Antigone and Creon Conflict
Table of Contents
The relationship of Antigone and Creon illustrates to the audience the struggles that family members or loved ones experience when trying to prove their devotion or fidelity to their convictions or ambitions. Antigone and Creon may pursue common goals or deeds, but ultimately they hurt themselves more than they repair their relationship. Antigone takes her own life after violating the law by failing to provide her brother Polynices with a proper burial. In contrast, Creon decides to obey the law by victimizing the life of his family member, Antigone, which ultimately leads to a miserable and isolated life. Antigone is eventually justified and is the protagonist of the story, while Creon is presented as the antagonist, the complete antithesis.
Greed and egoism as catalysts of Antigone and Creon conflict
Covetousness and egoism are apparent in this tragedy, which reveals particular individuals dying suddenly or living in consolation and hopelessness. Antigone’s father has exiled himself from the city of Thebes, placing Antigone’s two brothers in a fight for position of power. The struggle for authority in Thebes is further fueled by avarice and egotism, which drives Polynices to abandon the city even more, as King Eteocles refuses to abdicate. Creon regards Polynices as a betrayer because he has deserted his people. However, Creon uses his lust for glory to penalize Polynices. Polynices, by contrast, reveals his lust for glory when he returns to the city years later with a massive armed force. Antigone’s brothers die because of their own power-hunger, abandoning Antigone with her sole sister Ismene. Due to this series of tragic happenings, the exhausting and fighting for power, avarice and egoism lead to even more difficulties.
Sacrifices made by the protagonists for the sake of principles
The tragedy undoubtedly reveals various cases of victimization, characterized mainly by their reasons and values. Antigone’s uncle, Creon, sacrificed his influence to gain control in a violent leadership battle. Shortly after that, he sacrifices a part of his family, Antigone, just to prove his loyalty to the Theban people as king. Creon calls Polynices a betrayer and commands that nobody provide him with a proper burial. He says that anyone who has the courage to touch Polynices’ body or decides to bury him is subject to the violentest punishment, the death penalty, according to Theban legislation. Antigone decides to give up her life, refusing to obey this law, since Polynices was her dear brother. Likewise, Antigone’s brothers paid huge sacrifices with their lives by entering the dark politics of the city of Thebes, which caused their ultimate deaths. After all, sacrifice drives heroes to stand up for their convictions, despite the dangers.
The true motivations of Creon and Antigone’s actions
Both Creon and Antigone are caught between conflicting values, which is primarily due to their motivations. To put it another way, Antigone is tortured by the question of providing her brother with a proper funeral, regardless of the fact that she is well aware of the death penalty. She could not let her brother decay in the woods or be devoured by wild beasts. Hence, she decides to confront her uncle, Creon, and buries her brother Polynices. This incident puts Creon in a quandary: he doesn’t know whether to follow the rule or violate it to defend his relative. In addition, Antigone was already betrothed to Hemon, Creon’s son. Regardless of the conflict, both Antigone and Creon need to decide which of the two may be against each other’s ethical principles.
Arrogance as a tragic flaw of the leading characters
Pride is a terrible trait that often results in a tragic downfall. This message can be evident in the story of Antigone and Creon, as each of them has their own mindset. Furthermore, it is their narcissism that leads to their agonizing deaths. For instance, Antigone refuses to admit that she violated the law, and instead of apologizing or admitting her guilt, she chooses to die. So does Creon: he was not afraid or concerned that he had cut short the life of a close relative and ruined his son’s prospects. He did this only to testify to the people’s faithfulness to the king. He vowed never to disappoint the citizens of Thebes, but refused to recognize his failure and immoral act. However, Creon is sorry for his deeds and is full of dread. He is frightened that somebody will ultimately murder him, which is a vivid illustration of the downfall that follows arrogance. The egos of Antigone and Creon were introduced from diverse viewpoints, but finally, relentless perseverance leads to unfortunate consequences.
Therefore, the case of Antigone and Creon is based on greed, ego, competition, arrogance, and victimization, which lead to a devastating setback. The protagonists stick to their convictions, and nobody is ready to admit failure, regardless of the emerging dangers. Antigone and Creon occupy the spotlight as protagonists with completely separate features that ultimately pursue them. However, due to his evil and callous morality, Creon is not scared to execute his relative for the sake of power. Antigone, on the other hand, stands up for her family and her cherished brother until she suffers a terrible death. Antigone appears as an unselfish heroine and Creon as a villain because of his egoistic goals.