What is Creon's overall motivation in Antigone?

Expert Answers info

David Alberts, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor, Professional Writer

bookB.A. from Kent State University

bookM.A. from West Virginia State University

bookPh.D. from Bowling Green State University


calendarEducator since 2019

write511 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

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...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1,040 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now




check Approved by eNotes Editorial

ac12 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write148 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gracie O'Hara eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write6,903 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Michael Foster eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write579 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial