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HUMA 1825 Final Exam Review.docx

Course Code
HUMA 1825
Neil Braganza
Study Guide

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HUMA 1825 Final Exam Review
Novel Readings
Sophocles’ Antigone
- Creon’s justice is that heroes are honoured and treated as such, whereas
traitors should be left on the roadside for the consumption of animals
o His concept of law is that he as a ruler can create laws that will
represent the greater good of his city
o In the beginning of the story Creon sees himself as a great, almighty,
and powerful ruler who has the ability to make any laws
When he is foretold that his actions are rash and will end
poorly by Tiresias, he quickly changes his methodology
Essentially, he changes from a tyrant to a coward
o Creon focuses interest in his “gender” in such that he cannot step
down before the ideology of a woman. He sees women as replaceable
- Antigone, on the other hand, believes that everyone is equal after death,
despite their actions or beliefs in life
o Antigone focuses on natural law and would rather serve the law of
Gods than the law of man
o Antigone brings the aspect of “gender” into consideration –
considering how she is a woman, and it is her duty to bury and pay
tribute to the males in her family, the importance of her being a
“woman” is what drives her to disobey Creon’s law
o Antigone works well as a moral exemplar because she demonstrates
herself as a martyr for the sake of justice.
Unlike Creon, she demonstrates that she will not be willing to
change her ideology no matter how grim the outcome or
punishment will become
- The Chorus supports Creon and the creation of his law in the beginning, they
consider Antigone to be a self-centered brat
o During the middle of the play, the Chorus changes its perspective on
Antigone’s actions and sees that she chooses the honourable decision
o At the end, the Chorus attempts to dissuade Creon from making the
mistake of killing Antigone
- This represents a framework of this course in the sense that you have a
conflict between classical natural law (Antigone) and legal positivism
o The natural law is present when Antigone when she says that there is
a moral truth that is absolute and that overrides human laws that is
inconsistent to the moral truth for her moral truth must be reflected
in human law, otherwise that law is not valid
o The legal positivism is present when Creon says since he is the duly
constituted lawmaking authority, his law is valid and authoritative
where he is concerned

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Anouilh’s Antigone
- This play was written in 1942 and has a very similar plot to that of Sophocles.
However, it is very different in terms of its moral and political concepts from
the original play
- Important differences include Anouilh making contemporary schemes such
as coffee and non-ancient anachronism. The setting of the play is very neutral
without any historical or geographical implications. The chorus speaks to the
audience in a meta-theatrical way (it breaks the fourth wall). There is an
absence of Tiresias, permanently ridding Antigone of religion.
- Anouilh specifically added the “Nurse” character as a means of underscoring
the common theme of childhood. Items like the little spade, Polynices’ flower
and her dog, Floss, are all meant to infantilize Antigone’s character
o Contrasting this theme is Creon and his notions of adulthood
o Another addition is the Guard characters that represent every single
man they have no moral judgments and will do whatever they are
told. They have no imagination and are simply soldiers following
- Creon is displayed in this play as the optimal adult he has to do a job that he
doesn’t really like, but nevertheless he does it to the best of his ability
o This character attempts to dissuade Antigone’s stupidity by showing
her that burial rights are not important (taking religion out), that both
of her brothers were worthless thugs and burying one of them was
meant as a political message.
o He’s a consummate pragmatism in the sense that he does what is
necessary to achieve the good end. Even when the catastrophe unfolds
he carries on with life.
o Therefore, Creon is a good reflection of the Vichy government that
tried to protect the State by sacrificing all for the good of the country.
- One main theme in this story is that happiness is all about compromise, lack
of which will result in death.
- Justice is the desire for everyone to be virtuous, and injustice is people who
are unjust by wishing for unjust things
o Justice is either distributive or corrective (equity)
Distributive justice is giving people rewards based on the merit
of their character or their virtues the more virtuous they are,
the higher reward they will receive this is only partial justice
because it has a tendency of being incorrect in terms of the
characteristics or virtues being judged (for example, Nazi law).
This is regarded to as the principle of formality, whereby their
isn’t enough context, creating unfairness (it is virtuous to be
Aryan, and vice-full to be Jewish)
This works on the idea that not everyone is equal;
people should receive what they deserve based on their
actions and character

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Corrective justice (equity) seeks to restore any mishaps or
coercions created by distributive justice by subtracting
rewards from one person and giving them to another.
This is sort of an appeal process used to fix a mistake
and “balance out” justice
This is where voluntary and involuntary transactions
are highlighted: if you did a virtuous act involuntarily,
then should you be rewarded as much as someone who
did it voluntarily?
o Justice is a desire for just outcomes. Just outcomes are those that
benefit the common good that is virtuous (inhibiting excellence)
Therefore, justice promotes excellence in human character by
offering rewards to the good and punishment to the bad.
o For Aristotle, Virtue is the excellence of character justice being the
highest virtue. Justice then is a distribution of the whole that is
commanded by the law.
- Voluntary transactions occur between people who consciously acknowledge
the actions that they are taking place
o Only justice and injustice pertain to involuntary acts someone can
commit injustices without being unjust (injustices can be committed
for the greater good)
o If a person involuntarily commits injustice (they weren’t aware that it
was injustice), they cannot be called unjust
- Equity is a form of corrective justice in the sense that it fixes a problem by
applying the ideology of proportional reciprocity
o This is case-by-case justice where the justice for one case may be
considered injustice for another case.
o The equitable is the correction of the legally just since law is general
it is the job of the lawgivers to assure that the law could be
interpreted in specific ways
- Law is justice: what is lawful is just, therefore, what is unjust is unlawful
o All laws are just, however not all laws are equal
o Natural laws are virtuous in their nature, however positive law is not
always just or virtuous
- Law is a rule because it governs through reason, and has the power of
moving the will it’s a measure of acts because it binds us to the act,
therefore our actions are bound in law.
o Law is the ordinance of reason for the common good
- The primary concern of law is the common good of all people through the
law, such as governing individuals to perform specific actions that would
benefit the most
- Aquinas has four different types of law:
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