Three Features of an Ideal Ruler Contrasted in The Aenied and Antigone

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An ideal ruler possesses 3 distinct features: courage, honor, and virtue. Courage is often shown when facing difficult leadership decisions. Honor is gained as one honor’s the gods or serves one’s own state. And virtue is gained as one looks out for the best interest of one’s own state. The importance of such virtues is contrasted in Antigone and The Aenied. In Antigone, Creon shows the 3 components of a good leader when he takes rule and objectively enforces the laws to maintain order. But as Antigone progresses and Creon’s hubris becomes more prominent, he loses sight of the three qualities that make a good leader. However, unlike Creon, Aeneas starts as the ideal leader by utilizing the 3 qualities and ends as an ideal leader, still …show more content…
Therefore, Creon is able to show the city what mortal laws are meant for—to keep order.
Creon loves Athens, and displays his loyalty by serving as king and attempting to honor the city’s gods by punishing a traitor. Though Creon’s actions have good intentions behind them, his view begins to illustrate his self pride. After being informed that Polynices was buried, the Chorus tells Creon, Creon gains honor here from his belief that the gods don’t honor traitors. Though Creon is obviously wrong, he shows some honor because in this situation Creon is simply trying to do what he believes is best for the city. Creon’s honor stems from his want to carry out laws consistently. However, Creon’s claim that gods don’t honor traitors shows his circular logic. For who is to determine a criminal in Thebes? Because Creon is the ruler of the kingdom, Creon has the ability to judge of who is a criminal and who is not. And so in this sense, Creon reserves the right to himself and himself only. Thus leading Creon to believe he is more powerful, implicitly taking his position to that of more than just a king. Creon’s reveals an attitude of manly pride which ultimately proves to be his downfall.
As the state calls Creon to rise to kingship, Creon jumps into leadership and immediately attempts to protect the state, thus displaying some very important leadership qualities. But as Creon’s arrogance begins to build, his emotions begin to take hold of his
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