Compare the Creon in the beginning of Sophocles’ Antigone to the Creon in lines 1091-1470.  Has he changed at all in language or conduct?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In the beginning of the play, Creon is very strong-willed and stubborn.  He fears the demise of the state and in order to protect it holds tenaciously to his own authority.  He believes he alone has sole authority and not even the gods can undermine him.

 

Later in the play, in lines 1091-1470, even when Tiresias comes and tells Creon about his visions of the gods being angry with him and wanting to take vengeance by destroying his kingdom, Creon still refuses to listen.  Creon refuses to believe that Zeus should want an enemy of the state to be properly buried.  He argues that “to yield [to a power that’s not his own, in this case, to the higher power of the gods] is grievous, but the obstinate soul that fights Fate, is smitten grievously.”  Even after debating some with the chorus, Creon still feels it is wrong for him to yield to anyone’s authority but his own, saying, “Ah! What a wrench it is to sacrifice My heart’s resolve; but Fate is ill to fight,” but eventually he listens to the chorus’s advice and agrees to bury Polynices and free Antigone. 

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