The Downfall of Antigone and Creon
Antigoner’s stubbornness causes the death of herself when she goes against the law of Creon, the King to bury her brother, Polynices, and readers learn that what one expects it not always the outcome. It is ordered by the gods for each person to be offered a proper burial, so Antigone asks her sister, Ismene, for helping to bury Polynices, but she denies, in fear of getting caught. Antigone is still persistent in burying her brother, despite the warnings from Ismene.
Ismene is willing to keep the act a secret, but Antigone refuses, and says, Publish it To all the world! Else I shall hate you more (129).
Antigone is proud of what she stands for and wants everyone to know, by the form of Ismene spreading the news. She is aware of a punishment for an act against the king, but her stubbornness does not hold her back from committing a sinful act against the King. Antigoner’s hatred towards Ismene, if she does not advance the news to others, shows that Antigone is not keeping her from taking a stand and proving that no one can control her actions. Once Antigone gets caught, the King asks if she confirms the accusations against her and she replies, I do admit it. I do not deny it (138). Antigone is not trying to escape her punishment.
Her stubbornness motivates her to make it clear to everyone that she believes what she did was the right thing to do and nobody can stop her from thinking so. Antigoner’s stubbornness concealed decisions might not lead to desirable consequences Creonr’s stubbornness causes the death of not only Antigone, but also his wife, Eurydice, and his son, Haemon, when he rejects the advice of Haemon and Teiresias, a prophet, and from this, one learns to not be headstrong when listening to advice.
Antigone is caught for offering her brother, Polynices, a proper burial, as it is ordered by the King not to do so. Haemon, as well as the people of Thebes, do not think what Antigone did was worth being punished for. Creon reveals his stubbornness when he exclaims, The people of Thebes! Since when do I take my orders from the people of Thebes? (146). He feels offended when Haemon offers Creon the perspective of Antigoner’s punishment from the viewpoint of himself and the people of Thebes. In the quote, it is implied that Creon ignores and never listens to the advice of others, apart from himself. Creonr’s stubbornness causes him to be self-centered and since he is the king, what he does is what he alone thinks is best because of his high level of authority. He is not only ignoring Haemon and the people of Thebes, but more importantly, disregarding the laws provided by the gods, one of which is to offer each person a proper burial. Following Creonr’s exclamation, Haemon then goes on to say, Isnt that rather a childish thing to say? and Creon replies, No. I am king, and responsible only to myself (146).
By calling Creon childish, Haemon suggests that Creon is immature and naive. Creonr’s actions are not only childish, but the use of words are simple and his syntax is short, just as a stubborn child. He wants all the power to himself and does not let the citizens have a say in what they desire. Although Haemon encourages Creon to withdraw Antigoner’s punishment, he still does not listen. Later on in the play, Teiresias appears to warn Creon of future consequences if he does not release Antigone. Creonr’s stubbornness is again apparent when he misjudges the intentions of the prophet Teiresias when he accuses prophets [of] seek[ing] their own advantage (Sophocles 154).
Even though the foresight of prophets has never failed, Creon believes the prophecies they provide are for the favor of themselves only. He accuses Teiresias of all prophets providing false predictions in order to gain wealthier. Creon does not take into account any punishment that many follow disobeying the gods. As a result of overlooking Haemonr’s suggestions and believing Teiresias prophecies are false, Haemon commits suicide when learning about Antigoner’s death and Eurydice, distraught at hearing of her sonr’s death, also takes her own life. Creonr’s stubbornness led to the death of his loved ones when did not take in the advice of Haemon and Teiresias. He did not consider the impact his decisions would have on others and therefore, it is important for readers to learn to stay open-minded and think of the bigger picture when making decisions.
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