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