Antigone Questions and Answers
by Sophocles

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In Antigone, how does Haemon try to convince Creon to spare the life of Antigone?

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At first, Haemon flatters the absolutist king Creon by declaring his complete loyalty to him and by extension the state. This was a smart move as it puts the king at ease and hopefully in a better position to listen to good counsel. Haemon is not questioning the king's authority but his wisdom in this matter.

Haemon relates the intelligence that the people of Thebes think the punishment is too much for a pious deed. Creon sidesteps the argument reverting back to his unquestioned authority to rule. He is missing the point. He may have absolute authority but is still subject to errors in his judgment like any mortal. His ego appears to cloud his reason. He accuses Haemon of being under the influence of love for a woman (true) and insults Haemon. Again, that sidesteps the issue of whether the king's harsh decree will be good for the kingdom (it will not). Creon is questioning Haemon's motives rather than addressing the objection directly.

Haemon explains that men are not omniscient with...

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mmwilson88 | Student

Haemon, being the son of Creon, pleads to his father to listen to the reasoning of the people who, including Haemon, believes Antigone deserves praise for what she has done. He wages with his father to listen to his heart and put aside the laws that are destroying the family, for Creon is stuck between abiding by the laws of the land or the will of the people.  Creon bids his son not to "lose you head over this woman" (3.20), but as we learn, Haemon's love prevails.  Later, Creon regrets the decison he makes to have Antigone put to death.