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A Man Defeated By His Flaws

1229 words - 5 pages

In Sophocles’ play, “Antigone” translated by Robert Fitzgerald and Dudley Fitts, Creon believes his laws surpass the laws written by the gods but his real flaw is his belief in masculine superiority and his self-destructive pride. In Greek literature, a tragedy means a sad story in which a hero is defeated because of his flaws and through this the audience will have a better understanding of themselves and the world. King Creon takes the audience thru his journey of ego, stubbornness and suffering. The opening events of the play quickly establish the central conflict between the two main characters. King Creon and Antigone have opposing positions, but both possess the same stubborn ...view middle of the document...

Men fought battles for their country, their families and for wealth. Women, however, were thought to be “heroes” if they were obedient to their husbands, loyal to their families and live a quiet and noncontroversial life. Antigone’s rebellion and Creon’s insistence to punish her by death to protect his reputation as a ruler and enforcer of government law, will be the third and most cited theme of the play. The danger of self-destructive pride is shared by both characters and leads them to a tragic end.
The main conflict in the play is between Creon and Antigone over which law to obey. Antigone believes in a divine order of the world while Creon relies on human laws and standards. “He lives in a world in which the gods have no say, a world purely of human and political standards” (Ehrenberg, O). Antigone believes in following the gods’ unwritten laws, even if it means breaking the laws set by Creon. The unwritten laws can be described as the laws set by God. They involve morals and beliefs presented by God. They are used in the process of making decisions and are used in the everyday action of people. Creon stated that no one shall bury or touch Antigone’s brother Polyneices. Antigone realizes that “it was not God’s proclamation. That final justice that rules the world below makes no such laws” (Sophocles 208). Between Antigone and Creon there can be no compromise, they are both stubborn and think their belief is right. Both display the dangerous flaw of stubbornness in the way they justify and carry out their decisions.
The role of women in ancient Greek life was considered to be insignificant compared to that of Greek men. “Women were also supposed to be subordinate to men without striving to be heard in society that had gone completely patriarchal. Most of the restrictions placed on women in Greek societies apply to wives and daughters as well” (Owoeye, HH). Women had very few rights, let alone legal rights. They had no rights to vote or take part in the operation of the state. Jobs that a woman could perform in society included weddings and funerals. Men are the superior beings in Greek society.
Since women are inferior to men in Greek society, it is not acceptable for a man to lose to a woman. In historic Greece, the characteristics of a hero were for the most part left only to men to achieve. They were men who risked their lives for their country. The sexist stereotype present in this play demonstrates the perspectives of men at this time....

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