Machiavelli's Political Theory To Creon

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Relating Machiavelli's Political Theory to Creon and His Ruling Style
In Antigone Creon in conversation with Hæmon laments “Am I [as a king] to rule this land after some other will than mine” (Sophocles 28). This of course falling on our western postmodern ears is completely juxtaposed to our understanding that the government exists to serve us. While this statement is less shocking for people who live in less “developed” western world it is most certainly something machiavelli would have heard in his era. In fact our perception of leadership and monarchy has shifted exponentially more in the 500 years between the prince and now than the 1,900 years that separated Machiavelli from Sophocles, therefore it is reasonable to assume any of the
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Early on it is alluded to that creon is not merely feared but he strikes terror into his subjects. As a sentinel enters Creon's Presence to announce that one of Creon's decrees has been broken he implies that he is in danger rambling “I come, playing a nimble foot… I had many sticking points of thought… For my heart whispered Poor wretch why go to meet your sentence” (Sophocles 10). This implies that the guard is afraid that he will be struck against because he is informing creon of an infraction. It is an almost universal taboo to shoot the messenger and a deep level of contempt is reserved for those who do. Contempt Machiavelli argues is something to be avoided. “A shrewd prince will lay his foundations on what is under his own control...He should simply take pains not to be hated” (Machiavelli 47). This is the establishment of a theme that Machiavelli continues through the rest of the book, the theme distilled is that a loathed prince cannot remain in power for his people will not support someone they hate and welcome his demise. Machiavelli then dedicates the entirety of chapter XIX to avoiding hatred. Creon of course though his execution of Antigone earns the hatred of his people and is unable to retain his rule because of the lack of support from his people. Machiavelli and Creon both agree that a leader should aspire to be feared however creon crosses into hatred and as a result he loses his

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