Sophocles' Antigone – Comparing the Symbolic Alignment Utilized by Creon and President George Bush

Sophocles' Antigone – Comparing the Symbolic Alignment Utilized by Creon and President George Bush

Length: 1019 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Sophocles' Antigone – Comparing the Symbolic Alignment Utilized by Creon and President George Bush

... he who has not first laid his foundations may be able with great ability to lay them afterwards, but they will be laid with trouble to the architect and danger to the building. - The Prince by Machiavelli

Sophocles addresses this very problem in his play Antigone by the methods Creon uses to rule Thebes. Creon begins ruling Thebes in a very difficult time and circumstance. The polis has been embroiled in tragedy for over a generation. Creon must rule the city and consolidate the Theban citizens behind him. He resorts to symbolic means to unite the people, but he goes too far-- he is unyielding in his adherence to the symbolic policy he adopts, and too late becomes aware that he is actually losing the people he tries to lead.Creon capitalizes on recent tragic events in Thebes to consolidate his power and legitimize his position.

The latest war in Thebes was waged between two brothers-- Eteocles and Polyneices. Polyneices, the elder brother, was to have the throne; but Eteocles drove him out by convincing the people that Polyneices carried Oedipus' curse. Polyneices went to Argos and raised an army, then returned in order to drive Eteocles out and retake control of Thebes (Oedipus at Colonus 1532-5). In the ensuing battle, the brothers killed each other-- they "worked out their share in common death" (Antigone 162). Their strife is over. Polyneices' army has returned to Argos, leaving the kingship of Thebes to Creon.Creon has just come to power in a city that has had more than its share of grief: King Laius was murdered, then the Sphynx and a plague tormented the polis with death. Next, Oedipus discovered his own crime...

... middle of paper ...

...e question is not unique the ancient Thebes, however, and it behooves us to examine Creon's methods and goals in light of current events. For example, President Bush is currently using the tragedy of the World Trade Center attacks last year to unite the American people... more importantly to unite them under his leadership. His approval ratings are sky-high, up in the 70th percentile, according to polls by Gallup, CNN, USAToday, Fox, the Christian Science Monitor, Time, and others ( By making his policy one of "Good vs. Evil," he has polarized the conflict, and who wouldn't want to be on the side of the Good? This method is not inherently wrong or bad, but with it come many caveats, as Creon discovered, and as Machiavelli warns. Symbols can be useful tools, but like any good tool, they can be dangerous if used without care.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on President George W. Bush and Antigone: Changing Your Mind

- An old Chinese proverb states that a man who is wise will change his mind often, while the fool will remain obstinate. In Antigone, by Sophocles, King Creon makes a law contradicting a person’s basic human rights, and in the end he pays dearly for it by losing the remainder of his family. In comparison is the late President George W. Bush, he, in the early years of his presidency, launched an illegal war on Iraq. Both leaders ultimately met their downfall, and in Creon’s case, lived out his own words, “the stiffest stubborn wills fall the hardest” (528-529)....   [tags: Presidents, George W. Bush, Antigone, Sophocles, w]

Strong Essays
873 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Comparing the Character of Creon in Oedipus and Antigone

- Comparing the Character of Creon in Oedipus and Antigone Creon does not learn a lesson from Oedipus' accusatory behavior. Instead he adapts this bad personality trait. Throughout Antigone, he accuses everyone who tries to give him advice of betraying him. Whereas, in Oedipus, he is falsely accused by Oedipus of trying to take over the throne. This paper will compare and contrast his behavior and evaluate if he learned anything from one play to the next. Creon was seen in a different context in Oedipus compared to his character in Antigone....   [tags: Oedipus Antigone]

Free Essays
825 words (2.4 pages)

Comparing and Contrasting Sophocles' Antigone and Shakespeare's Othello Essay example

- The tragedies of Antigone and Othello were written with great depth and are structured in such a way that both characters are victims, in spite of their crimes. Antigone and Othello are tragedy plays created by using many techniques to create the feelings of fear and pity. There are differences and similarities in characters, action, and themes between Antigone and Othello. First, the major characters in both of the plays are suffering through great pain and end up with death. The drama Antigone which is written by Sophocles, tells the story of Antigone....   [tags: othello, antigone]

Strong Essays
963 words (2.8 pages)

Symbolic Interactionist : Symbolic Interactionism Essays

- ... This led me to apply these basic principles to the hot button issue of prison reform, especially a new concept of the negative consequences of solitary confinement. The thought process which is consistent with Mead’s conclusions is that when we remove the social implications and moral compass of our peer’s reactions to our actions, we lose the ability to differentiate right from wrong down to the most social immature acts such as eating and playing in poop. You lose the ability to set goals that either stabilize your being or improve its condition you become unhuman and millions of years of animal instincts and actions come out....   [tags: Sociology, Symbolic interactionism, Criminology]

Strong Essays
1097 words (3.1 pages)

Reasons for Antigone as the Title Essay

- Antigone says of her decision: “I didn't say yes. I can say no to anything I say vile, and I don't have to count the cost. But because you said yes, all that you can do, for all your crown and your trappings, and your guards—all that your can do is to have me killed.” Whenever an object receives a title, some people will disagree with the name. Some people feel that certain songs should consist of different names, some books should possess alternative titles, and some plays would better represent their meaning under different names....   [tags: Titles, Antigone]

Strong Essays
889 words (2.5 pages)

Symbolic Interactionism And The Symbolic Interactionist Approach Essay

- Required Question: The symbolic interactionist approach is, quite literally, how we interpret the world around us, given the symbols which construct society; essentially, it is how we interpret the meanings of the goings-on around us in the everyday world. We interpret these meanings based off of learned meanings, which are derived from a societal interpretation that is reproduced both consciously and unconsciously through the members of a society every day. The symbolic interactionist approach exists from a social constructionist standpoint in the assumptions that something is real in its consequences to us; in essence, it is our social reality....   [tags: Sociology, Symbolic interactionism, Psychology]

Strong Essays
1063 words (3 pages)

Antigone, the Real Tragic Hero in Sophocles' Antigone Essay

- Antigone is a great Greek tragedy by Sophocles. The story is about a young woman who has buried her brother by breaking king’s decree, and now she is punished for obeying God’s law. There are many arguments about who is the tragic hero in Sophocles’ Antigone. Some believe that it is Creon because he also has the characteristics of a tragic hero. Others believe that it is Antigone because the play bears her name. Antigone is the perfect hero, to exemplify the meaning of a tragic hero. In order to determine whether Antigone is the tragic hero, one will have to answer the question, what is a tragic hero....   [tags: Antigone]

Strong Essays
643 words (1.8 pages)

The Tragic Downfalls of Creon and Antigone in Sophocles' Antigone Essays

- The hubris resonating throughout the play, ‘Antigone’ is seen in the characters of Creon and Antigone. Their pride causes them to act impulsively, resulting in their individual downfalls. In his opening speech, Creon makes his motives clear, that “no man who is his country’s enemy shall call himself my friend.” This part of his declaration was kept to the letter, as he refused burial for his nephew, Polynices. However, when the situation arises where it is crucial that Creon takes advice, he neglects the part of the speech where he says “a king......   [tags: antigone]

Strong Essays
712 words (2 pages)

Comparing Sophocles' Antigone and Jean Anouilh's Antigone Essay

- Both Sophocles and Jean Anouilh use the simple story-line of a girl defying her uncle and king in the face of death to reflect upon the events and attitudes of their days. Sophocles' Antigone models the classical pattern of tragedy by incorporating key elements such as a tragic hero with a fatal flaw and the Man-God-Society triangle. Creon is the tragic hero who disturbs the natural harmony of Thebes by denying Polyneices a funeral. Antigone is the catalyst who forces him to reckon with the consequences of his pride and arrogance....   [tags: Antigone Compare Contrast Essays]

Strong Essays
2301 words (6.6 pages)

Irony in Sophocles' Antigone Essay

-   Frank Jevons in “In Sophoclean Tragedy, Humans Create Their Own Fate” comments on Sophocles’ irony: In this connection we may consider the “irony of Sophocles.” In argument irony has many forms That which best illustrates the irony of Sophocles is the method by which the ironical man, putting apparently innocent questions or suggestions, leads some person from one preposterous statement to another, until, perhaps, the subject of the irony realizes his situation and discovers that when he thought he was most brilliant of impressive, then he was really most absurd....   [tags: Antigone essays]

Strong Essays
2338 words (6.7 pages)