Theme Of Power In Antigone
Although Creon is at the top of the social hierarchy within his own kingdom, ultimately the gods have the most power in the play Antigone, and get to control the individual characters’ fates. In Antigone, Sophocles explores the idea of a power hierarchy and makes it clear that if leaders are not mindful of higher universal powers and truths, they will be subject to punishment by the gods. Throughout Antigone, Sophocles conveys a message that criticizes “all-knowing” and tyrannical leaders, a message that also resonates even today.
Towards the beginning of the play, Creon has the most power and gets to make his own decisions. Within the societal hierarchy constructed by men, he is allowed to act recklessly and …show more content…
With the gods being at the top of the power hierarchy and holding everyone’s fate in their hands, they need to be respected by all of those who want to live prosperous lives. Creon does not respect the gods enough because he cares more about punishing traitors than listening to the wishes of the gods, so the gods punish him. Creon ends up without a family after his poor decision to go against the gods and punish Antigone to prevent her brother’s burial. At the end of the book, the chorus acknowledges that the gods need to be honored or else they will punish you, “reverence towards the gods must be safe guarded. /The mighty words of the proud are paid in full/with mighty blows of fate.”(P. 128, Lines 1467-1469) In this quote, Creon is “the proud”, because of his acknowledgement of the gods’ wishes and his willingness to defy them, causing the gods to punish Creon with “mighty blows of fate”. In the same way that Creon’s punishment of Antigone is designed to set an example for others not to defy his laws, for Sophocles, Creon’s punishment by the gods is designed to warn prideful leaders of the time not to assume the unrestricted role of gods. His message continues to be relevant