Antigone – Justice
systems of justice serve those in power “Justice is like the kingdom of God; it is not without us as a fact, it is within us as a great yearning. ” The notion of justice strongly resonates to what was mentioned in this quote by George Eliot. We all desire to live in a world that is fair and just but it is just beyond human’s aptitude because there are always two sides to every event and there is never complete justice for both.
Every individual strive to have justice for various intentions and those in power often exploit the system of justice to mask their wickedness. In this prevailing civilization, there is no doubt that laws are enforced by people at the top of the social hierarchy. People of authority will establish laws that seem to be unbiased and fair in their eyes, believing that this is in the best interest of the country, but in actual fact it is far from that. An example of such a situation is present in the Ancient Greek tragedy, written by Sophocles, “Antigone”.
In the play the decree given out by the new king Creon only served himself as it makes it illegal for Ismene and Antigone to burry and honor the brother, Polynices for the very last time. Creon wanted to have the sense of control over the city of Thebes,thus enforcing the law without contemplating the views of the family members as well as the citizens as it was stated by the chorus saying “But he that, too rashly daring, walks in sin”. “I do not defy them; but I cannot act Against the State. I am not strong enough”. Ismene, as much as she wanted to honor the brother, she could not.
Creon despite knowing the importance of a formal burial for the Greeks, he chastised Antigone and Ismene for breaking the law. It is hard for leaders to genuinely apprehend the privation of the people them. Thus, laws that are introduced are predominantly to the benefit of those in power. The system of justice allows the majority to create the terms of justice and the ethics of the minorities will usually be treated as less significant, or completely disregarded. This can be seen in many societies with controversial issues.
Euthanasia is a good example. The majority in Rusia,United Kingdom and Australia agrees that euthanasia is wrong and laws to punish those who assist others in suicide were instigated . In the case of Terri Schiavo who was a 41-year-old disabled woman in Florida was severely disabled for over 15 years, and been diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative . Due to the money and status this family had, they were able to carry out euthanasia but there were many cases where people were left to suffer and die naturally because they were underprivileged.
Power and money governs the system of the world. Therefore, justice, being a fragment of the system, attends those of influence. In the political realm, authorized professional who are part of the formation of legislations are also those who have the power over the final verdict. The ultimate judgement in a court should be carried out by professionals who are chaste and neutral and not those who are a part of the making of the laws because their mind sets will bound to be influenced and skewed to their own likeness.
This was shown in “Antigone” where the law was essentially created by Creon but he too had the highest power to decide whether Antigone and Ismene was going to punished or to be exonerated. And because Creon was so obsessed with the law that he created he made a very bias move by not looking at this situation from other perspectives but instead said “ Take them, and keep them within- The proper place for women”. If the power of making the final decision was given to other people instead of Creon, Antigone and Ismene’s fate could have been altered.
Indeed justice will place those in power as the priority if the people who judge had only one outlook. “Justice is sweet and musical; but injustice is harsh and discordant”. However, as much as human beings, especially the government aspire to be just and nondiscriminatory, it is impossible, because, justice is never an end to itself. Impartiality and justice is what we hope for but the truth is, nothing can gratify two parties and in most instances, the ones in supremacy will be at the winning end. This is an irrefutable, sad reality that we have no choice but to endure it.