The Use Of Power In Antigone

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade January 2002

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The play antigone is set within a circumstance in which a person, here being Creon, had absolute power. There is a saying that "absolute power courrupts absolutely" and through this play we can see the downfall of Creon through the power he uses.

In the beginning of the story Creon had become King after Polynieces and Eteocles have killed each other in battle. He had then decreed that Polynieces, who fought against his own city, should not be buried and anyone that tries to will be put to death. He inforces this with guards and makes it known that he is the ultimate authority.Creon is extremely stubborn with this power and although he is warned against angering the gods he doesn't listen. He inists that he is right and that his authority should be inforced.

As the play progresses Antigone disobeys Creon and buries polynieces. She is then caught by the sildiers who were put on guard.

Creon is extremely angered by this and has Antigone along with her sister, who is completely innocent, arrested. Here again Creon uses his power, despite the wise advice of many people, and has Antigone locked away in the hopes that she will die. Teiresias a medium, then councils Creon that what he is doing is unwise, Creon disreagards what he says and even accuses Teiresias of being sold out.Only when Teiresias tells Creon that his stubborness in his decision will lead to his own demise does Creon finally give the order to have Antigone taken out of the cell. In the next turn of events in the play, Antigone kills herself, as well so does Haemon and his mother, Creon's wife. Creon realizes too late the downfall of his obsessive power and the destruction it caused. At the end of the play he is left alone and depressed in the realization of what he has done.

The play Antigone is an excellent play in which to show how power corrupts. We see what can happen when people with power behave unwisely and are stubborn in their decicisions through Creon and his deterimination to show that he is in charge and is soley right.