Creon and Antigone Couse

CREON AND ANTIGONE

Creonand Antigone

Couse

The drama that Sophocles infused into “Antigone” over twomillenniums ago is highly relevant even in this contemporary age,especially as pertains ethical and moral decisions. When examiningCreon’s view of justice, it is evident that as King of Thebes,Creon believes that his authority reigns supreme within thejurisdiction. This notion is contrary to Antigone’s view since shebelieves that God`s authority is supreme. Creon cannot fathom thefact that there is a higher authority than his own governing Thebanaffairs, a fact exemplified by his question to Haemon &quotMust Irule the land by someone else`s judgment other than my own&quot?(796). It is as a result of such thinking that Creon considersAntigone to have crossed the line when she defied his general order,and thus, he remains unmoved by her argument. Creon’s understandingof justice is logical – any attempt to let the violation of his edictpass would result in disruption of his rule, which is based on thelaw of the land and the laws that he enacts. The God-based laws thatAntigone advocates for may indeed be superior to man-made laws.However, Creon would have found it hard to explain to Theban citizenshow such laws work.

Sophocles manages to demonstrate the flaw in Creon`s definition ofjustice by showing how adept he was at being a judge, but how he elsewise failed at being a king. The fact, as shown by Sophocles, is thatThebes had bad laws that were applied without mercy by Creon. Inmaking the decision that he did, Creon was a good judge and appliedthe law well. Sophocles also shows that Creon had an additionalobligation to his family since Polynices was his nephew. Creonhowever entirely ignored this duty and chose to focus on his legalobligation. Sophocles, through the chorus, reminds Creon that adeptleaders, akin to adept captains, have to navigate betweenindefeasible obligations.

References

Sophocles. (1984). The Three Theban Plays: Antigone Oedipus the King Oedipus at Colonus. Penguin Publishing Group.