English 2; Period 1
30 October 2013
Loyalty or Morals: Which is More Important?
Being a big part of a kingdom or being part of family forces one to have responsibilities and duties that are needed to be fulfilled. In Sophocles’ Greek tragedy, Antigone, Antigone has the responsibility of being loyal to her brother, Polyneices. However, Creon has the responsibility of being loyal to the people of Thebes. Therefore, both Antigone and Creon have been loyal to whom they have wanted to be loyal to; this is why both are equally correct.
Antigone and Creon were equally loyal. Antigone was loyal to her family and the law of the Gods while Creon was loyal to his people and his word: “And now you can prove what you are: A true sister, or a traitor to your family…” (Prologue). Antigone wasn’t afraid of the danger of Creon’s law, because being a loyal sister was more important to her than death. Antigone didn’t want her brother to be dishonored by Creon and his law for some grudge he may have against Polyneices. However, Creon was just as loyal as Antigone: “But whoever shows by word and deed that he is on the side of the State,---he shall have my respect while he is living and my reverence when he is dead,” (Scene 1). Creon states that he will only be loyal to those who are loyal and respect him. As the King of Thebes, Creon has to be loyal to his people, because he has to gain their trust as a new king; it is only fair that his people be loyal to him. Creon and Antigone both had too much pride in what their choice was. Antigone had a very strong opinion about the consequence of breaking Creon’s law. Antigone states, “this crime is holy: I shall lie down with him in death, and I shall be as dear to him as he to me. It is the dead Not the living, who make the longest demands: we die for ever...” (Prologue). Antigone explains to Ismene that they should bury Polyneices and forget about Creon’s law, because they will eventually going to end up dying anyways so why not take a risk and bury their brother so he isn’t disrespected in front of the kingdom. However, Creon has pride for his decision in not burying Polyneices. He explains to his people that “Polyneices, who broke his exile to come back with fire and sword against his native city and the shrines of his fathers’ gods, whose one idea was to spill the blood of his blood and sell his own people into slavery…” and that he is doing the best for his people by dishonoring Polyneices (Scene 1). He was not going to change the law for anybody, because he was so proud by his decision and thought he was doing the best for his kingdom.
At the same time, Creon and Antigone both did things that were wrong. Antigone doesn’t have many reasons why she is wrong, but there are some reasons. Antigone broke the law to bury her brother. As a princess, she has to set an example for her kingdom, which she isn’t doing by breaking the law of the king. Even though the king is her uncle, she should still have enough respect for him and her kingdom to set a good example and follow the law. Antigone states, “Creon has sworn that no one shall bury him, no one shall mourn for him,” which proves that she knew about Creon’s law before burying her brother (Prologue). Creon also didn’t have many reasons why he was…