Role Of Authority In Antigone

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What purpose is there of having a ruler if he can’t enforce his authority? Creon, the new king of Thebes, faces this same issue in Antigone by Sophocles, after the last king’s brother, Polyneices, started a war and perished along with the king, Eteocles. As the new king, Creon decrees that Polyneices, a traitor, shall not be buried, which angers Polyneices’s sister, Antigone, who buries Polyneices anyway. Creon orders her to be put to death, a reasonable punishment in order to protect his government, because as a leader, he’ll do anything to prevent anarchy, including punishing family.
As a new king, Creon wanted to establish his power clearly and efficiently. The first thing he did was address the people and assure them “No one values friendship more than I;/ but we must remember that friends made at the risk of wrecking our/ Ship [of state] are not real
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Some may point to Haemon informing his father of the people’s opinion of Antigone’s actions: “[The people] say no woman has ever, so unreasonably/ Died so shameful a death for a generous act: … ‘Is this indecent?/... Is this a crime?/ Death? -She should have all the honor that we can give her!’” (iii. 554-58). Haemon informs Creon that his people disagree with his choice of punishing Antigone for helping her brother. If the people of Thebes are against Creon, then that might suggest that an act against the government might arise, going against Creon’s intentions of the decree. However, this is irrelevant, because Creon publically shoots this notion down in his court, pointing out that “[Polyneices] made war on his country/… An enemy is an enemy, even dead” (ii. 412-17). Creon justifies his punishment toward Antigone as aiding a traitor, who is a traitor even in death. There is no honor in helping a traitor, but rather great shame in the eyes of the nation. This shame makes the argument that Antigone’s sentence was uncalled for

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