Persuasive Essay on Antigone vs. Crean
Are Antigone and Creon the Converse of Each Other? Antigone is the antithesis of Creon. The play, Antigone, by Sophocles translated by Paul Roche is a tragedy. It starts off with Antigone telling her sister, Ismene, that Creon, the king and their uncle, has made an edict that their brother, Polyneces, will not receive a proper burial and will be left to be eaten by carrion birds and dogs because he is a traitor. Their other brother Eteocles, will be given a proper burial, as he fought for Thebes.
Antigone also tells her sister that she is going to bury him anyway, but Ismene decides not to help, for fear of their place as women. Antigone is caught and sent to a stone tomb to starve to death. Haemon, Creon’s son and Antigone’s betrothed, goes against his father and tells him that the people of Thebes are against him, as well as himself and others. Creon holds firm and demonstrates his hubris. Tiresias, the blind prophet tells him he has to release Antigone or bad things will happen. After much argument, Creon finally sees that he is wrong and hurries to free Antigone, only to find that she has hung herself.
Haemon blames Creon and tries to kill him, misses and kills himself. When Creon’s wife hears of this, she kills herself and curses Creon for these deaths. The story ends with Creon begging for death. In the play, Creon and Antigone are both well rounded characters who have very different views and opinions, such as which is more important family or state. The whole play expresses two people, Creon and Antigone, who are both fighting for what they believe in cause tragic consequences because they are fighting for exact opposite things.
At a point in the play Creon belives he is punishing Antigone by sentencing her to death but Antogone sees it as a blessing. One of the reasons Antigone is the antithesis of Creon is that Creon believes the state comes before family, and Antigone believes that family comes before the state. At the beginning of the book Antigone expresses her feelings about the edit regarding Poyneces burial to Ismene, which show how high Antigone regards the importance of family. “But he is my brother still, and yours, though you would have it otherwise, but I shall not abandon him. ”(Sophocles 193).
Antogone is very dedicated to her brother. Creon however finds Polyneces’s deed unacceptable and that his punishment should stand. “And I find it intolerable the man who puts his country second his friends. ”(199). Creon believes patriotism is stronger than friendship or bonds. Creon expresses his disregard of the impact of friendship and bonds many times throughout the play. “Now naturally there is no way to tell the mettle of a man until you’ve seen him govern. ”(198). Creon believes that a persons true personality is not revealed until they have ruled over something.
Antigone and Creon are both strong willed and will risk their lives and positions to fight for what they feel is right. Both characters also express hubris. Even so Antigone and Creon are completely different because they are fighting for completely different things. Antigone attacks Creon by accusing him of hubris. “I never thought your moral edicts had such force they nullified the laws of heaven. ” (210). Antigone strongly disagrees with Creon. Creon is fighting for law and order, and heavily believes that Polyneces should not be buried because he is a traitor.
Antigone is fighting for Polyneces to have a proper burial, and for justice and understanding. These two characters conflict in almost everyway imaginable. Antigone thinks death is a blessing while Creon thinks death is a punishment. Antigone is so determined to bury Polyneces that she is willing to die trying. “Why then, I’ll fail, but not give up before” (195). Creon believes he is punishing Antigone for her wrong doing by sending her away to starve in a rock vault. “Or perhaps she’ll learn though late the cost of homage to the dead is labor lost”(226).
When Antigone is walking to her death tomb she tells the chorus how she welcomes her punishment. “ Come tomb, my wedding chamber come! … My many family dead, finished, fetched in final muster to Persephone”(231). Antigone tells us before she walks to her tomb about how she hates her life and its hardships. “And if this hurries me to death before my time, why, such a death is gain. Yes surely gain to one whom life so overwhelms”(210). Antigone may have wanted her life to be over well before death was upon her.
Creon and Antigone have many differences. Throughout the play Antigone and Creon become fully developed characters. Antigone and Creon are different because Antigone thinks that family comes before state and Creon thinks state comes before family. Also Antigone and Creon are fighting for completely different things. Finally Creon believes that killing Antigone is a punishment but Antigone sees it as a blessing. Creon is the antithesis of Antigone. Woks Cited 1. Sophocles. The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles. Trans. Paul Roche. New York: Penguin, 1991