Antigone vs. Socrates
In the plays Antigone and the Crito the two lead characters, Antigone and Socrates, showed completely different ideas regarding their responsibilities to the State. Antigone believes in divine law and does what she thinks that the Gods would want her to do. Socrates, on the other hand, believes that he owes it to the State to follow their laws whether he thinks they are right or not.
In Antigone, her brother Polynices, turned against his own city by attacking his own brother just so he could become king. On this day, both brothers died. One, Eteocles, was given funeral honors, but the other, Polynices, was not. This decision was made by Creon, Antigone’s uncle and the current King of Thebes. Creon said “He is to have no grave, no burial, no mourning from anyone; it is forbidden.'; (Pg. 432; l. 165) He also announced that anyone who should attempt to bury him would be put to death. After hearing this decision, Antigone said that Creon couldn’t do that and that the Gods would want Polynices to have a proper burial, therefore Antigone promised to her sister Ismene that she would be the one to defy Creon and bury her brother; and she didn’t care if the whole city knew of her plans. After being caught in the act, she was taken to the palace and when asked by Creon why she did it. Knowing the punishment that would come from it, she replied by saying that she didn’t think Creon had the power to overrule the unwritten laws or the Gods and that there are actually many more citizens who agree with what she did, but they were all too afraid to do anything about it. It is clear that Antigone follows divine law and has little respect for the laws of the State.
In the Crito, Socrates is approached by his life-long friend Crito while in prison awaiting execution. Crito used many...