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
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
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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