The Similarity of Creon and Antigone in Sophocles Works
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The Similarity of Creon and Antigone in Sophocles’ Works
Schooling in ancient Greece was largely a job of the theater. Large dramatic festivals were held in which the plays would encompass much of the day’s events. Each playwright was allowed three dramatic plays and one satyr play. These festivals also served as competitions for the playwrights in which they could gain notoriety for their work. Some of the greatest works to survive out of ancient Greece were tragedies. In these plays, one or more of the main characters would exhibit a tragic flaw, or hubris, that would eventually cause their own demise or simply destroy life as they knew it. Citizens were supposed to analyze the mistakes seen in tragedies and apply them to everyday life. The citizens were supposed to learn what not to be like as a citizen or person. In a Greek trilogy written by Sophocles there are two main characters, Antigone and Creon. Both being strong willed, stubborn, and unwilling to change, they seal each other’s fate. Creon is passionate; Antigone is full of rage. Similarity in flaws prevents them from rational discussion. Although seemingly different, Creon and Antigone share many similarities throughout the story.
They both express independence. Antigone is extremely independent, she doesn't mind doing anything on her own. For example, in the beginning of the story when Antigone is talking with Ismene, she asks for her help. When Ismene refuses, Antigone is furious with her. After this first request for help was denied, Antigone decides to work alone. Creon is also very independent. He refuses to accept anyone's opinions except his own. When his son Haimon comes to talk with him he refuses to listen, claiming that Haimon is "girl struck!" and corrupted. When Tiresias comes and tells him a morbid prophecy, Creon will not listen to this either. He claims that Tiresias has been corrupted by money, like many prophets at that time. He finally takes heed when reminded that Tiresias has never been wrong.
Not only do Creon and Antigone express independence; they are also very loyal. They are loyal to their views. Creon favors his laws while Antigone is loyal to her belief in the gods’ laws. Creon will not change his laws. An example of this occurs when he and Antigone argue. He calls her "A traitor" for giving a burial for her dead brother Polyneices. His loyalty to his own laws blinds him to the fact that he is disobeying those of the gods. Antigone puts the gods’ laws ahead of the laws of the state. Strictly prohibited by the mortal law, she goes ahead and buries her brother. Here we see her impulsiveness because she only does what she thinks the gods want instead of abiding by the law that Creon decreed. In comparison, Creon is also shortsighted because he refuses to believe any repercussions will occur if his law is followed.
Their respective loyalties also make them very extreme. Creon is an extremist in reason; he thinks his law is the most important. Antigone is an extremist of passion. Creon is unwilling to listen to the passionate pleas of his son to let Antigone live. He instead puts his laws first, and states that if he lets Antigone live after she has broken his law, "How shall I earn the worlds obedience?" His extreme will, later leads to his son's death because he thinks Antigone has corrupted his son. Antigone is equally extreme when she will not listen to the reasoning of her sister Ismene. Ismene reminds her of the problems and dangers she is undertaking when she goes out to bury Polyneices. Antigone will not listen though, and this ends up killing her as well.
Their extreme ways also make them cruel and foolish people. Creon is quite cruel to everyone around him. He never listens to anyone, but instead acts foolishly and hurts everyone. When he is talking to his son Haimon, he retorts that he is "a fool" and that he is, "Taken in by a woman!" Creon’s harsh words and attitudes cause his son to become enraged at him and eventually lead up to his death. Creon also is cruel to his old friend and prophet, Tiresias. Tiresias warns him that if he does not free Antigone bad things
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Operas, Antigone, Civil disobedience, Creon, Haemon, Ismene, Polynices, Sophocles, Tiresias, Antigonae, The Burial at Thebes, Oedipus
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