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Essay/Term paper: The similarities between creon and antigone

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Theater

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The Similarities Between Creon and Antigone

"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 main 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 "girlstruck!" 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 that
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 Antigone 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 states. 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 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 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 out 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 talking 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. Especially 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 comes 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 claiming 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 sentence
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 indignation, 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 of 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 help 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 opinions 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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