Tyranny, The Old And The New

1818 words - 7 pages

Extended Antigone Essay Tyranny, The Old and The NewSophocles' dramatization of pride in the play Antigone is very relevant to modern society. Creon's hubris, inability to admit his mistakes and to relate to Antigone's beliefs at the climax of the play is a struggle between a people and it's government that can be related to the recent uprisings across the world, specifically the uprising in the Ukraine. Antigone is based around the story of a young woman, Antigone, who defies the edict of her King in order to both bury her brother who was exiled from her city-state Thebes and satisfy the Greek gods. King Creon, a tyrannical and cruel ruler, is feared by the entire city-state of Thebes. When he finds out that someone broke his edict and buried Polynicies he sets the death penalty to whom ever did so, when he finds out it is Antigone he is infuriated. This conflict leads to Antigone killing herself that, in turn, leads to Haimon (Creon's son) and Creon's wife both killing themselves. Before Antigone's suicide, Creon learns that his judgment of her is wrong. He ends up losing all that is dear to him - his family and the trust of his city-state. He is overcome with grief and is, literally, a shadow of his former self. The recent uprisings in Ukraine can be seen as an extension of the Arab Spring that has affected many countries in the world. The large-scale corruption and tyrannical 'gang' like rule of the current President Viktor Yanukovych have been at the center of the conflict. President Yanukovych has accepted large-scale loans from the Russian Federation (with the most recent being a total of USD$15 billion) to supposedly support Ukraine, but the vast majority has instead been squandered on supporting the rich governing class and his estate (which is half the size of Monaco). Yanukovych declined to join the European Union (which would have benefited Ukraine and its people immensely) in favor of keeping a strong bond with the Russian Federation. Yanukovych was seen as nothing more than a "puppet" of Putin who pandered to the Russian Federation for his own selfish reasons - the Ukrainian people fought back in desperation. Like Creon's eventual fate at the end of the drama, Yanukovych has been left with nothing. He is an outcast from his own country and people.There is a direct parallel between Yanukovych discarding a closer relationship with the EU in favor of stronger ties with Russia and Creon's decision to not bury the dead soldiers, notwithstanding Greek custom. A feature of both Yanukovych and Creon's tyrannical rule, was citizens not being heard and having to resort to rebellion as an act of desperation. The citizens of the Ukraine and Antigone longed for a better future for both themselves and their country. Antigone stands up to Creon and his tyrannical rule immediately after she is caught burying her brother:"But how much worse than this Is brazen boasting of bareface anarchy" (Sc 2, LL 91, 92).She notes that burying her brother was the...

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