Haemon disregarded the declarations and that was seen as the height of disrespect against Creon, but in the eyes of the civilians Creon is entirely in the wrong. The greatest iniquity committed by Haemon is the fact that he did not believe Antigone was guilty or deserved to be put in a tomb to die. Engulfed in all his power, Creon did not realize he was the only one that felt it was right to punish Antigone for performing a proper burial. Although it is not popularity but respect that he is searching for by sentencing Antigone to death, he is still putting himself before his country’s well being. Haemon is indirectly saying that a government should be based on democracy, public opinion, and have laws established for the betterment of the city, rather than the sole benefits handed to the authoritative figure. If Creon is a fair king who truly represents and defends his people, as he seems to believe himself to be, then he should pay attention to his people. If they don’t think Antigone should be punished, then perhaps Creon should reconsider.
“Imagine it: I caught her in naked rebellion,
the traitor, the only one in the whole city.
I’m not about to prove myself a liar,
not to my people, no. I’m going to kill her!
That’s right - so let her cry for mercy, sing her hymns
to Zeus who defends all bonds of kindred blood.
Why if I bring up my own kin to be such rebels,
think what I’d suffer from the world at large.
Show me the man who rules his household well:
I’ll show you someone fit to rule the state.
That good man, my son,
I have every confidence he and he alone
can give commands and take them too. Staunch
in the storm of spears he’ll stand his ground,
a loyal, unflinching comrade at your side.”
(Sophocles 732 - 746)
By Creon’s logic, Antigone’s refusal to follow his laws makes Antigone a threat to the state’s safety that must be eliminated. Creon thinks reconsidering would invite anarchy and threaten the state. But if he rules for himself only,...