In the following paper, I plan to discuss the source of conflict between the title characters of Antigone and Creon in Sophocles’ “Antigone”. I also plan to discuss how each character justifies his or her actions and what arguments they give for their justifications. I will also write about the strengths and weaknesses of these arguments. The final points I try to make are about who Sophocles thinks is right and who I think is right.
The main source of conflict between Antigone and Creon is the issue of the burial of Antigone’s dead brother. Both of her brothers were killed in battle, however one brother fought against their home city and was considered a traitor. Creon issued a law that whoever tries to bury this man will be put to death. Antigone is very upset because her one brother is graced with all the rites of a hero while the other is disgraced.
Antigone is determined to bury her brother because of her loyalty to her family and to the gods. She believes that no mortal, such as Creon, has the right to keep her from her own. Even if Antigone must die during the burial, she will not disgrace the laws of the gods. She believes that she has to please the dead much longer than she has to please the living.
Creon states, “Whoever places a friend above the good of his own country, he is nothing.” Therefore, he does not allow the burial of Antigone’s brother because he did not place the good of his country first. He was a traitor. Creon makes this law for the good of his country. The following statements that Creon makes exemplify this: “I could never make that man a friend of mine who menaces our country”, “never will the traitor be honored a...
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...er of what he hears people around the town saying about the situation. Haemon says, “No woman ever deserved death less, and such a brutal death for such a glorious action… Death? She deserves a glowing crown of gold.” The play seems to praise the actions of Antigone and it is never seen that she is looked down upon for what she did, except by Creon.
In conclusion, the gods and the love of her family rule Antigone’s life. Creon’s life is ruled by what he thinks is good for his country and pride. Creon did not change his mind to free Antigone until a prophet told him he would suffer horribly for his actions. However, because Creon was so stubborn for so long and did not take heed to anyone’s advice sooner, he ultimately suffers in the end, as does everyone else in the play. This was all due to a man’s lack of good judgment, his selfish pride and his stubbornness.
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