Antigone`s Ethics Some individuals in literature try to do what they believe is right, even though they face oppositions. In the play “Antigone”, by Sophocles, and “A Few Good Men”, by Rob Reiner, Both Colonel Jessep and King Creon are two such inividuals. In both of these plays, they are both successful in doing what they believe is right, but they both face oppositions. In the play “Antigone” King Creon did what he believed is right and faced opposition. King Creon believed that Polynices, Antigone’s dead brother, should be left out in an open field where animals can feed upon the body, and anyone who tried to bury him will be put to death by stoning.
The reason he believed this is because Polynices was a trader. He succeeded, but is faced by an opposition. Antigone opposed him because in her religious laws, all corpses had to have a proper burial. (Sophocles: lines 384-581) “That order did not come from God. Justice, That dwells with the gods bellow, knows no such law. I did not think your edict strong enough To overrule the unwritten unalterable laws of God and heaven, you only being a man”. Antigone buries her brother and is sentenced to death. Her fiancee Heamon, and Creon’s son, then opposes Creon but doesn’t succeed either.
In “A Few Good Men”, Colonel Jessep also did what he believed even though he faced opposition. He ordered Dawson and Downey, two Marines who he knew would follow his orders without question, to do a Code Red on William Santiago, a mess-up Marine. A Code Red is a type of severe harassment in which something is do to toughen up the offending Marine. Such Code Reds were part of Marine tradition but were official forbidden by recent Marine Regulations. Dawson and Downey did the Code Red and Santiago died.
When Colonel Jessep said in the play that “People have to die to save lives”, he meant that he believed that this barbaric tradition would serve the better good by making tougher Marines. Daniel Kaffe opposed Colonel Jessep in this movie. He proved that Colonel Jessep was wrong. Therefore Colonel Jessep and King Creon both believed that making an individual suffer served as an example which strengthened the state against its enemies. They were each opposed by an apparently weaker but enlightened foe that believed in forgiving human error. Both Colonel Jessep and King Creon were ultimately defeated by their opposition.