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Antigone1

Natural LawDo what you believe is right. This is a phrase common to us all, brought to our attention by parents, reinforced by teachers, and preached by leaders. But how does one define what is right? Is it what we believe in our hearts, or is it what we know is acceptable? This is a predominant dilemma that can be traced throughout society, and is the main focal point of Sophocles play Antigone. Written in 441 B.C., Antigone is one of the earliest records of the conflict between Natural law and Positive law. Sophocles deftly exposes these two philosophical standpoints and their respective moral and political aspects by way of the two main characters, Antgone and Kreon. Antigone is a champion of Natural law, while Kreon practices the Positivist approach. Both characters deem their behavior superior towards the other, and both assume religious justification for their actions. Sophocles ultimately proves that with so much support for each philosophical standpoint, a solution to the dilemma is hardly in sight.Natural law can be considered the morally correct approach to authority and justice. It is the idea that one should make decisions based upon what they deem morally appropriate within themselves. Antigones support of this approach is apparent in her refusal of Kreons order when she buries Polyneices anyway. She loves Polyneices and believes in her heart that there is no other alternative. She is aware that by burying him she would be breaking the law and risking her own life for it. I will bury him myself. If I die for doing that, good: I will stay with him, my brother; and my crime will be devotion (87-90). To her this is the only morally acceptable solution. Her support of Natural law resolves her to perform what she believes in her heart to be right, casting aside any social and political upholding that prove to be opposition. Positive law can be considered the politically correct approach to authority and justic...

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