Difference Between Antigone And Creon

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This essay will discuss and explore the conflict between Antigone and Creon in Sophocles’ Antigone while taking into consideration G.W.F. Hegel’s philosophical ideas put forward in his seminal work Phenomenology of Spirit. An attempt will be made to show that Creon represents the political, democratic principle which serves as a foundation for the creation of the modern state with all of its freedoms and rights, while Antigone, on the other hand, whose principles are as equally legitimate as Creon’s, is doomed to perish from the very beginning because she symbolizes the pre-state principle of natural law. Sophocles’ Antigone was written in the 5th century BC and it still presents us with significant interpretive challenges, its universality…show more content…
One of his key insights, presented in the preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit, is that of the identity of the subject and the object. He states: “In my view, which can be justified only by the exposition of the system itself, everything turns on grasping and expressing the True, not only as Substance, but equally as Subject” (Hegel, 1977: 9-10). In other words, the object and the subject are identical ??? "the absolute substance which is the unity of the different independent self-consciousnesses which, in their opposition, enjoy perfect freedom and independence: "I" that is "We" that is "I"" (Hegel, 1977: 110). Hegel wanted to create a philosophy which would allow the whole universe to be perceived and interpreted through the phenomenon of self-consciousness, Hegel held that the Absolute Spirit, i.e. the consciousness that is aware of itself, can be expressed through art, religion, and philosophy with a greater or lesser degree of perfection. Furthermore, each of these categories of the Absolute have their subordinated a priori forms that are displayed in the dialectical formation of the thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Within the philosophy of the absolute spirit tragedy represents the pinnacle of artistic self-consciousness because the totality of reality manifests itself most adequately in…show more content…
He was trying to show that Antigone’s (thesis) and Creon’s (antithesis) principles were partially true, so that he could prove that their sufferings were necessary in order to establish harmony (synthesis), and for his dialectical thinking to triumph. Every period and culture gives the individual the right to act morally. Antigone, as self-consciousness, was formed within the Hellenistic culture, and expressed the Absolute Spirit, i.e. true freedom and universal humanity. According to Hegel, an individual can be free/self-conscious only in a community that is free/self-conscious because the "Spirit occurs as the result of the mediated experience of the community" (Fiala, 2002: 156). Therefore, Antigone cannot be self-conscious since her community is not self-conscious. That is why she must suffer, and tragedy occurs precisely because Antigone is, and her community is not, an expression of the Absolute Spirit. We could assume that in the end, Creon would be forced to concede if the Thebans revolted. The Theban community was not an expression of the Spirit, unlike Antigone who disregarded the cultural norms of the time. She clearly revealed her identity before Creon: "And I wasn’t born to hate one with the other, but to love both together" (Sophocles, 1974: 42). In other words, she anticipated what
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