Moral Lessons in Antigone

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The play Antigone was written by Sophocles around four hundred forty B.C.E, in the height of the golden age of Greece. Theater was then, as it is now, a medium through which to implicate the outlooks of its writer and to examine moral issues, whilst providing entertainment. The subjects discussed through theater were often deeply rooted in the dialogue of the characters in the plays and struck the chords of the audience such that enlightenment could take place, and in that day and age this purpose was valued. Each episode and stasimon was laced with nuances of whatever message the author wished to convey; political themes were common, particularly regarding the foundations of democracy that were being laid, as well as themes of fate and…show more content…
He uses this reasoning to justify his refusal to give a dignified burial to Polynices, whom he sees as a traitor. At first this seems plausible, but when his decree is defied, Creon embarks on a power trip. His admirable loyalty to his state regresses into self-centered control of it, as he plainly reveals in a conversation with Haemon:

And is Thebes about to tell me how to rule?
Haemon: Now, you see? Who's talking like a child?
Am I to rule this land for others- or myself?
Haemon: It's no city alt all, owned by one man alone.
What? The city is the king's- that's the law!
Haemon: What a splendid king you'd make of a desert island- you and you alone. (who knew- Sophocles had a sense of humor! lines 821- 827).

It's evident that part of the stimulus for his rampage is the authority that has been afforded to him- "If this is your pleasure, Creon, treating our city's enemy and our friend this way...The power is yours, I suppose, to enforce it with the laws, both for the dead and all of us, the living" (lines 236-239)- and that, when coupled with pride, this ability is a precarious privilege to hold. The first symptom of tyranny that Creon contracts is paranoia. After hearing the news that Polynices' body has been uncovered, he says:

No, from the first there were certain citizens who could hardly stand the spirit of
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