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“Creon in Antigone”: Analysis

The tragedy is named after the main character. Polyneices, brother of Antigone, the daughter of King Oedipus, betrayed his relatives Thebes, took part in the Campaign of the Seven against them, and died in the struggle with his brother Eteocles, the defender of the homeland. King Creon forbade the traitor to be buried and ordered to give his body to be torn apart by birds and dogs. Antigone, contrary to orders, performed a religious burial ceremony. For this, Creon ordered Antigone to be immured in a cave. Antigone, true to her duty – the fulfillment of sacred laws, did not humble herself before Creon. She preferred death to obedience to the cruel king and committed suicide. After that, Antigone’s fiancé, Creon’s son Gemon, stabbed himself with a dagger, in despair from the death of his son, Creon’s wife Eurydice also took her life (Shmoop). All these misfortunes led Creon to admit his insignificance and to humility before the gods.

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In Creon’s case, it seems appropriate to apply a Psychoanalytic frame of reference. This approach helps to identify the underlying reasons why a person acts in one way or another. It might be assumed that Creon’s authoritarian and despotic character results from the feeling of absolute power and impunity. Creon disregards traditional ancestral laws and, following his own public idea, sentenced Antigone, who violated the state law, to death. However, his rejection of apparent virtues leads not to a joyful and happy being but in pain and grief. He cannot help but admit that the situation in which he exists in the aftermath can bring him happiness – but it is too late. To conclude, there is a clear psychological point here – the suppression of virtues and adhering merely to the principles of permissiveness may result only in an insignificant state of mind.

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Shmoop. “Creon in Antigone.”, Web.

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