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Sophocles’ Antigone – Creon and Antigone

Creon and Antigone

Antigone Sophocles When a dictator dies, his image and fame dies with him, but when a self-sacrificing individual dies, their legacy begins. This statement is true because oppressed citizens do not fondly mention a mean ruler, such as Creon from Antigone, after he passes away. Yet a martyr, such as Antigone, also from the story Antigone, is remembered for her self-sacrificing deeds. Creon will not be remembered because he did not allow Antigone to bury her dead brother Polynices, and decides to execute Antigone for trying while Antigone’s legacy will live on because she has the courage to defy Creon, and chooses to sacrifice herself for Polynices’ honor.

First, Creon is a tyrant. His rule will not be remembered for many reasons, one being that he desecrates family honor. When a son or father dies in battle, they are carried home to be properly buried by their families. Eteocles, Antigone’s other dead brother, is a patriot and is buried because he fights for Thebes. However, Polynices is not buried because he rebels against Thebes. Creon leaves Polynices’ body out to be attacked by dogs and vultures. This angers the people of Thebes because family honor is very important to them. Therefore, the people of Thebes will not remember Creon because of his offensive deeds performed while he is on the throne.

Second, Creon will be forgotten because he decides to execute Antigone. Her punishment is to be locked in a blocked cave until she dies. Although later on in the story, Creon does decide to free her, it is too late. The people of Thebes are astounded at the fact that Creon would even conceive of such a horrible punishment. Antigone acted on family honor, which is understood. Therefore, his people will forget Creon.

Third, Antigone is a wonderful example of a martyr. Her legacy will live on, and inspire many other rebels to stand up for their beliefs. Antigone dared to defy the King’s threat of death to bury her brother, and shows true family pride. The people take pity on Antigone, and feel that she should be let alone. Haemon, Creon’s son and Antigone’s betrothed, states how the people of Thebes feel. “On every side I hear voices of pity for this poor girl doomed to the cruelest death…for an honorable action-burying a brother who was killed in battle…has she not rather earned a crown of gold” (

Tyrant and Martyr in Sophocles’ Antigone

Tyrant and Martyr in Antigone

“The tyrant dies and his rule ends,the martyr dies and his rule begins.” Soren Kierkegaard This quote applies to Sophocles’ play Antigone in many ways. The two lines can be used to describe the opposition of the two main characters in the play, Creon and Antigone. One is a king new to the throne who will not be ruling for long, and the other, a martyr whose strong convictions will live on even after her death.

In the first line of his quote, Kierkegaard states that a tyrant’s reign dies with him. Creon, in the play Antigone, is unquestionably the tyrant. Although he is new on the throne, he has already started to show his true colors. He is inflexible and unyielding, afraid to give ground on the basis that it would undermine the power of the state. This is shown in Scene III, when he makes his reply to Haimon:

“Do you want me to show myself weak before the people? Or to break my sworn word? No, and I will not. The woman dies.”

It is evident from this quote that his image is more important to him th…

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