Antigone vs Kreon Essay

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Pages: 4

Antigone vs. Kreon- "Nomos" vs. "Written Laws"
Antigone is a play written in 442 B.C. (hypothetical) by the noted Greek playwright Sophocles. In the play Sophocles deals with issues such as the relationship between males and females and the state as well as the position of women in society. He uses Antigone to represent obligation to family and the gods while Kreon represents obligation of the "written laws" of the state. I think that if the context of the play is taken into consideration then Antigone's actions were justified as she was only fulfilling her duty while Kreon was just trying to assert his dominance early in his rule. The city Thebes has just recovered from a civil war during which two brothers Eteokles and Polyneces
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Kreon's mistake in this situation was not considering the opinion of Teiresias when he suggested that Kreon forgives Antigone for her actions. He believes that by forgiving Antigone he would be showing weakness and would lose the respect of the people. After his confrontation with Teiresias Kreon exclaims that, "To yield is awful; but by standing firm, to strike ruin within my proud heart-why, that is awful too" (Sophocles, Antigone, p. 65). Through this we can see that by the end the only thing that was keeping Kreon from forgiving Antigone was his pride.
By the time Kreon realises his mistake it is already too late and Antigone has already committed suicide. Soon after his son Haimon and wife Eurydike also commit suicide and Kreon has to spend the rest of his life regretting his actions. Through death Antigone managed to teach Kreon that his rule should be more open to advice from the citizen body as they tend to be right on most occasions.
It can be said that under the circumstances Antigone only acted under what she thought to be the governing laws of society and her only mistake was to insult Kreon. Kreon on the other hand took his laws too seriously in order to try and assert his dominance and in the process ignored the council of the citizens and forgot the natural laws that governed society.

Works Cited
Sophocles, Antigone, trans. Ruby Blondell (Newburyport: