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Essay/Term paper: The similarities between creon and antigone

Essay, term paper, research paper:  College Papers

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"Ah Creon! Is there no man left in the world-" Teirsesias

Greek theatre played a large role in Greece. The citizens were supposed

to learn from the mistakes made in tragedies. The citizens should have

learned what not to be like as a citizen or person. In a Greek trilogy

written by Sophocles there are two ma in characters, Antigone and Creon.

They are both strong willed and stubborn people. Both being unwilling to

change, they both seal each others fate. Creon is passionate. . Antigone

is full of rage. They are both so similar they can not see eye to eye .

Although they may seem quite different, Creon and Antigone share many similarities

throughout the story. They are both very independent people. 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 she is furious with her. Then

Ismene decides to act independently. 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 "girlst

ruck!" and corrupted . Teirsesais comes and tells him a morbid prophecy.

Creon will not listen to this either. He claims that Teirsesais has been

corrupted by money, like many prophets at that time. He finally listens

to the Charagous when reminded th at Teiresias has never been wrong. Antigone

has no problem working by her self either. She demonstrates this when she

slipped by all the guards that were protecting the dead body of Polyneices.

Creon and Antigone are both independent, and they are both very loyal.

They are loyal to their views. Creon is especially loyal to his laws. Antigone

is loyal to her beliefs. Creon will not change his laws. An example of

this occurs when he and An tigone argue. He calls her "A traitor"

For giving a burial for her dead brother Polyneices. He is so loyal to

his own laws that he fails to see that he is disobeying the law of the

gods. Antigone puts the laws of the gods ahead of the laws of the state

s. She goes ahead and buries her brother. Which was strictly prohibited

by Creon. This shows her short-sightedness is because she only does what

she thinks the gods want. Instead of abiding by the law that Creon decreed.

Creon is also short-sighted because he refuses to believe any other opinions

or laws than his own. Creon and Antigone are both so loyal which can 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 put the god's law above his law. He is u nwilling 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 his son

has been corrupted by Antigone. Antigone is equally as extreme and 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 ou t to bury

Polyneices. Antigone will not listen though, and this ends up killing her

as well. Because Creon and Antigone are very extreme in their ways this

can also make them cruel and foolish people. Creon is quite cruel to everyone

around him. He never once listens to anyone, but instead he acts foolishly

and hurts everyone. When he is talk ing to his son Haimon, he retorts that

Haimon is "a fool" and that he is, "Taken in by a woman!"

These words and his fathers attitude hurts Haimon and he becomes filled

with rage towards his foolish father. Antigone is also cruel and foolish.

Especial ly to her sister Ismene. Ismene tries to help Antigone in the

start of the play. When she tries to tell Antigone not to risk everything

to please the gods. Antigone won't listen though, She just tells her "Go

away Ismene. I will be hating you soon", in a striking example of

her cruelty. Ismene and Antigone have been caring sisters until suddenly

Antigone abandons her because she does not agree to help bury their brother.

Creon also is cruel to his old friend and prophet, Teirsesias. Teirsesias

co mes to warn him that if he does not free Antigone that bad things will

happen, but Creon doesn't believe him. He claims that Teirsesias has "sold

out" as a prophet and shows how foolish he is not to trust a long

standing friend who has never been wrong. Creon and Antigone are both plagued

by hubris. Creon wants to stand by the law he has made. Antigone is willing

to risk it all to stand by the law of the gods and what is right. Creon's

stubbornness is clear when his old friend and prophet Teirsesias. Tells

him to free Antigone. Creon stubbornly refuses and remarks to the old wise

man, "Bribes are baser then any baseness" Creon does not even

listen to Teirsesias, who made him king in the first place. He is so stubborn

that he refuses to listen cl aiming that Teirsesias had been corrupted

by money and so his pride hampers his good judgment. He is so concentrated

on everyone being corrupted that he does not even listen to common sense.

His son, Haimon tries to come tell him that he should not s entence Antigone

to death. Creon is outraged by his son siding with her. He tells Haimon

that he is a "Fool, adolescent fool! Taken in by a woman!" Haimon

responds to this by saying that he is "perverse" Creon, even

more outraged, calls him a "Girls struck fool" Haimon storms

off with a loathing hatred for his father's arrogant pride and stubbornness.

Antigone has equal hubris herself. She is so passionate on burying her

brother that she will not listen to reason. Full of arrogance and indignati

on, she will not listen to the words of her sister. Ismene warned her of

the dangers of burying their brother Polyneices but Antigone will not listen.

She calls Ismene a "traitor" for not coming to help her and Ismene

shakingly replies "I am so afraid o f you". Antigone, instead

of listening to the common sense of her sister, snaps back that "You

need not be: you have yourself to consider, after all". Later in the

story Antigone is arrested for burying her brother and Ismene comes crawling

back to her. Ismene breaks the conversation between Antigone and Creon

by admitting that, "I am guilty, if she let me say so". Antigone

will not let her and retorts coldly, "No, Ismene. you have no right

to say so. You would not help me, and I will not have you h elp me"

This reveals clearly how arrogant and stubborn Antigone can be. Even after

her sister wants to share in her punishment and crawls back to her. She

will not accept it to her own demise. Creon and Antigone are both remarkably

similar people. Ironically, they are both so much the same that they can

not see it. The flaws they share make neither of them willing to listen

to the other. Many of their traits are identical, but their opinion s are

so different that they can't stand each other. Sophocles did an excellent

job in portraying the two vast extremes of the spectrum, passion and reason.

This story hopefully proves to people that neither extreme passion nor

extreme reason, but rather be in the middle and achieve arete.


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