Loyalty Or Love In Sophocles 'Antigone'

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Loyalty or Love “Father, the gods instill good sense in men—the greatest of all the things which we possess.” (lines 776-777) In Sophocles’ play, Antigone, Haemon’s actions and ideas cause conflicting motivations between he and his father, Creon. As Haemon is faced with choosing loyalty or love his motivations accentuate Creon’s arrogance, power, and foolishness. Ultimately, the conflicting motivations establish Creon as a tragic hero by making him realize his selfishness is what caused his downfall. The character interactions between Haemon and Creon allow the plot to advance through confrontations between the two characters, which in the end caused Haemon to turn against his father. The actions, words, and beliefs displayed by Haemon contrast…show more content…
Haemon turning against his father is due to conflicts that occur throughout the play. For example, Creon and Haemon quarrel about the loyalty Haemon has for his father. “Creon: “So the city now will instruct me how I am to govern?” Haemon: “Now you’re talking like someone far too young. Don’t you see that?”” (Lines 836-839) This dispute shows the power and attitude Creon has towards those who believe he is unjustly punishing Antigone. The themes of loyalty and love are also developed by conflicts that occur between the two characters. “Go bring her out— that hateful creature, so she can die right here, with him present, before her bridegroom’s eyes.” (Lines 868-870) Ultimately Creon is willing to see his son suffer by suggesting he kill Haemon’s fiancée (Antigone) in front of him. “No. Don’t ever hope for that. She’ll not die with me just standing there. And as for you— your eyes will never see my face again. So let your rage charge on among your friends who want to stand by you in this.” (Lines 871-875) Haemon is torn between loyalty to his father and his love for Antigone, but in the end decides to follow his heart and turn on his father in order to make an attempt to save Antigone. In summation, Haemon and Creon have contrasting motivations that result in Creon developing into a tragic hero. The conflicting motivations of Creon and Haemon’s characters advance the plot and themes of loyalty and love in order for Creon to realize his ego and selfishness would lead to his
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