Uploaded by Lilah Navale

Antigone Essay

Lilah Navale
Ms. Cowan
English, p4
30 November 2018
I will neither give nor receive unauthorized aid.
Creon’s Character Causes Chaos
“Controllers, abusers, and manipulative people don’t question themselves. They don’t ask
themselves if the problem is them. They always say the problem is someone else” (Darlene
Ouimet). Self-absorbed people believe themselves infallible, and tend to assume that blame
doesn’t belong to them, instead of admitting mistakes. In Sophocles’ play, Antigone, Creon
shares a similar mindset, believing “the problem is someone else.” He makes a harsh decision
regarding Antigone’s punishment for breaking one of his laws, and his prejudice against women
contributes to this severe penalty, causing him to act unforgiving towards Antigone because he is
unhappy that a woman dares to challenge his law. As a result, he argues with his son, Haemon,
about his role as a king and the fairness of this sentence, and during this conversation, Creon
reflects his belief that he is above others and shows his close-minded attitude. Overall, Creon’s
self-centeredness and chauvinism lead to his tragic downfall of losing his family and his power.
Creon’s massive ego and misogynistic attitudes cause him to lose everything he values,
including his son, wife, and kingdom. Shortly after Creon decides that Antigone will receive a
death sentence, he and his son, Haemon, have a disagreement about the fairness of Antigone’s
penalty. Towards the end of the argument, Creon tries to rationalize his decision to Haemon, but
ends up showing some of his faults. Creon tries to validate his cruel sentence for Antigone by
stating, “He whom the state appoints must be obeyed, / to the smallest matter, be it right- or
wrong” (Sophocles 144). Through his position on ruling, Creon shows how he believes he is
superior to others. He thinks that everyone should “obey” him without challenging him, and he
feels threatened by Antigone because she worships the gods, not him. His argument reveals that
he is so narcissistic that he can’t accept the possibility that others might disagree with him, and
he never questions his decisions. He believes that all should follow his laws “be it right or
wrong”; as a result, he refuses to take advice and tries to place blame on Antigone for burying
her brother after he outlawed it. Because he refuses to take criticism, he punishes Antigone
harshly and faces a tragic ending. Additionally, Creon exhibits another flaw, misogyny, which
contributes to the loss of all he considers important. Towards the end of his speech to Haemon
Creon tries to justify Antigone’s penance by stating that as king, he must enforce the rules in his
own household before he can enforce them throughout the entire city. During his rant about why
his decision to kill Antigone is fair, Creon declares:
I hold to the law
And will never betray it- least of all for a woman
Better to be beaten…by a man
Than let a woman get the better of us (Sophocles 144).
Viewing women as unequal to men proves that Creon has strong hate for women. He values
women “least of all” and does not think about what women have to say, and is angered when
Antigone challenges him. He never contemplates that Antigone, a woman, could be right about
anything. He does not want a woman to challenge him, and would rather be “beaten...by a man,”
revealing how he does not consider females as equals, and thinks that men are worthy of more
respect. Because he feels that a woman should not “get the better of him,” he gives Antigone a
severe sentence; resulting in outrage from his son. His sexism corrupts his kingdom and his
decisions, until it causes the death of his son and wife, and the loss of his power. He loses
everything due to his sexism. Conclusively, Creon’s problematic behaviors, such as extreme
conceit and hate for women, lead to the demise of his wife and son; also, to him resigning from
his position as king.
Overall, Creon has a massive ego and hate for women, yet he realizes these flaws
as the play concludes; sadly, his attempt to change is too late. Because of his actions, Creon
experiences tragedy and grief, and he has no one to blame but himself. He is left alone and in
despair after he loses all the he values: his son, wife, and power. He let his ego and his sexism
interfere with his decisions, which causes death in his family and suffering. People like Creon,
who never question their decisions, believe they are superior to women, always accuse others,
fail to consider other viewpoints; in this case, this has devastating consequences. Although
confidence is important, sometimes people become so egotistical that they refuse to consider
outside viewpoints, viewing their ideas as constantly right. With massive ego, it is easy to
dismiss others and become close minded, but it’s not simple to understand one’s own faults; also,
viewing women as unequal to men does not allow people to hear diverse viewpoints. In order to
improve, people need to observe their faults and listen to others, but narcissists and sexists
struggle with this. After all, “ego is just like dust in the eyes. Without clearing the dust, we can’t
see anything clearly” (Dhiraj Raj)
Works Cited
Sophocles. Antigone. Trans. E.F. Watling. Penguin Classics, 1950.
Ouimet, Darlene. “Quotable Quote.” Goodreads. Goodreads,
-themselves-they-don-t. 27 November 2018
Raj, Dhiraj. “Ego is just like Dust in the Eyes.” Wisdom Quotes and Stories. Wisdom Quotes and
Stories, 15 August 2016, www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/ego-is-just-like-dust-in-theeyes/. 28 November 2018