What Is Creon's Reason In Antigone

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In modern times, conflict between God’s law and man’s law is largely prevented by the separation of church and state, mandated by the constitutions of most modern countries. But long ago, in ancient Greece, religion played a huge role in government, and a leader would typically be respectful of God’s mandates. For this reason, in the play Antigone, the king, Creon, is largely viewed as the play’s antagonist because he does not allow for the religious burial of his nephew, Polyneices. Thus, his motivations often clash with the more religious citizens in his city, such as his niece, Antigone, who defies Creon and buries her brother despite his edict that anyone who does so will be put to death. In Sophocles’s play Antigone, Creon’s complex character …show more content…
Antigone burying her brother against Creon’s verdict is a prime example of this clash. Creon, who is motivated by power, could not possibly understand why Antigone would want to put her life at stake to ensure a safe journey to the afterlife for a brother who, as he claims, never cared about her. When Creon questions Antigone about why she would bury Polyneices even though she knew it would result in her death, she simply says “I owed it to him. Those who are not buried wander eternally and find no rest” (Anouilh 29). This demonstrates how she was more motivated by the God’s rules and her loyalty to her brother than to Creon and his earthly edicts. This does not sit well with Creon because, unlike Antigone, he believes that his imposed laws carry more weightage than those of the gods. Creon even says, “Then why Antigone, why? For whose sake? For the sake of them who believe in it? To raise them against me?” (Anouilh 33). This further demonstrates how Creon could not understand why a God’s law and loyalty to family would ever be able to overpower his laws. This clash of their two motivations highlights his hamartia, which is his hubris. He arrogantly believes that his laws are more important than the God’s laws. He does not try to understand Antigone’s plea of familial loyalty and refuses to back down from his position and his