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Laws of the City-State vs Higher Law as Seen in Sophocles Antigone In Ancient Greece after 800 bc new ideas came to the forefront concerning the governing of society These ideas led to a more organized leadership and a government whose decisions were primarily based on majority rule This system took the form of city-states large self-governing towns These city-states were founded on principals of freedom optimism secularism rationalismand the glorification of body and mind Accompanying these principals was an obligation of fierce loyalty to the city-state and a willingness to shed blood for its betterment These ideals while ambitious and noble often ran in stark contrast with those previously laid down by Greek gods whose routes went back to the chaotic Dark Age of Greece1150-800 bc Problems of this sort were probably commonly debated in city-states during the time Sophocles wrote Antigone In the play Antigone Antigone is faced with an extreme example of this conflict Her Brother considered a traitor by the king has died and she must decide whether to give him a proper burial or yield to the kings wishes and allow his body to be desecrated She chooses to bury him citing the will of the gods I will bury my brother and if I die for itconvicted of reverance-I shall be content she remarks to her sister in defiance Later when captured and brought before Creon himself Antigone continues to push her holy defense I do not think your edicts strong enough to overrule the unwritten unalterable laws of God and heaven you being only a man Her opinion is routed in the belief that a proper burial will secure her brothers place in the after-life regardless of his loyalty to the state Antigone valued the will of the Gods over loyalty a cornerstone of the city-state system Antigone probably also felt that her right to freedom as
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