Essay on A Comparison of Creon of Antigone and Jason of Medea

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A Comparison of Creon of Antigone and Jason of Medea

Both of these two male characters are not title roles. They both fall prey to the actions of a woman, one whom they both originally thought they had complete control over. Antigone's martyrdom and conflict with the State brings Creon's destruction and Medea's double murder and infanticide brings his destruction. However, how much is this brought about through their own weakness and how much can we attribute this to a cruel fate? The issue is essentially whether a stronger person than Jason or Antigone could have avoided the destruction, and were they crushed by their own internal weakness ('hamartia'). An important to clarify is that we are not judging their personality. A
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However, this inability to understand the point of view of the victim is something he does share with his counterpart in the Medea. Jason completely underestimates Medea's grief and attributes the murders to her sheer unsatisfied lust ("out of mere sexual jealousy, you murder them!"). Though he does see her anger ("you no doubt hate me"), neither does he understand the drastic action she is capable of, nor how his actions are wrong. However, we can by no means judge him as harshly as we judge Creon in this respect. Not only is Creon a despot, but he is a blundering despot. If he had remained constant throughout, we would be able to give him deserved respect. He might be a cruel ruler but at least he stands by his principles. But his yielding at line 871 ("wall her up alive") to merely imprisoning Antigone reveals a weakness within him, which his confirmed by his entire reversal at line 1223 ("I'll obey"). We would hate him all the more if he did not change his way in the play, as it would mean that Antigone, Eurydice and Haemon all died for nothing, and Creon didn't learn anything. However, then at least we would have respect as not just a strong character, but an iron-willed implacable character who he claims to be at the start of his reign ("such are my standards").

Jason is constant in his pursuits however. His standpoint is that he has a new wife, a royal one at that, which was not an uncommon practice for the

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