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Antigone by Sophocles

Family is supposed to be the ultimate support, everlasting, and always ready to forgive. In Antigone by Sophocles, Creon is immersed in a “power trip” that alienates and even kills his family. He caused his son, Haemon’s death, his wife, Eurydice’s death and Antigone’s death. Creon views himself as the perfect leader, believes he is always correct, and in turn has to live with the guilt of three deaths that were his fault. Antigone goes alone to bury Polynices and deliberately disobeys Creon’s law.

Antigone not only lost her two brothers, but she will lose her respect for her family and the gods if she does not bury Polynices. When Creon finds out that Antigone has disobeyed him and only wants to die, he tries to argue with her, but she remains strong to her word. Immediately, Creon realizes he cannot argue with Antigone and says, “While I’m alive, no woman is going to lord it over me”(86). Creon does not let his relation with Antigone as her uncle affect his dealing with Antigone in any way. He swears to punish her even if she is family.

His job is to protect and uphold the laws of the state. If he does not punish Antigone he will look as though he is a weak ruler. Since Creon is related to Antigone, he must carry out the punishment of Antigone so the people of Thebes will see him as a strong and powerful king. Haemon does not want to Antigone to die for what she has done. He attempts to convince his father that he should change his view about Antigone going against Creon’s decree. Creon tells him that he young and has lost his “sense of judgement over a woman”(93).

Haemon does not want to displease his father, but he is not willing to back down from what he believe is right. Creon gets angry and says, “bring her out, that hateful-she’ll die now, here, in front of his eyes, beside her groom”(99). Haemon leaves his father’s side and dies beside his true love, Antigone. When Eurydice enters the palace she is faced with the news of her son’s death. She demands that the messenger tell her “the news, again, whatever it issorrow and [her] are hardly strangers”(121).

Eurydice blames Creon for the death of her son. She is so alarmed with the death that she kills herself. Creon returns with the body of Haemon only to find “a new corpse rising before [his] eyes”(125). Creon’s own destiny came about him, to prove that what he claims to be just isn’t always, and that the worst happenings and mistakes were his overconfidence and his pride. The rest of his life will forever be plagued with the tragedy and he will not be able to think the same way ever again.

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