probably led some Nazi officials to think about Civil Disobedience. After all, they were told to do a job, and if they didn’t, they would have been killed.
As Adolf Hitler showed the world, just because one person thinks something is right, that doesn’t make it right. The Nazi officials parallel Ismene because they knew a law was wrong but were too afraid to step up and instead collaborated with it. Another parallel is between the Jews and Polyneicies’s soul. The Jews were caught up in the middle of the officials, the liberating nations, and Adolf Hitler.
Polyneicies’ soul was caught between Creon, Antigone, and Ismene. They both underwent extreme pain, torture, and horror. The invading nations parallel Antigone in that they 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. For Christians, laws are established by governments, and governments are established by God. So, what is there to go against besides God’s own law? Laws are made for the community’s 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 too 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. During the Vietnam conflict, there was a military draft. Some ran to Canada in order to save their own lives. 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 that 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 that it is alright to break this particular law, but the Vietnam veterans would say that it is not acceptable to break that law.
The real answer is that there is no definitive answer because some people say it is acceptable while others say it is not.