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By jnvoyager46 Feb 05, 2013 494 Words
Throughout history of society, there have been many conflicts involved between the rights of the state and the individuals. These conflicts commonly happened to societies that were ruled by absolute authorities. The outcomes would mostly result in violence, where there were involvements of fatalities. During the fifth century B.C.E., at the time period of the Ancient Greeks, struggles between the rights of the state and individuals were the main issue. They were often depicted through plays at the theater; one of them for instance was the play of Antigone written by Sophocles. The play was about an absolute ruler named Creon, who ruled the city state of Thebes with merciless authority. Through Creon’s tenacious conceit and his misuse of power over Thebes, Sophocles reveals that relentless pride always results in harmful consequences.

Creon demonstrated his inflexibility when he didn’t want to be accused for his wrongdoings because of his dignity. When he was told that his orders of having Polynices’ body unburied was wrong, he didn’t want to listen to those who tried to tell him that Antigone’s actions were right. In order to protect his dignity, he decided to execute Antigone.

Aside from his inflexibility, Creon misconducts his power as a ruler. He believed he was able to change and violate the laws of the Gods by forcing his people to follow his laws instead of the Gods’. When Polynices died Creon didn’t burry his body nor did he let others of Thebes, since he considered Polynices a traitor for rebelling against the city. For traitors, Creon believed they didn’t deserve the proper burial and should be left to decompose. But little did he know that he had violated one of the God’s laws. The law that every human body was to be buried no matter what type of person he or she was.

From his actions, Creon causes the downfall of Thebes by dissatisfying the Gods. Dissatisfied the gods punish the city of Thebes with environmental pollution and plague from the unburied parts of Polynices along with scourging birds and dogs. The plague and pollution leaves many ill or dead. Though Creon is not affected by the dreadful events, he is devastated when he loses his family. His son Haemon attempts to kill him for his part in the plague of Thebes, but his plans backfire when he ends up killing himself. Following the loss of his son, his wife takes her own life along too.

In conclusion, Sophocles’ message is that when you have lots of self-confidence in yourself and lots of power, it can sometimes misguide you to making poor decisions that may cost you. For instances, since Creon was an absolute ruler he believed he was able to do what he had pleased and things would go his way. So he decided to break one of the laws of the gods. His decision ended up costing him a curse on his city from the gods.

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