conwest paper #1

conwest paper #1 - Katherine Ling Conversations of the...

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Katherine Ling Conversations of the West: 19 th C and Antiquity David Levene October 5, 2009 Essay #1 Creon vs. Agamemnon Creon and Agamemnon are both characters with very caricatural personalities. They possess exaggerated pride and obstinancy, which makes their existence seem unfeasible in modern times. If one examines their characteristics closely, however, one realizes that these two characters are more realistic than they seem originally. Creon, for one, is exemplary of absolute rulers in history that still exist in today’s world. Agamemnon’s character, although appearing flat and cartoonish at first, conveys dimension as he also exhibits human-like qualities. Analyzing their attributes, one sees that these characters are actually conceivable in real life. Creon is reminiscent of an absolute dictator, such as Hitler or Stalin, ruling unyieldingly and showing no mercy. He is tyrannical, for he does not take his people’s opinions into consideration. When his son, Haemon, tries to tell him that the entire city disagrees with him punishing Antigone, he responds defiantly by saying, “Should the city tell me how I am to rule them?. ..Must I rule the land by someone else’s judgement/ rather than my own?” (Sophocles 189). His rule is a dictatorship, not a democracy, for his word is final and that of his people is unimportant. He refuses to yield to anyone, for in doing so his would lose his absolute power. Creon shows no pity as even when he witnesses Antigone sorrowing over her fate, he simply remarks, “Don’t you know that weeping and wailing before death would never stop if one is allowed to
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weep and wail?” and immediately orders her to be taken away (195). No matter how much Antigone bemoans the injustices incurred to her, Creon remains adamant, affirming that there is nothing she can say that will change his mind (197). His hubris is one of the reasons for his bold, arrogant personality. In fact, Creon’s pride goes to the extent that he thinks his say is superior to all else, and he sincerely believes that everyone would attest to that. For instance, when Creon discovers that his law had been broken, he immediately assumes that whoever committed the crime must have been bribed to do so, or else no one would have the audacity to go against his sublime rule (172). Adding to his arrogant pride is the fact that he makes no distinction between his law and the law of the gods. Although there is no evidence that he believes that he is ruling by god’s decree, Creon still reminds one of the many emperors in history who were thought to possess the divine right of rule, such as King Louis XIV of France. It is implied that Creon thinks that the gods are on his side. At one point, for instance, when the Chorus suggests that burying Polynece’s body may have been God’s will, he tries to validate himself and retorts, “do you see the gods as honoring criminals?” (172). Again, he believes that no could possibly clash with him, not even the gods. When Antigone
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conwest paper #1 - Katherine Ling Conversations of the...

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