In the play Antigone by Sophocles, what does the chorus tell Antigone about established law?

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The CHORUS in Antigone is fickle.  They support Creon at the beginning, when they think he has the power, and then they support Antigone later, when she garners the favor of the people.  So says Enotes:

The Chorus, however, supports Creon's decisions until it becomes evident that his rule has resulted in tragedy. Creon reminds the Chorus that they too signed Antigone's death warrant by supporting his policies.

Below are lines from the CHORUS directed to Antigone regarding "law" in chronological order as they appear in the play.

  • The LEADER OF THE CHORUS reads her her charges:

O hapless, and child of hapless sire,-Of Oedipus! What means this? Thou brought a prisoner?-thou, disloyal to the king's laws, and taken in folly?

  • Later, in strophe 2, they show how man's laws are not timeless, like the god's, and are cursed:

And through the future, near and far, as through the past, shall this law hold good: Nothing that is vast enters into the life of mortals without a curse.

  • In the antistrophe, the CHORUS talks about how just lawmakers have been corrupted and will suffer from punishing her:

The just themselves have their minds warped by thee to wrong, for their ruin: 'tis thou that hast stirred up this present strife of kinsmen; victorious is the love-kindling light from the eyes of the fair bride; it is a power enthroned in sway beside the eternal laws; for there the goddess Aphrodite is working her unconquerable will.