“I want to suggest that Antigone, like Creon, has engaged in a ruthless simplification of the world of value which effectively eliminates conflicting obligations. Like Creon, she can be blamed for a refusal of vision. But there are important differences, as well, between her project and Creon’s. When these are seen, it will also emerge that this criticism of Antigone is not incompatible with the judgment that she is morally superior to Creon” (Nussbaum, 1594). Use evidence from the play itself to support your claims.

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This is a claim by Martha Nussbaum, a noted philosopher who has written extensively about ancient ethical thought. One can either agree or disagree with her position and support that from the play. One major issue is to make a distinction between how twenty-first century people might evaluate the play...

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This is a claim by Martha Nussbaum, a noted philosopher who has written extensively about ancient ethical thought. One can either agree or disagree with her position and support that from the play. One major issue is to make a distinction between how twenty-first century people might evaluate the play from a moral perspective and how different members of the original audience might've reacted. It also should be noted that the ancient Greeks had a wide variety of opinions and philosophies, just as people do now.

First, one should note that Antigone's arguments are based on her sense of duty to her family and the gods. She sees this as a religious duty, which is a relatively conventional viewpoint of her period as women had special responsibility for conducting funeral rites for their family. In this way, she appears in an ethically strong position. However, disobeying the head of her family and the lawful ruler of the city on the basis of her private judgment is a sort of defiance that Ismene, who expresses a more conventional female viewpoint, points out is wrong in being inappropriate to her age and gender.

Creon argues from a position of legitimate authority and places the welfare of the city as a whole and the maintenance of the rule of law above personal desires of obligations. This is a rational and ethical position as well. It is only when the prophet Tiresias intervenes that it is obvious that divine authority is on the side of Antigone. In rejecting the claims of Tiresias, Creon shows himself as sharing with Antigone the fault of arrogance and of favoring private judgment.

As to which side one should support, that depends on whether one believes that obligations to individuals or to one's city or country are more important when they come into conflict.

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