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POLI 231 Antigone

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Political Science
POLI 231
Arash Abizadeh

POLI 231: Introduction to political thought Antigone: I. Conflicts in the play: 1. Family vs politics  conflict between private and public rights  Antigone is treating her brothers equally  she also has family ties with Creon, niece, bride of his son  she's angered by her sister, because Ismene's stand differs from her own political stand -> politics 2. men vs women  Ismene: "We are only women"  Creon sees Antigone's opinion as a challenge to his manhood  natural order of authority=men over women ->if the order is disturbed, everything might result in chaos  women should be inside and not bother themselves with politics  this notion of gender rule has been criticised in 20th century, but is an indicator that emphasizes where our society comes from, what our culture is build on 3. individual vs state  Creon beliefs in sacrifice for the group, the public interest  he sees personal opinions, that differ from the public interest as selfishness  his state perspective implies authority for order, because Thebes was just rescued out of chaos, a civil war and could fall back there 4. religion vs politics  Antigone sees her political rights, but appeals to a higher authority  she respects divine laws higher than human, manmade laws, aka Creon 5. Moral vs legal  moral, just, right, legitimate is not the same as legal  legal laws, proposed by the government or ruler might be unjust  example: slavery, Nazi Germany,.. 6. young vs old  age may track different ideas  1st possibility: older people might be more experiences, and see why sth has not worked in the past, prevent repeating mistakes  2nd possibility: they might be entrenched in their social order, not see different ways  humans act on own interests, young people are not established in society, and therefore don't see such a great need of protecting the society rather than the individual  Haemon shows responsiveness to council, public opinion  Creon ignores it and uses his experience to legitimate his authoritarian rule 7. customary traditions vs explicit rule  both are traditions, and show the different conception of tradition  Creon breaks the religious tradition by imposing his own law  Antigone breaks the political tradition by not following Creon's political law  there is no monolithic tradition, it is defined differently, diversely 8. people vs ruler, democracy vs authoritarian  process of deciding can be open to discussion, even if final decision is made by ruler  ruler can ignore public opinion and act on his own  Haemon is responsive to society, talks to people on market,..  Creon seeks fame, but ignores the fact that fame and glory are dependent on others  Terecious, ignored by Creon, represents the public opinion of the council, the guards, the chorus, who is a channel of the community's opinion II. Question of nature of regime What legitimizes political power? 5. social political order  Creon, who is frightened of chaos, sees social and poli
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