Was laws are of the gods are fundamental
Was Hegel right? Are both Creon and Antigone right?
Hegel, a German philosopher of the 19th century, thought Antigone was a true tragedy because both sides were right. By looking at the morals they hold and at the morals of today we can explore this issue.
Creon believes that the laws of the state must be kept and come before duties to family and friends.
'And whoever places a friend above the good of his own country, he is nothing'
He follows the rule that loyalty will be rewarded and treachery punished.
'Never at my hands will the traitor be honoured above the patriot'
Antigone however believes the laws are of the gods are fundamental and therefore unshakable.
'It wasn't Zeus, not in the least, who made this proclamation'
She believes family morality comes before the laws of the state.
'Not ashamed for a moment, not to honour my brother, my own flesh and blood'
Although to a 21st century audience, Creon comes across as being selfish and almost tyrant like, to a 5th century Greek audience his morals would be normal. They believed that the state belonged to the king for what to do with as he wished. In this way, to his own time Creon is right. However today if someone showed such dictatorship qualities they would be overthrown by their country. In this way it is Antigone today that would be seen as reasonable as she is prepared to put her life on the line to protect her family and uphold something she believes in. But to a 5th century Greek audience Antigone comes across as being rash and unreasonable.
Today people standing by their morals and acting upon them is heroic, and can often gain publicity for their cause. However, would Antigone's beliefs be as important today compared to 5th century Athens? For the Greeks, religion played a large part in everyday normal life, in comparison to today where such loyalty to god/s would be seen as old fashioned and …