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Essay On Creon In Sophocles' And Anouilh's Antigone

941 words - 4 pages

Creon in Sophocles' and Anouilh's "Antigone"

  In both plays, Creon sees himself as a passive agent rather than a villain, only acting out a predetermined set of instructions based upon certain laws and edicts. Creon tries to give the impression that he is not really in control; if it were up to him, as an individual, things would be different. Sophocles' Creon tries to wash his hands of Antigone's death by leaving her in a sealed cave. The gods will determine her fate, so he thinks. Anouilh's Creon goes so far as to admit the "childish stupidity" of his own decree. He even confides in Antigone that he is not certain which brother's body was buried. He insists, though, that once ...view middle of the document...

At the conclusion, Creon has realized the transient nature, the folly of human endeavors. He bows his head in reverence to the gods and seeks their guidance. Order of a larger, more universal, nature is ultimately reaffirmed.       


            The modern Creon does not repent. In fact he resumes his duties and seems scarcely affected by the bloody scene that surrounds him. Creon is aware of the absurdity of his role as ruler, but this is not a new discovery for him.  To Creon, accepting absurdity is part of the natural progression of life. He made this concession when he became king, if not before. Antigone has reached that crucial moment where she must either surrender to life on its absurd terms or be destroyed. From Creon's point of view, it is time for her to come of age. Creon counsels her to submit to his experience in these matters. "Go to your room", he says. And she very nearly does. What changes her mind?


            Antigone realizes Creon has no personal moral center. If she submits to his will, the same fate awaits her. We know he was once a decent man, a patron of the arts, but now Creon clings to the State. Someone must steer the ship and he has tethered himself to the wheel. He no longer has the "luxury" of morality.  He has become too addicted to the freedom and power of existing beyond good and evil to sever the cord that connects him to the State. Creon chooses order over absurdity at the cost of his own morality. He sees human built institutions, institutions that wield power and create order, as the only alternative to the absurd chaos, the storm that engulfs the modern world. The gods are not a viable alternative. They cannot exist in this...

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