In Antigone, written by Sophocles in about 440 BC, Creon has become King of Thebes at the death of his nephews, Eteocles and Polyneices, who killed each other in a civil war over which one of them should rule Thebes.
Creon decrees that Eteocles, who fought on the side of Thebes, should be given a hero's funeral and buried with honor. Creon further decrees that Polyneices, who rebelled against Eteocles, should not be buried at all, that his body should left to rot on the battlefield, and that anyone who tries to bury Polyneices will be condemned to death.
Creon's motivation for these decrees is to preserve the integrity of the State, meaning the Kingdom of Thebes, and to insure that the State is preserved through the rule of law. He has another motivation for making these decrees which only comes into play when his decree against burying Polyneices is violated by Creon's niece, Antigone. His second motivation is to maintain his own position and authority.
Creon believes that as uncle of Eteocles...
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