Antigone Essay

Antigone Essay

“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are,” (Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix). Antigone, written by Sophocles, is a play about fate, pride, and consequences. Creon, the King of Thebes, uncle of Antigone and Ismene, and brother of Jocasta, is arrogant, egocentric, and pride-ridden. Creon values order and loyalty more than anything else. After Teiresias, a blind prophet, explains to Creon that he will be punished for his actions, Creon realizes that he has made a mistake—and still refuses to admit it.

Creon is too full of himself to really accept what he’s done, the horridness of it all (5. 70-84). Creon was proud to announce that he had the honor of informing the people of Thebes that his nephew, Eteocles, would be buried with full military honors, as he died as a man who fought valiantly for his country. Meanwhile, his other brother, Polyneices, died as a traitor and would not be buried at all, but left to rot. Creon is an arrogant and conceited man who fails to see the true meaning behind things, as he wants everything to go his way and his way only.

The way Creon takes advantage of his power represents the theme of pride. Creon creates a new law stating that Eteocles is to be buried because he fought for his country, while Polyneices, a traitor in Creon’s eyes, will not be buried (1. 38-49). As the ruler of Thebes, Creon goes by the laws of the State and not by the laws of the gods. He uses his power to an advantage where his desire is to have things, such as certain circumstances or punishments, turn out the way he wishes.

Creon fails to see what, exactly, his actions do to others, how it makes them feel. One of the strongest characteristics of Creon that stood out the most was his lack of mercy. When Haimon, Creon’s son, learns that Antigone is sentenced to death, he argues with his father; but Creon says that Haimon “will never marry her while she lives” (3. 118). Even though Haimon is engaged to Antigone, Creon shows no mercy as he, nonetheless, wishes Antigone dead.

Creon changed his mind—after Haimon threatened to commit suicide—and decided that Antigone will just starve to death, rather than be stoned in the public square. He, Creon, continues to remain merciless—even to his own flesh and blood! —and is as conceited and heartless as ever. Creon’s stubbornness is most prominently a characteristic which represents the theme of pride. When the blind prophet, Teiresias, comes to talk to Creon, Creon insists that nothing Teiresias says will change his mind (5. 69).

Teiresias tells Creon that he will suffer for what he has done; however Creon refuses to accept it. Creon, reluctantly, accepts that what he has done was, indeed, wrong and goes to free Antigone. Finally getting a taste of his own medicine, Creon found not only a dead Antigone, but also that his son Haimon and his wife, Eurydice, have also committed suicide. Creon is a strong character, as he is considered the antagonist. He is an arrogant and conceited man who fails to see the true meaning behind things as he wants everything to go his way and his way only.

Creon takes advantage of his power to make sure things are done his way. He is, as antagonists can sometimes be, merciless and cruel before he realizes the damage he caused. In the beginning of Antigone, Creon is revealed as stubborn and vain, but later, he changes and realizes what a villain he has been when he frees Antigone—only, it is too late. “It is our choices that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities” (Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets).