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The similarities between creon and antigone

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 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.

Word Count: 1,334

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