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Creon: A monarch within his rights

Uploaded by Steve4ster on Dec 01, 2000

Defending Creon: a monarch within his rights to rule


In Antigone, especially with the feminist movement now holding the title character, as prototypical downtrodden woman, the king Creon is often villified. While accepting the fact that Creon has misogynist tendencies, the gender issues can cause the pure argument of validity of actions, to fall by the wayside. So supposing for a moment, that Antigone's rebellion had been undertaken by a male, would Creon's choices have been different. Did he choose such harsh punishment and intractable course because Antigone was a woman ? As I read him, this is not the case. He has made a value judgement as to who is traitor and who is worthy. He has made a secondary judgement as to the rights of traitors, and the need of the people to know the consequences of traitorous acts. While one may disagree, with the value judgements he has made, as king he is well within his rights, indeed his obligation, to rule according to what he believes best at the time. Outcomes are not always the best vantage point from which to judge a man. Creon did not have the advantage the reader has of seeing final outcomes, indeed we must remember these outcomes were contrived by Sophocles, to illustrate his point of view. Is it not conceivable that in real life, these outcomes are far from assured, indeed a bit preposterous ? So then to summarize, Creon simply made his best decision, and that decision was with in his right to rule as the recognized sovereign.

On the surface, Antigone is the classic tragic hero, it is she that Sophocles wants us to be drawn to. It is Creon against who he stacks the cards. A writer's value judgement, nothing more. So then, once more assuming Antigone is a male instead, are her or his actions noble or foolhardy, and irresponsible. While on the surface it appears noble to risk death for a principle, is it really ? Aren't relationships more important than principles ? Much is made of Creon sentencing his own son's fiance to death, did she not by her foolhardy, kneejerk reaction sentence herself. Where is her consideration for her husband to be ? And her sister, who has lost so much, and now clings to her so desparately, is rebuffed and dismissed as not worthy of the glorious Antigone. Her actions seem motivated as...

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Uploaded by:   Steve4ster

Date:   12/01/2000

Category:   Antigone

Length:   5 pages (1,054 words)

Views:   2127

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