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?Task: Write an essay about the conflict between Antigone and Creon in Antigone, by Sophocles. Show how each is right in his or her own fundamental belief. Then show how the tragedy was inevitable or show how one side was wrong and should have changed. In Antigone, by Sophocles, there is conflict between the characters Antigone and Creon. Antigone is characterized as a rebellious girl, who turns into a martyr, and just lost both her brothers, Eteocles and Polynices, in a war between the city-states of Thebes and Argos.
Eteocles was fighting the war on Thebes’s side, Thebes is where they live, but Polynices was fighting for the Argos army. Creon, the king of Thebes as well as Antigone’s uncle, has made a law that Polynices may not be given proper burial rights on the account of him being a traitor to Thebes. Antigone feels personally victimized by this law, she feels as though Creon has created this law entirely for her and Ismene, her sister. Antigone, the rebel, defies Creon’s orders and “buries” Polynices with one handful of dirt and in return is arraigned and executed, or more accurately committed suicide while she sat in her death chamber.
Personally, I feel that both characters are wrong in their actions; however, I don’t fully understand the thought processes of ancient Theban citizens either. “Hasn’t Creon graced one with all the rites, / disgraced the other? Eteocles, they say, / has been given full military honors, / rightly so- Creon has laid him in the earth/ and he goes with glory down among the dead. / But the body of Polynices, who died miserably- / why, a city-wide proclamation, rumor has it, / forbids anyone to bury him, even mourn him (Antigone 27-34). ” Antigone goes on to explain to Ismene that she believes that Creon has imposed this law specifically for them.
This quote from Antigone shows the conflict of the entire play. Antigone has a great love for both of her brothers and feels that they both deserve to be buried even though Polynices had fought against Thebes. Antigone’s actions are justified by the fundamental fact that everybody deserves to be laid to rest; but there is no way to escape the punishment of going against the King’s orders. “It is important to remember the natural instinct of all modern readers is to sympathize fully with Antigone (Knox 39). ” Although I don’t completely sympathize with Antigone, I don’t believe that she deserved to die in vain for what she did.
Creon is characterized as an authoritarian tyrannical ruler. He created the law stating that nobody was to bury the body of Polynices because he betrayed the city of Thebes. Creon was right to make his law because Polynices was a turncoat and died on Theban soil. Although his law was harsh, he believed that he was in the right because a villain such as Polynices did not deserve a proper burial. Creon was especially enraged when Antigone disregarded his law because Polynices was her brother, “Oh but I hate it more / when a traitor, caught red-handed, / tries to glorify his crimes (Creon 552-554). This tragedy was to be expected because of Antigone and Creon’s personalities. Antigone is stubborn and rebellious. She loved her brother, Polynices, deeply and was devastated when he died. Creon used brute divine right to punish Antigone by not allowing Polynices to be buried, devastating her even further. I feel that both characters were wrong. Antigone loved her brother and I’m sure she made that perfectly clear whilst he was alive. Because of this, Antigone should not have risked her life to defend her brother’s dead body.
It must be awful for Antigone to have to acknowledge that a loved one is the equivalent of carrion but as long as Polynices knew that he was loved before he died, Antigone shouldn’t have become a martyr to pride. Creon was also wrong “by the end of the play it is made clear that his action is a violation of divine law…in the end the gods, through their spokesman, the Prophet Tiresias, uphold [Antigone’s] claim that divine law does indeed prescribe burial for all dead men (Knox 38). ” Creon should not have made such a strict and binding law that he knew Antigone would not resist.
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In conclusion, Antigone and Creon were both righteous and foolish in their actions. Antigone should have known better than to go against the king’s order and listened to Ismene. Creon should have not been so tyrannical in his law. Their actions together resulted in the death of Antigone, Haemon (Creon’s son and Antigone’s groom), and Eurydice (Creon’s wife). This could have been avoided if either character had seen the situation from the other character’s point of view. Bibliography Fagles, Robert. The Three Theban Plays. United States of America: Penguin Classics, 1984.
Author: Brandon Johnson
Antigone vs Creon
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Show MoreThe Source of Conflict between Antigone and Creon in Sophocles’ “Antigone”
In the following paper, I plan to discuss the source of conflict between the title characters of Antigone and Creon in Sophocles’ “Antigone”. I also plan to discuss how each character justifies his or her actions and what arguments they give for their justifications. I will also write about the strengths and weaknesses of these arguments. The final points I try to make are about who Sophocles thinks is right and who I think is right.
The main source of conflict between Antigone and Creon is the issue of the burial of Antigone’s dead brother. Both of her brothers were killed in battle, however one brother fought against their home city and was considered a…show more content…
Antigone goes on with the burial of her brother because she claims that Zeus did not make the proclamation, and that a mere mortal cannot override the gods. Her justification for the burial of her brother is that she will not break the laws of the gods. These rules are great unwritten, unshakable traditions and she does not want to face the retribution of the gods. She already knows that she will one day die and she would rather die now than to let her brother rot. Allowing this would be a pain greater than death to her.
Even when Creon discovers that Antigone is the person that defied his proclamation, he still sticks to his word by punishing her to death. If he lets her go, he is not a man, she is. This would be unheard of. Creon states, “No woman is going to lord it over me.” “From now on, they’ll act like women…” after Antigone and her sister get tied up. “I’m not about to prove myself a liar, not to my people, I’m going to kill her.” Creon cannot make a law and then take it back, especially not for a woman. The man the city places in authority must be obeyed, whether or not he is right. Creon also feels he must defend the men who live by the law, and never let a woman triumph or be inferior to a woman.
I believe Creon originally made this law for the good of his country. He would not be considered a very good leader if he allows the burial of traitors. However, when he finds out that the one who broke the