Argument About Antigone
The actions taken by Antigone can well be enumerated as a person opposing the government policy or standing against the state. It could be ascertained that Antigone is standing against an action that is appeared to be wrong and unjust. It is an interesting fact that the actions taken by Creon, the King of Thebes, is unsolicited by the citizens of Thebes but hardly anyone has the courage to utter it.
The support for Antigone is characterized by Haemon when he argues with his father, Creon, that “Our Theban folk, with one voice, denies it.” (Sophocles, 15)This point of view presented by Heamon agrees the fact that there is positive reaction from the citizens of Thebes about the actions taken by Antigone and that Creon is viewed on the wrong side.
This becomes more evidet when the guard reports Creon that “the corpse-some one hath just given it burial, and gone away,-after sprinkling thirsty dust on the flesh, with such other rites as piety enjoins.” (Sophocles, 6) To this even the Leader reacted saying that “O king, my thoughts have long been whispering, can this deed, perchance, be e’en the work of gods?” (Sophocles, 6) Thus it was obvious that even the closest of the King’s men were skeptical about the order.
Thus it could be ascertained that whatever actions that were taken by Antigone was just against the injustice of Creon. Creon wanted Polyneices’ body to be left without a ceremonial burial as he fought against the motherland and thus was labeled as a traitor. This was view as a sacrilege and disrespect by the ancient Greeks.
As a result, Antigone found herself in a position where she must protect her brother’s dignity by proving him with a proper burial. Antigone feels that this is the right action and she is determined to complete the act no matter anybody supports her or not. She states to her sister that “I will do my part,-and thine, if thou wilt not,-to a brother. False to him will I never be found.” (Sophocles, 2) Thus it is obvious that Antigone was doing the right deeds and deeds that were completely supported by the citizens too.
On the other hand knowing all these affairs Creon remains arrogant and rigid to his verdict of disgracing Polyneices. According to him “A foe is never a friend-not even in death.” (Sophocles, 11) He is so unyielding to his verdict that he renders death penalty for Antigone saying that “Pass, then, to the world of the dead, and, it thou must needs love, love t0hem. While I live, no woman shall rule me.” (Sophocles, 11) This makes Creon extremely rude as a ruler and ultimately paves the way for the eventual tragedy.
He even warns his son Heamon about the dangers of going against the state, or his father in this case, and referees to him as “this boy, it seems, is the woman’s champion.” (Sophocles, 15)This makes Creon a person who is unwilling to evaluate other’s view point and thus becomes the tyrant ruler who can easily utter that “Am I to rule this land by other judgment than mine own?” (Sophocles, 15)
In conclusion it would be relevant to mention that like all rulers who became an oppressor, Creon too should be held responsible for the ultimate tragedy of the play. It should be remembered that Antigone was only performing the duty to her brother and her family and her deeds were viewed as justice by the Thebans.
Sophocles; Trans. Jebb, R C; ANTIGONE; 440 BC