Analysis Of “Antigone” By Sophocles
Sophocles’ Antigone (c.441 B.C. E) is a play from the time when power was the truth. It was the time when people’s voices were either bought by wealth or suppressed by power. Although government nowadays are completely different, it is still hard to change what has been engraved in genes. Creon, the king thought his pride was law, while Antigone thought her pride was above the law. Here, both characters are more a dictator than a president. Both characters are stubborn and too prideful to listen to others opinion. But, if I have to choose one among them to rule, I would put my stake on Creon. Creon should make a great president out of him because he is fair-minded, think on his feet, and charismatic. The first thing I would want from my leader is justice, whether he can give me or not. Is he fair? Or is he biased for something? Am I being punished for something while others are not?
Even among the kings, Creon can be considered fairly good. He does not let his personal feelings guide his judgment. From the fact that he punished Antigone, Polyneices and even denied Haimon request to not punish Antigone shows how fair and emotionally stable he is. Creon stayed unmoved by family affection while making the decision and stayed rigid even with all family pressure for the law he made. It is really hard to find such a leader even in today’s time. There are many countries with dictatorship (China, North Korea) and autocracy (Saudi Arab) where leader family and friends go unpunished for any crime they commit. While if the same crime has been committed by another person, they would be sent to the grave. Thus, it could be said that he would be a fair president if he gets elected. Another thing that made him a good leader as he was bold and quick with the decision. He punished Polyneices as soon as he was announced as a king. Just as saying goes, “killing one to scare a thousand.”
Creon wisely punished Polyneices to show nation enemy that no one who harms the country goes unpunished. As a leader on have to think about their action and what effect that it could lead to. His act of punishing Polyneices even after his death can be looked as a bold move. His action resembles a lot to the current president of United States, Donald Trump as he issued a lot of shocking order as soon as he entered the office. Although the decision he issued created ruckus at first but president Trump seem to be doing pretty good till now. While Creon was strict with countries enemies, he would honor and love all the good citizens. Fanny Soderback believes that “Creon rules over Thebes as a father rules over his family.” He gave Eteocles the burial he deserved as he died serving the nation. Creon said that “no traitor is going to be honored with the loyal man” (Lns 38). Just like in our country where are the soldier and their family is honored, even after their death. That makes Creon policy much like today’s united states governments policy. Creon was a strong politician as he had set rules and regulation that should be followed by his fellow citizens. Whereas at the same time, he did not tolerate any betrayal to the nation and did not hesitate to give punishment. Kalliopi Nikolopoulou believed that “Antigone is the source and giver of her own law, or one could say, law comes to show itself through her being and her act.”
According to Keri Walsh, this lead Creon to punish Antigone as she was “a spoiled brat whose misbehavior and stubbornness necessitate her execution in the eyes of the law”. Creon is calm, sensible and tough-minded. After the fall of Oedipus and Eteocles, Thebes was in complete chaos. No king to rule the land and no father to take care of children’s. At the time like that Creon showed himself as a father figure, he lifted Thebes from the chaos proving himself calm and tough leader. Even Francoise Meltzer believes that Creon is, “politically expedient and allows him a guiltless self-righteousness.” That will be the very kind of leader that I would like to lead our country. He will be the leader who will be calm even if internal or external war broke out. He will handle things wisely that will be beneficial for both citizen and land. Creon can even be compared with Adolf Hitler as he the leadership quality to lift a country that has fallen apart after the war broke out. His sensible way of gathering all people and telling them that they are out of the storm makes him a very calm, sensible and tough leader.
Another quality that separates him apart from typical kings and dictators is the freedom of speech he gave to others. He let Antigone, Teiresias, Haimon, Sentry and other characters to speak their mind and even though their words brought displeasure to him, he didn’t punish them for that. Most of the autocrats wouldn’t want other to bad mouth the throne, which is true even today. Countries like Saudi Arab, North Korea where dictator have absolute power, anyone who speak ill about the throne gets punished. If Creon was from the modern world, he would have been a very flexible president. He would have provided his citizen with all the rights and protect his people with all his might.
Despite all his qualities, Creon would still fail to live up to people expectation because of the fact that he was too proud. His only fault, while he was in the throne, was that he let pride to cover his eyes. That one mistake led his enemies to make the move on him and was divested by that. That would be his biggest flaw even in today’s world as people tend to keep enemies even closer than their friends. But he would have covered his flaws eventually and be a better captain of the ship than Antigone.
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