Civic Responsibility vs. Religious Duty in Antigone Essay example

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In the play Antigone, Creon, king of Thebes faces a harsh conflict with himself, involving the values of family and religion verse the civic responsibility he must maintain for the city of Thebes that comes with being the new king. In theory no decision Creon makes is going to be the rite one. Although both Antigone and Creon have justified reasons for believing in there own laws only one can be upheld by the play and how Sophocles interoperates the play himself. Creon must decide whether to punish Antigone, a princess, daughter of king Oedipus, or fail at enforcing his own law and look weak in front of the citizens of Thebes as their new leader. The law stated that anybody who touched the corpse of Polyneices, a prince, and son of Oedipus …show more content…

Antigone ignores the idea of civic responsibility and puts her family first. Her family is more important to her than the law because she finds religion more powerful than Creon. “The ancient Greeks were polytheistic, they believed in many different gods and goddesses. The Greeks believed that these gods and goddesses controlled everything, from the waves in the ocean to the winner of a race.” (Richmond) If Antigone did nothing, living with the guilt of not helping her brother would be worse. She breaks these rules for divine law, a law that is believed to come directly from god. Antigones actions for Polyneices that he must be buried is a requirement from the gods. If not buried properly the souls of the deceased were let to walk to river Styx, the entrance to the under world, for eternity and their souls would never be at rest. Not burying a body was a great insult to the dead and Antigone could not live with that on her conscience. Creon on the other hand ignores the laws of the gods and believes his duty to the city comes first. Creon believes his decision was in the best interest of Thebes to show that he is a strong ruler and the city of Thebes will be safe in his hands. As the play is read and the rolls of Antigone become under stood to the reader it is easy to understand how the play itself favors Creon. The play is meant to realistically resemble the Greek way of life, which makes Creon

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