Creon's Decree In Antigone

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In the play Antigone, Sophocles tells the story of the titular character as she buries her traitorous brother in defiance of a tyrannical despot. Through this action, the play asks the question of whether the laws created by one man “could override the gods, the great unwritten, unshakable traditions,” (504-5). Some may argue that Creon's decree is merely one of necessity, an unavoidable evil to allow the city of Thebes to heal and unite. He is a patriot holding his city together in times of strife. While Creon may believe this, saying "our country is our safety" (211), it is actually his lack of love that causes him to deny Polynices his burial. Love is the ultimate natural law, thus proving Antigone's right to disobey the unjust decree.
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When the Chorus Leader claims “only a fool could be in love with death,” (246), referring to Antigone, Creon immediately ignore that idea. He instead latches onto corruption saying that “the mere hope of money has ruined many men,” (248). He later continues with this line of thought into a large monologue calling money “so current, rampant, so corrupting” (336) and blaming riches for “every godless crime,” (341). His first thought is of corruption and bribery because that is what would compel him to disobey man’s laws. He has no love in his heart like Antigone. His one goal is power. When he ascends to the Theban throne he focuses on his people’s “undeviating respect for the throne and royal power” (184-5) and that now he possess “the throne and all its powers” (193). His constant refrain of power reveals his motivation. He has such patriotism for his country, not out of love for his people or his city, but for the power it grants him. He says: “whoever places a friend above the good of his own nothing,” (204-5). He has no love for others, only love for what can give him more power, gold and governmental …show more content…

The chorus tells how “not even the deathless gods can flee [love’s] onset” (884) and that love is “throned in power, side-by-side with the mighty laws” (892). Love is a power older than the gods and as mighty as the natural laws which govern our universe. To fight it would be futile for, love is “never conquered in battle” (879) and of this conflict it will “alone be the victor” (890). Creon is attempting to fight love, to fight Antigone and her overwhelming need to bury her brother. Love existed long before Creon was born, before the city of Thebes was even built, and it will exist long after Creon dies and Thebes

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