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Civic Responsibility vs. Religious Duty in Antigone

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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 would be stoned in the town square.

Polyneices was to be untouched because after ruling Thebes side by side with his brother Etocles, the two brothers fought in war for the thrown. Polyneices gather his own army and fought against his own city. After that he was deemed the title of a traitor and Creon announced his rule about Polyneices, Antigone was caught burying her brother and denied nothing because she believed traitor or not he was still a soldier for Thebes and he was her own blood so she could not sit around and let this happen to her brother.

What Antigone did goes against Creon and this is where his difficult decision comes in. “Creon represents the regal point of view, while Antigone is just the opposite. The primary conflict arises when Creon declares that no one be allowed to bury the body of Polynices, one of Antigone's brothers who was slain in battle. Antigone, who cares for her brother very much, wants to see him properly laid to rest, so that his spirit can find peace. Unf...

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...te law in front of the law of the gods was going to be a good idea but sadly after the loss of his family he realized nothing was more important than the law of the gods. “moral law supersedes human law, and Creon suffers as a result … Sophocles thereby forces the reader to feel sympathy toward him. While feeling this sympathy, the reader also learns not to make the same mistakes Creon did, to avoid being stubborn and unwilling to compromise. (studentweb)

Those characteristics have been shown to signify great suffering and destruction. Sophocles even though made Creon seem powerful and right he wanted his readers to know family is most important and should always be put as a main priority because if ignored in Creons case when everyone important to him is gone the will be nothing to doe except follow the laws of religion and the gods that he tried to over rule.