Antigone vs Kreon Essay

915 Words Nov 5th, 2007 4 Pages
Antigone vs. Kreon- "Nomos" vs. "Written Laws"
Antigone is a play written in 442 B.C. (hypothetical) by the noted Greek playwright Sophocles. In the play Sophocles deals with issues such as the relationship between males and females and the state as well as the position of women in society. He uses Antigone to represent obligation to family and the gods while Kreon represents obligation of the "written laws" of the state. I think that if the context of the play is taken into consideration then Antigone's actions were justified as she was only fulfilling her duty while Kreon was just trying to assert his dominance early in his rule. The city Thebes has just recovered from a civil war during which two brothers Eteokles and Polyneces
…show more content…
That fact that Antigone breaks those natural laws that are defined for each gender actually weakens her position on the burial of her brother. Firstly insults her to be father in law Kreon by opposing him and on top of that she calls him a "fool" (Sophocles, Antigone, p. 39). When burying her brother she says that she is only obeying natural laws but then she herself breaks the natural laws by not understanding the position of and respecting men. She is placed in a precarious position where the same actions earn her the respect of her family and the gods while oppose her to the state. Kreon on the other hand on the other hand personalizes power when he looks at his state as a ship. He believes that as a leader he cannot show any weakness and has to uphold the laws that were written down by earlier generations. He says that, "I recognise that this ship keeps us safe, and only when we sail upright can we make friends for ourselves" (Sophocles, Antigone, p. 28). In following these lines he declares that he would not honour Polyneces with a proper burial as he had betrayed the city and the state. If Kreon did in fact give both brothers a decent burial he could have been under pressure from his subjects considering that one of them was a traitor to the state. On the other hand by honouring only one brother and deciding to prosecute Antigone he lost the respect of his son. It can be said that in order to assert his

More about Antigone vs Kreon Essay

Open Document