The myth of Antigone addresses the conflict between individual conscience and collective interest, between moral law and positive law. The myth of Oedipus represents the struggle of historical, objective truth against subjective truth; the tension between justice and intransigence in its administration; the conflicted relationship involving guilt, error and responsibility. Creon, finally, embodies the contrast between the law and its opposition. These legal dilemmas continue to resurface in contemporary society. Although justice is no longer tied to its primitive vengeful foundation and is now administered with many guarantees sanctioned by contemporary constitutions, it never entirely evens the score, from neither the victim’s nor the oppressor’s perspective.
Marta Cartabia is a professor of Constitutional Law at the Bocconi University in Milan and currently a vice president of Italy’s Constitutional Court.
Luciano Violante used to teach Penal and Procedural Law and is a former magistrate and member of the Italian Parliament, where he presided over the Chamber of Deputies from 1996 to 2001.