The Consequences Of Morality In Antigone By Sophocles

Decent Essays
The play Antigone is intended to portray that morality is more important than the law. In order to demonstrate this, Sophocles presents a situation in which a woman is willing to go to the extremes, even facing death, in order to fight for what she believes is right. The play struggles with the idea of right versus wrong, the characters are forced to make decisions based on their conscience even if it does not coincide with the law. The purpose of laws is to set a standard of conduct for the population to follow; usually these laws are for the good of the citizens who are living in the country. However, that does not always mean that they are morally correct. In the case of Creon, the king of Thebes, he refused to allow Antigone’s brother …show more content…
From the first scene of the play, even before she mentions Polyneices, it is clear that she knows her plans to bury her brother defy Creon’s law, yet she does not care; there is no point in trying to change her mind. From the beginning of the play, there is no doubt that nothing good will from of this situation. When Creon finds out that she buried her brother, she expresses no remorse or apologies; instead, she challenges the king to punish her. She explicitly says to Creon, “I beg you: kill me” (358). Creon is also very strong-willed in his own right and believes that no one should question his authority as king. An example of this is when he gets into an argument with his son Haimon regarding Antigone. When Haimon suggests that Antigone might be correct in her dismissal of the law, Creon rejects the idea saying “You consider it right for a man of my years and experience to go to school to a boy?” (362). Throughout the play, Creon is stubborn, even arrogant at times and refuses to listen to anyone else’s reasoning or opinion. Because both Creon and Antigone are steadfast in their position and unwilling to waiver, there is absolute certainty that this will end in destruction. There is no expectation of a peaceful resolution taking place between them regarding her decision to bury her …show more content…
However, it is not known until halfway through the play that Creon is also going to face a family tragedy in the form of his wife and son each committing suicide. Before his death, Haimon tells Creon that behind closed doors the people in the city believe Antigone is a heroine for her actions and her life should be spared (362). However, Creon remains certain that she must die for her actions. Nonetheless, Haimon’s attempts to persuade Creon to reconsider his stance on the situation prove to be futile, leading Haimon threatening to his father that he will commit suicide; Haimon boldly states, “Then she must die.—But her death will cause another” (363). Shortly after Antigone is locked in a stone vault and left to die, a man named Teiresias comes to Creon with a prophecy that the gods are angry with Creon and will bring destruction to the land. Creon is troubled by this prediction and decides to go to Antigone’s vault to free her from his harsh punishment. However, when he arrives, he finds that she has already hung herself and Haimon is lying beside her distraught. After attempting to stab his father, Haimon eventually stabs himself, dying instantly (374). Once Creon’s wife Eurydice hears about her son’s death, she takes her own life (375). These deaths leave Creon unbearably heartbroken. He acknowledges his guilt and prays that he will die.

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