Antigone – a Search for Justice
In Sophocles’ Antigone, Antigone is a rebellious character who has high morals and, by following these morals, disobeys the laws of Creon in his “just” system of government and creates problems for herself and those around her in her search for justice. The “justice” in this story could be called injustice in today’s society, since people demand fair trials and just laws, neither of which is shown in Antigone under Creon’s rule. This lack of justice makes the need of a character like Antigone, who openly seeks justice and strives to follow or morals, no matter how disastrous the results may be, apparent.
Through her search for justice, Antigone must endure open prejudice and disapproval for being a woman and expressing views the people around her view as being unnatural or simply wrong. This method of open resentment and the challenges Antigone must face, as well as her flaws and the consequences she must endure due to them, make her the tragic hero and a character readers could easily relate to depending upon similar situations they have faced. A search for justice can range from anything to seeking the truth in a matter to trying to prove the innocence of a person to remove alleged charges.
In Antigone, Antigone happens to be working on the greater end of this scale where her own life is at risk as well as her reputation. Antigone’s search for justice begins with granting her brother, Polyneices, a proper burial in the name of the sibling relationship they shared and because Antigone’s morals lead her to do so. This act is against one of Creon’s major laws, which states that there can be no burials or funeral services for the people of Thebes.
In breaking this law, Antigone sets the motions leading to her death into action. Antigone may not have completely understood that justice was what she was fighting for and may not have been extremely successful, but the search itself has made Sophocles’ work an extremely popular and inspiring literary piece. The world in modern times may be improved from the world in which Antigone is seen living and suffering in, but it is still a long way from a perfect paradise, if it will ever truly be one.
Situations have improved in various areas across the globe since the time period during which Antigone occurred, but there are still regions of the globe where people suffer at the hands of unjust government leaders who have acquired power or find themselves in situations of extreme depravity. Although Antigone’s search for justice ended as a disaster, people living in the world today could greatly use her situation as an example to inspire them to seek the justice greatly needed throughout the globe to bring all society closer to a utopia.
As stated, people have suffered and will continue to do so for as long as men repeat their errors. The continued suffering and shared feelings gained from unjust situations are what make Antigone a character that is easily related to people who read Antigone. This easily built relationship grants insight into the character of Antigone and further fuels readers to look into the situations she faces as compared to situations today. Although all searches for justice may not end like fairy tales, in the world today, much like Antigone’s world, these searches are essential to the betterment of humanity.
Without these searches, realizations could not be reached similar to those reached by Creon. Government leaders would never change the methods in which they operate or the thinking processes used in making choices without seeing both successful and unsuccessful searches for justice. Due to this, Antigone and its search for justice have, and always will, inspire thought to the conditions of others as well as thoughts to preserving humanity’s future.