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A Comparison of Creon of Antigone and Jason of Medea Essay

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A Comparison of Creon of Antigone and Jason of Medea


    Both of these two male characters are not title roles. They both fall prey to the actions of a woman, one whom they both originally thought they had complete control over. Antigone's martyrdom and conflict with the State brings Creon's destruction and Medea's double murder and infanticide brings his destruction. However, how much is this brought about through their own weakness and how much can we attribute this to a cruel fate? The issue is essentially whether a stronger person than Jason or Antigone could have avoided the destruction, and were they crushed by their own internal weakness ('hamartia'). An important to clarify is that we are not judging their personality. A despot can be a strong character and a man of high morals can be a weak character. The deciding factor is how rigidly they cling to their ideals and their ability to listen to others sensibly.

 

The gods cause Creon's destruction, acting in a just and logical way to the blasphemous deeds he committed. His destruction is very much in his own hands, despite the many warnings he receives from advisors such as Tiresias ("you have no business with the dead"), Haemon ("I see my father offending justice - wrong") and the Chorus ("could this possibly the work of the gods?" "good advice, Creon, take it now, you must"). He drives head long into it, ignoring those who counsel him. His inability to listen to others is very critical to his downfall, as we see in his rebukes to the Sentry for example ("Still talking? You talk too much!").  This is a fundamental weakness within his character. His stubbornness, as Tiresias, "brands you for stupidity". What appears in Creon's own eyes to be stern control ove...


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...ennsylvania State University:USA

Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Segal, Charles Paul. "Sophocles' Praise of Man and the Conflicts of the Antigone." In Sophocles: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Thomas Woodard. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966.

Sophocles. Antigone. Translated by R. C. Jebb. The Internet Classic Archive. no pag. http://classics.mit.edu/Sophocles/antigone.html

"Sophocles" In Literature of the Western World, edited by Brian Wilkie and James Hurt. NewYork: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1984.

Woodard, Thomas. Introduction. In Sophocles: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Thomas Woodard. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966.

Zissos, Professor.  Classical Myth Lecture Notes.  July 20, 2001.  <http://ccwf.cc.utexasz.edu/~paz/myth/notes.html>.


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