Essay about Oedipus and Power

Submitted By mcloughlin3
Words: 784
Pages: 4

Born Rights

In the play Antigone, by Sophocles, it is shown that just because a leader is born into power does not mean that he deserves the throne. The current king in Thebes is Creon, and he displays how even though it was his birthright to the throne he is not the most efficient leader. Creon’s hubris and arrogance makes him a leader who does not think universally. Creon made certain decisions that might not have been the best for Thebes but instead for his own well being or his reputation. Sophocles reveals how leaders that are born into power are not always the most successful leaders. Creon has just begun his reign of power when he decides to make a law stating that burying Polynices, the brother who had died in war, is illegal. To make such an odd yet demanding decree after just getting power is a daring and conceited action. Creon makes sure everyone in Thebes knows his position of authority by having serious consequences for whoever breaks this law. “These are my principles. Never at my hands will the traitor be honored above the patriot. But whoever proves his loyalty to the state- I’ll prize that man in death as well as life.” (232-235 Antigone) Creon states how loyalty to him will be rewarded and anyone going against his laws is considered a traitor. Creon does not think of how disrespectful it would be to friends and family to not be able to Polynices. Creon just thinks about himself and maintaining his power, proving how jut because he had the born right to be next in line for power does not mean he is the most sufficient leader for Thebes. Antigone ends up going against the law and buries her brother respectfully like she feels is morally the right thing to do. Creon confronts her and wonders why she off all the people in Thebes would go against him and make him look bad. Antigone says that she is speaking for Thebes in general and his law is ridiculous. “Lucky tyrants-the perquisites of power! Ruthless power to do and say whatever pleases them.” (566-567). Creon is being accused by Antigone for being a selfish ruler and no thinking about Thebes in total. Creon will not go back against his own word and prove himself wrong just to make the citizens happy. Creon only wants to make sure he looks respectable and not foolish by going against his word. This again proves how Sophocles reveals leaders that are born in to power, like Creon, are not always the most suited for the job. The death of Antigone leads to the death of Haemon and Eurydice, Creon’s son and wife. Creon making sure he did not look like a fool lead to tragedy of his family. If he had only acknowledged the fact that he was incorrect and unjust in the making of his law then all these deaths could have been avoided. In the end of the play Creon realizes how things could have and should have gone