Personal Morality vs. The State

Examines the themes of personal morality versus the State in “Antigone”, “The Last Days of Socrates” and “The Republic”.

At the heart of Sophocles’ play Antigone and Plato’s examination of Socrates’ trial in The Last Days of Socrates, as well as in Plato’s own philosophy, there is an examination of what constitutes a morally right action. For both Antigone and Socrates, a personal system of ethics takes precedence over what the state has decreed is good or right. In Antigone’s case, she calls on the Gods as providing a higher system of justice than that of Creon, who is merely representative of the State. Socrates and Plato, also defer to the existence of a higher morality than any found in an earthly court.