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To What Extent and in What ways are the characters of Creon and Antigone driven by Moral Imperatives or a Willful Impulse to Self Destruction.

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Introduction

Written by:- Rish Banerjee (word count : 1565) Antigone To What Extent and in What ways are the characters of Creon and Antigone driven by Moral Imperatives or a Willful Impulse to Self Destruction. Antigone is story of divine retribution and human imperfectness. In this tragedy a powerful king, Creon is brought down by the Gods because of his contempt against their divine laws and true justice is shown to triumph at the end. Creon makes the mistake of putting his personal views over and above the divine laws and fails in the eyes of the Gods. He makes the mistake of testing the Gods' power and the remaining story is basically the degeneration of Creon. After the 'crime' of Antigone, Creon is increasingly shown to be lone warrior in his cause and family and well wishers start deserting him. As the tragedy progresses Creon becomes increasingly more hostile and finally by the destruction of his own family he is justly punished by the Gods. Antigone on the other hand, is shown to be an instrument of Creon's doom as it is her death that sets of a chain reaction to the former. ...read more.

Middle

This action on his part alienates him from the citizens of Thebes as they hold her deed in high esteem and even necessary. He accuses his son's report on the feelings of Theban citizens and accuses him for being a woman's slave and is about to have Antigone killed in Haemon's presence to teach 'him' a lesson. This action on his part makes him fall out of favour with his own son who later spits on his face, tries to kill him and failing to do so takes his own life. Thus, Creon's tyrannical attitude prevents him from bending down his own decree and leads him to his own doom. In his pumped-up self importance Creon he even refuses to believe Tieresias and has disgusting verbal alteraction with the God's medium. His willing stupidity his path to destruction comes when this foolishness on his part earns him a curse from the Tierisias and finally seems to put him on the right path to self-correction. But here again he fails to do the first things first and places the dead over the living. This final mistake is the "last straw that breaks the camel's back". ...read more.

Conclusion

Antigone as well as Creon firmly believe in their own interpretation of the Divine Laws and both are correct to some extent. But both are shown to be wrong towards the end of the play and suffer due to the faults in their own judgements The only truly divine and correct interpretation of the Laws comes from the prophet Tierisias who warns Creon of his folly and finally makes the former see the truth. Antigone, Haemon and Eurydice are shown as the instruments for Creon's destruction. Their death sends the final message of God's disapproval to Creon's actions and they die due to Creon's faults. At the end, Creon himself is forced to acknowledge his guilt and banishes himself from the society by his own decree. This is the only time in the play when Creon actually acts like a true King and not just by mere words. So, the king who banishes a women for her 'sins' is forced to pass the same judgement on himself on realization of his faults. The Final Destruction of both the characters is a culmination of their blind belief in their own morals as well as their insistence on their impulsive decision making in defence of their ideals. They are a victim of their own misjudgements. ...read more.

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