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Oedipus and Creon Essay Sample

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Oedipus and Creon Essay Sample

In the play Antigone by Sophocles, the two characters, Antigone and Creon, the king of Thebes both undergo character changes. During the play the audience sees the two character’s attitude change from close-minded to open-minded and it’s their close-minded attitudes that caused such tragic events.

In the beginning of the play Antigone is a closed minded character who later becomes open-minded and Creon’s closed mindedness comes into play from when he is set the new ruler. “As long as I am King, no traitor is going to be honored with the side of the State, he shall have my respect while he living and my reverence when he is dead” (170-173). Creon is convinced that as long he is king that this is the way it will be and he is convinced it is the right way to rule. After the death of Antigone’s two brother, Eteocles and Polyneices, Creon becomes the new ruler of Thebes. Creon gives Eteocles a funeral because “Eteocles, who died as a man should die, fighting for his country, is to be buried with full military honors, with all the ceremony that is usual when the greatest heroes die” (159-162).

However, “Polyneices, who broke his exile to come back with fire and sword against his native city and the shrines of his father’s gods, whose one idea was to spill the blood of his blood and sell his own people in slavery”¦is to have no burial” (162-166). Antigone disagrees with Creon’s unjust actions and she vows to bury her brother so that his soul may gain peace in the underworld. Knowing that Creon said “Polyneices if to have no burial: no man is to touch him or say the least prayer for him: he shall lie on the plain, unburied; and the birds and the scavenging dogs can do with him whatever they like.” (165-168). She is torn between the law placed against burying her brother and her own thoughts of doing what she feels what should be done for her family.

Antigone knows that she is in danger of being killed for her actions, “I say that this crime is holy: I shall lie down with him in death, and I shall be as dear to him as he to me” (56-58). Antigone realizes she has to bury her brother by herself without the help of her sister, Ismene. “Go away, Ismene: I shall be hating you soon, and the dead will too, for your words are hateful. Leave me my foolish plan: I am not afraid of the danger; if it means death, it will not be the worst of deaths-death without honor” (78-80). She tries to reason with Antigone, stating that she cannot disobey the law because of the consequences. Antigone is closed-minded when she tells her sister to go away and refuses to listen to her. After she buried her brother, she was sorrowful for her actions and the consequences, yet she was not regretful for her crime; for the love for her brother was so great that she went against the law.

She believes that her actions were not sinful and this shows she has an open mind. The punishment for breaking the law was public stoning, but instead Creon sentenced her to die in a cave, where she could starve to death. Instead of dying a low miserable death, she committed suicide by hanging herself. After learning the loss of his niece, son and wife, Creon’s change is sudden. Haimon’s suicide is being placed on Creon’s stubborn murdering of Antigone. After hearing Haimon’s death, Creon’s wife, Eurydice was completely devastated and she killed herself with a sword.

Creon admits, “I have been rash and foolish. I have killed my son and wife. I look for comfort; my comfort lies here dead. Whatever my hands have touched has come to nothing. Fate has brought all my pride to a thought of dust.” (1032-1036). Creon finally comes to his senses for it is too late and it has cost him his family.

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