Antigone: “What law of the mighty gods have I transgressed?” (l 1013)
To what degree does Sophocles’s play, Antigone, concern the exercise of executive discretion? For
instance, consider whether the king exercises his legal power well, and whether his ‘law’ is the only law
in the play. Discuss in relation to the concept of law developed by one of the theorists listed below. As a
minor point to be considered at the end of your analysis, does Antigone and its themes or lessons have
any relevance to a legal issue concerning the exercise of executive discretion in Australia today?
You must use ONE of the following theorists:
o Aquinas (as a natural law theorist);
o Finnis (as a natural law theorist);
o Fuller (as a natural law theorist);
o Bentham (as a rights theorist);
o Douzinas (as a rights theorist);
o Hobbes (as a social contract or social justice theorist);
o Rawls (as a social contract or social justice theorist); OR
o Nozick (as a social contract or social justice theorist).
You can mention other theorists as background or for comparison or contrast, but you must focus
on ONE theorist in particular.
Simply as a suggestion, your jurisprudential reading may include an interpretation of Antigone’s remark,
extracted supra [at l 1013], in light of your selected theorist’s writings.
Sophocles, ‘Antigone’ in The Three Theban Plays (Robert Fagles trans, Penguin, 1982) 40-110