The main theme of Antigone is the moral contradiction between doing good and bad. Meaning, you can still do bad when doing something good. An important ideal in Ancient Greece was the belief that the government was to have no control in matters concerning religious beliefs. In Antigone’s eyes, Creon betrayed that ideal by not allowing her to properly bury her brother, Eteocles. She believed that the burial was a religious ceremony, and Creon did not have the power to deny Eteocles that right. Antigone’s strong beliefs eventually led her to her death by the hand of Creon.
Never, though, did she stop defending what she thought was right. As Creon ordered her to her death, Antigone exclaimed, “I go, his prisoner, because I honoured those things in which honour truly belongs. ” She is directly humiliating Creon by calling his opinions and decisions weak and unjust. She also emphasizes “his prisoner,” which tells us that Creon’s decision to capture Antigone was his own, and was not backed up by the majority of the people. She feels that Creon is abusing his power as king and dealing with her task to a personal level.
Creon’s actions are guided by the ideal that states “Man is the measure of all things. ” The chorus emphasizes this point during the play by stating that “There is nothing beyond (man’s) power. ” Creon believes that the good of man comes before the gods. Setting the example using Polynices’ body left unburied is a symbol of Creon’s belief. “No man who is his country’s enemy shall call himself my friend. ” This quote shows that leaving the body unburied is done to show respect for Thebes. After all, how could the ruler of a city-state honor a man who attempted to invade and conquer his city.
From that perspective, Creon’s actions are completely just and supported by the ideals. Though most of Creon’s reasonings coincide with the Greek ideals, one ideal strongly contradicts his actions. The ideal states that the population would be granted freedom from political oppression and that freedom of religion would be carried out. Creon defied both of these. First, Antigone was “his prisoner”, not necessarily the publics. In fact, the general population supported Antigone, though they were too scared to say anything.
Haemon, the son of Creon, knew of this, and told Creon, “Has she not rather earned a crown of gold? – Such is the secret talk of the town. ” This proves that Creon was exercising complete domination of political power, which is strictly forbidden in the new ideals. Also, not allowing Antigone perform her religious ceremony of burying her brother is interfering with religious affairs. This denies Antigone freedom of religion, hence, contempt for this ideal. Today in age, you can do much more bad when doing good. Such as transportation. We all need to get around from place to place, job to job, and a lot of other places.
We all complain about how we have all of this pollution, and smog. And we are all surprised where it is coming from. What we don’t’ realize, is that we, the people who drive around form all of the places, are creating all of that smog that everyone else is complaining about. So why do we continue to drive, and add to the pollution? Because the scientists have to go to their laboratories to figure out what they can do. But they will need some light in that building. So then the people at the electric company have to go to work. That’s more pollution in order to solve the pollution problem.
Then if the electric guys have to go to work, they will get old, and we will need other people to replace them later on in life. So in order to educate people in that business we will need the teachers to go to work and teach kids how to do their job. And that’s some more pollution. So as you can see, just to do something good like freeing the world of the posing pollution problem can cause more bad then good. Something from my own life, that I have experienced that I’m doing more bad than good (when I’m trying to accomplish something good) was when I went to throw this cup out of the car.
The good thing that I was doing, was getting the cup out of the car and in the circle of energy on the earth. And if it would rain soon, the fishes in the sea would have a nice little cup to drink out of and share a drink with their friend. But, at the same time, I was doing a bad thing by adding to the litter on the street. It can be a good thing with a bad thing attached to it by the waist. Just like in the play. One person thought it was a good thing, yet it was doing bad while good. It’s a really weird concept.