Absolute power struggle
Uploaded by supershocker on Aug 17, 2002
In the story Antigone, the King of Thebes, Creon, showed that too much power will corrupt anyone. As Creon became the one with total control, his character, judgment, and his principals deteriorated. Antigone was written by Sophocles. He did an excellent job of showing how absolute power will corrupt absolutely. Using Creon's utmost authority, Sophocles told of how everything he once stood for had crumbled.
Antigone begins by telling of a Theban royal family which is in much turmoil. There are many characters focused upon in Antigone, but only a few are worth mentioning. Antigone starts with Antigone (niece of Creon) and her sister Ismene talking about how their father Oedipus died, and because of his death, the family undertook some very hard times. Their brothers Eteocles and Polynices have just died in a fight against each other; Eteocles, fighting for the city; Polynices, fighting against the city and crowned the supposed 'traitor'. When the two died Eteocles, because he fought for the city, was given full burial rites, while Polynices was given absolutely no burial rites of any kind because he was a traitor. Creon decreed his burial forbidden along with any mourning throughout the city. Because of the deaths of Eteocles and Polynices, Creon took his rightful seat in the throne. He insisted that the body of Polynices lay to rot for the entire city to see as a punishment to Polynices and example to all those who dare fight against Thebes. Antigone, being his sister, could not stand to see this happen. She did her best to cover her brother’s body, but got caught while doing so. She then was brought before her uncle the king. She denied nothing, and was proud to admit to the crime, stating,
'Yes, because I did not believe that Zeus was the one who proclaimed it; neither did Justice, or the gods of the dead whom Justice lives among. The laws they have made for men are well marked out. I didn't suppose your decree had strength enough, or you, who are human, to violate the lawful traditions the gods have not written merely, but made infallible.' (550-558).
Her stubborn uncle insisted that she pay the price for her crime, a crime which was to be punishable by death. He took her to a rocky vault and walled her inside where she was to die for her crime. When Creon got back,...