The Certainty of Punishment in Law for the Pursuit of Justice in Antigone and Measure for Measure

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The Certainty of Punishment in Law for The Pursuit of Justice in Antigone and Measure for Measure

The concept of justice hinges on the beliefs of any given individual, human influences must always ultimately crumble and be brought to justice in the face of what is morally correct and divine. Punishment, conflict and pursuit of justice are major themes in both Sophocles Antigone and Measure for Measure. Antigone is laden with violent imagery; countless arguments causing conflict between Antigone and Creon as well as Creon and Haemon; and the blatant violence of the various murders and suicides present in the play. Moreover in Measure for Measure, is the conflict between justice and mercy, and whether justice and punishment would be served through strictly following the law or by showing mercy. "The law is strong, we must give in to the law in this thing, and in worse. I beg the Dead To forgive me, but I am helpless: I must yield”. (49-51) Why are Punishment, disagreement and pursuit of morals such a strong theme in both of these ancient works? Both Sophocles and Measure for Measure William Shakespeare lived in more primitive times when there were weakly enforced written laws concerning justice and fair play.
The common solution for most problems were along the lines of "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" which were better represented in Sophocles Antigone than in Measure for Measure, retaliation were definitely used as a method of justice. When Antigone buries her dead brother in the story of Sophocles’ Antigone, Creon's immediate response is to have her killed and buried in response to the burial and her defiance to his decree. So, In Measure for Measure, Lord Angelo the temporary leader of Vienna decides that there is too much freedom in Vienna and takes it upon himself to rid the city of brothels and unlawful sexual activity. Laws against these…...

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