Honors English 10
4 March 2015
Power, to a Degree In the play “Antigone” by Sophocles, Creon, the antagonist to Antigone his niece, is a prideful, stubborn, and bitter king. He took the throne after watching
Antigone’s brothers fight to the death because they both wanted power over the city of
Thebes. As the ruler Creon uses his power to inflict harsh rule over the city. He thinks that whatever he says goes, even though most of the time he does not realize that his opinion is wrong. For example Creon throws Antigone in jail even though her actions were approved by the gods. Through many acts of unfair judgement one may infer that
Creon uses his power unjustly.
Polynices and Eteocles fought to the death for the throne because they could not decide which one should rule. Creon was similar in that he sentenced his own niece to death. After her two brothers fought and died Creon ordered that Eteocles would receive an honoring ceremony for his bravery in protecting the city while Polynices would be left to rot. Antigone thought it was very unfair that Polynices would not receive any burial ceremony at all so she decided she would disregard
Creon’s law and do it herself. Some might see this as an act of bravery and respect, and others, like Creon, saw it as treason. Despite her act of love
Frye 2 to her deceased brother Creon still did not raise the punishment. Though Antigone and others pleaded that she had not done anything wrong according to the rules of the gods,
King Creon still saw his punishment as fair. Haemon, Creon’s son who had a love for
Antigone, tried to change his father’s mind. He argued that Creon was stubborn and his rule was against that of the gods. Without admitting that Haemon may have been right,
Creon lifts the death punishment and decides to instead put Antigone in jail. When
Tiresias, a blind prophet, confronted Creon about the issue he sided with Antigone. He tells Creon that the gods are not pleased with his decision to punish Antigone for her deeds. Creon finally realized he was harsh in his punishment and decided to free
Antigone, but sadly, he is too late. Antigone had already hung herself. When Haemon saw her dead he killed himself as well. Along with Antigone and Haemon, Haemon’s mother also killed herself when she heard the news about her son. All of these horrible things happened because Creon was a stubborn ruler who abused his power and disregarded his superiors; the gods.
In the play there is a great distinction between human law and divine law.
Antigone disregards Creon’s rule and does the right thing to fulfill the laws of the gods.
She says "It was not Zeus who made this proclamation;