Violence In Plato's Republic, And Sophocles Antigone

1259 Words 6 Pages
Since the start of civilization, humans have used violence to gain and ensure power. Power often blinds people causing them to believe their violent actions are just. They are in a position where they won’t be opposed so they can act self-interestedly. Thrasymachus, in Thucydides’ accounts on the Peloponnesian war explains this point of view best by stating, “Justice is nothing other the advantage of the stronger.” (Plato pg. 14). Although violence places fear in your enemies or subordinates, it leads to dismal consequences. The characters of Thucydides accounts on the Peloponnesian war, Plato’s Republic, and Sophocles Antigone demonstrate the use of force to ensure one’s position of power will ultimately lead to one’s downfall.
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Creon, a tyrant in Sophocles Antigone, held strict beliefs that his law should be followed whether or not people agree with them. He believed violence was a necessary tool in order to make sure people obeyed his rule. When Polynices was killed in a dispute with his brother to take over Thebes, Creon refused to grant Polynices a proper burial and promised death to anyone who tried to disobey his ruling. Creon wanted to set an example that the enemies of the city would be punished showing how his civil law was more important than human decency or divine law to Creon. This even applied to his niece, Antigone, when she attempted to give her brother, Polynices, a proper burial. Creon responded to her defiance by forcefully imprisoning and condemning Antigone to death. Creon thought of justice similarly to Thrasymachus, that his rules were just because he created them to ensure the safety of his city. Throughout the play, he appears to be a self-interested tyrant instead of the great leader he desired to be. He refused to listen to the sound reasoning of his son Haemon, who was set to marry Antigone. His arrogance and true use of power is demonstrated when he says, “What? The city is the king’s-that’s the law!” (Antigone pg. 97). Creon desired to be a good and just leader from the beginning of his reign. However, his tyrannical tendencies and use of force diminished his power leading to all the tragic events of the play. Antigone’s hanging, Haemon’s suicide, and the Queen’s suicide all resulted from his determination to ensure the stability of the city by punishing its

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