In the play Antigone by Sophocles Creon is the king of Thebes. In this piece Creon becomes overwhelmed with the power given to him as king. The result is Creon turning into a corrupt king. He orders laws that must be followed with consequences of death. He uses the body of his nephew, Polyneices, as a way of frightening the people into submission. And finally Creon walls up his niece, Antigone, to die because she disobeyed him. Such actions can not be justified and ultimately makes Creon a bad ruler.
Creon is a man who has just become the king of Thebes and has a flaw of having too much pride. He can’t control the power of being over other people and he lets the power go to his head. “ I now possess the throne and all its powers. No, he must be left unburied, his corpse carrion for the birds and dogs
Instead of considering the people's interests, he seeks vengeance towards those who have wounded his pride. In fact, he accuses Teiresias, the most insightful messenger in Sophocles' plays, of yielding to greed for material wealth when Teiresias warns Creon of the consequences of his actions. Creon's decision "to use any legal means...both about the dead and [living]" (168) demonstrates how his appetite for revenge ultimately transforms any of his noble intents to protect Thebes into a mere conflict for power, particularly worsened by Antigone's rebellious actions; instead of trusting the gods to punish Polyneices, he uses his authority to indulge in his vengeance.
When a messenger comes to Creon, bringing the news that Antigone has buried her brother, he begins his arguments why Antigone has broken the law. He begins by stating that a man shows what he is made of by his "skill in rule and law." In other words, the law is everything and as a ruler, he must do everything for his country. He considers Polyneices an enemy of the city and a threat to the security of the city as well. Thus Polyneices will be called a traitor in life and in death and dishonored. The scene when Antigone and Creon face each other is the opportunity for both to defend themselves. Creon questions Antigone. She bases her responses on that the city laws proclaiming her as illegal are not the laws of Zeus or laws proclaimed by gods, but rather, laws made by a man that one day will also die. She will honor her brother's death because this is what the gods have proclaimed for all mankind. (lines 460-463)
Oedipus and Creon are alike in yet another way. They both committed vile acts of hubris. Both of them went against the gods for feckless and pointless reasons. Oedipus committed hubris by insulting Tiresias. He accuses Tiresias of “betraying us, destroying Thebes” (177). Tiresias is a prophet of the gods. He is just telling Oedipus what he has seen. Tiresias’s refusal to tell Oedipus his secrets only results in more name-calling and humiliation. Oedipus calls him the “scum of the earth” (178). Oedipus is so enraged by his prophecies that he accuses him of “helping to hatch the plot” (178). Oedipus suspects that Tiresias is being bribed. “Who primed you for this? Not your prophet’s trade” (179), he says. Oedipus’ rashness lead him to accuse Tiresias, a prophet of the gods and a wise seer, that he is corrupt and a fraud. This is obviously
She was committed to honoring her family and that is why she felt Polyneices deserved proper burial rites along with Eteocles. She took the idea to bury him to Ismene. Since it was against the law, she did not agree. Antigone responds to her by saying “That must be your excuse, I suppose. But as for me, I will bury the brother I love” (65). She argues that Creon is not enough to stand in her way (35) and Polyneices has the right to be buried being that he fought as bravely as Eteocles. So, Antigone took it upon herself to bury Polyneices. A sentry brings the news to Creon and soon Antigone follows. When taken to Creon, she fights that he is disobeying the laws of heaven. She argues, “Your edict, King, was strong, but all your strength is weakness itself against the immortal unrecorded laws of God" (360-363). She stressed to Creon that even though he holds a powerful position of authority, divine law will always come before civil law. Along with her upholding of the laws of heaven, Antigone expresses how her love for a brother is stronger than any other. She gives one last plea: she would not have defied Creon if the unburied body were her husband’s or her child’s. Both of those could be replaced, but a sibling whose parents are dead is suitable to accept such punishment. She would rather die with honor than live with the guilt of her brother’s soul left to wander the earth. With Polyneices left unburied, she feels she would have
The opening events of the play Antigone, written by Sophocles, quickly establish the central conflict between Antigone and Creon. Creon has decreed that the traitor Polynices, who tried to burn down the temple of gods in Thebes, must not be given proper burial. Antigone is the only one who will speak against this decree and insists on the sacredness of family and a symbolic burial for her brother. Whereas Antigone sees no validity in a law that disregards the duty family members owe one another, Creon's point of view is exactly opposite. He has no use for anyone who places private ties above the common good, as he proclaims firmly to the Chorus and the audience as he revels in his victory over Polynices. He sees Polynices as an enemy to
Creon, who is Iocasta’s brother, claims in Oedipus the King that he does not wish to have the power and responsibility of being king. Towards the beginning of Oedipus the King, Oedipus has announced that Creon is to be banished from Thebes. Oedipus was exiling Creon because he said that Creon and Tiresias were trying
Due to his unwavering pride and refusal to see through the eyes of others, Creon falls from his position of immense power and wealth which in the end doesn’t matter because all his loved ones and family are now dead.
In the first paragraph of the play it reads, "My darling sister Ismene, we have had a fine inheritance from Oedipus. God has gone through the whole range of sufferings and piled them all on us, -grief upon grief, humiliation upon humiliation"(1042). This just shows how terrible fate has treated the family of Oedipus. Creon has a different fate, one that he brought upon himself but it is much more dour than anyone else's. Creon's fate was to lose all of all of his family and the rest of his life knowing it was his entire fault because of his selfish actions and his stubborn ways. In the end of the play Creon says, "Nobody else to share the blame. Just me . . . I killed you. I killed you my dear"(1078-1079).
Before advancing to the throne, Oedipus had unknowingly killed Laius, his father and the king of Thebes. Shortly after killing the king, he married the dead king’s wife, his mother. He had committed incest by marrying and having children with his own mother. As a result he became father of Polyneices, Eteocles, Antigone, and Ismene. Oedipus stabs his eyes out and his sons, Polyneices and Eteocles killed themselves in combat, over the power of the throne. Creon was in the process of reconstructing Thebes from the ruins that his own family created. He also had to make a name for himself, after all the chaos the past rulers had made. If Creon did not set an example for civilians they would simply rebel. Creon was to stand firm by his word because no one is above the law, no matter who committed the act. In other words Creon was not a villain; he was the antagonist of Antigone. Imagine how biased Creon would appear to the Theban population if he did not pursue the punishment that he himself had instituted. In agreement to his law, Creon’s intentions were just. There’s no doubt about it, Creon’s law was harsh but when truly analyzing the situation, Polyneices was a traitor because he allied with other cities and attacked his homeland. Creon’s strong and steadfast attitudes were to support Thebes. But unfortunately, he was a little too late to understand that his fierce dedication to his decree was an error on his part.
Creon, who received the throne after the banishment of Oedipus, begins “Antigone” with high status as the king of Thebes. He is fortunate to be honored as Thebes’ appointed king during her triumph over the army of Polynices, “Creon, son of Menoeceus, Whom the gods have appointed for us in our recent change of fortune” (Antigone, 130).
In the play, Creon and Antigone can be seen as good or bad characters. Both of them show traits of justice. Antigone wanted to save her brother, Polyneices, by giving him a soldier’s funeral with military honors. Creon realized his mistake of putting Antigone in a cave to die for burying Polyneices, and he tried to fix it. Unfortunately, he
Creon, like all main characters in Greek drama, suffers many losses and undergoes emotional pain and anguish. A target of the curse on the House of Oedipus by relation, Creon was already a
Not only is Antigone courageous and highly motivated by her morals by standing up for her political and religious beliefs, she also protects her personal ones when she buries her brother. Antigone places family above her own life, and she refuses to let a man stand in her way of maintaining her ideals. She buries Polynices out of her own loyalty to her brother even after her sister, Ismene, refuses. Antigone is cruel to her for not taking part in illegally burying their brother. Instead of being caring and considerate, she becomes irate and at the end of their conversation says, "Go away Ismene: I shall be hating you soon, and the dead will too, for your hateful words," Antigone's flaw was her headstrong behavior and her stubbornness, which ultimately brought about her downfall and the downfall of those around her. Her persistence of course, is what forces Antigone to rashly take matters in to her own hands. Creon then decides to take Antigone's life "Away with her at once, and close her up in her rock-vaulted tomb. Leave her and let her die". To everyone's surprise Antigone does not run from her death sentence suggesting a great trait of braveness, which the chorus recognizes before her exodus from life. The notion that a person has no say in the affairs of their loved ones and the fact that those laws were defied deserves