The Athenians with their king Theseus offer their protection to a group of persecuted from Argos, a town, the alliance of which Athens tried desperately to maintain during the war. The myth of the play derives from the so-called 'Theban Circle', which included the expedition of the Seven under the leadership of the exiled Polyneikes against Thebes. The play begins the day after the defeat of the invaders, and poses with sharpness certain matters of ethical and political behavior, arising inside the subversive atmosphere of the war. Two of these problems constitute the shaft of the tragedy: Firstly, the right that anyone has to apply a different ethical code during a war transgressing unwritten laws of humanity, as the respect towards the dead of the defeated part and secondly the limits of obligations that the disposal of protection of the weaks imposes. The king of Athens, with full support of its people, answers both questions in a humanistic way and thus the Athenians shoulder a dangerous war, to secure the burial of the defeated dead.