Antigone , The Qualities Of Creon Essay, Research Paper
THE QUALITIES OF CREON
As readers, we have to make judgments and interpretations of different characters. In
the book, Antigone, translated by David Greene, there is a character by the name of
Creon. While reading Antigone, some important descriptions about Creon become
apparent. He views himself as the perfect leader, believes he is always correct, and wants
control over people.
Creon believes he is the only perfect ruler for Thebes. He believes that he can create a
better city with his presence: “I would not be silent if I saw ruin, ” (p.168 l.203-204).
“I would not count any enemy of my country as a friend-” (p.168 l.205-206). He further
continues by stating “I will make her greater still” (p.168 l.210). In this last quote Creon
declares that he will improve the city (she) by his rulings. Creon describes how his
qualities make him a good ruler and how he would act in different situations.
Furthermore, Creon views himself a good leader because he believes he has the best
attributes and no one can compare to him. Creon shows his over-confidence when he
boasts of his role as the perfect ruler of Thebes.
In addition, Creon believes he is always correct in his judgments and his beliefs.
Before the sentry even explains the event that has occurred, the sentry states that
he is only a messenger and that he has not committed the act. Yet Creon still accuses
the sentry of receiving money for the act and threatens to punish him. “That will teach
you in the days to come from what you may draw profit ill-gotten gains ruin more than
they save” (p.172-173 l.342-346). Creon does not think logically that the sentry would
not turn himself in for such an impious act. Consequently, the Chorus suggests that the
act may have been committed by God. Creon stops this “nonsense” conversation
immediately and rebukes that Zeus and the gods would not honor criminals. Creon seems
to believe he knows everything and stubbornly refuses to listen to others. He goes as far
as not believing his son, Haemon, when Haemon informs his father of the reputation he
has created to the citizens. Creon believes that “It seems this boy (Haemon) is on the
woman s side (Antigone)” (p.190 l. 803). Creon refuses to believe what Haemon says
and attacks Haemon for siding with Antigone. Creon s stubbornness brings about his own
downfall when he chooses not to believe Teiresias, the blind prophet. Instead, Creon
falsely accuses Teiresias of making “profit from silver-gold ” (p.200 l.1096). Insulted
by the false remark of trying to make money, Teiresias tells Creon of the dangerous future
ahead revolving Creon. Creon not only thinks he is the perfect ruler, but also stubbornly
refuses to listen to others and believes what he thinks is correct, even without basis
Creon is a very authoritative person and demands control of others. When talking to
the Chorus, Creon does not ask them to abide by the decree but demands that they follow.
“That you should not side with those who disagree” (p.169 l. 238). Creon expects loyalty
from others. It is apparent that Creon is very dominating and wants to be in control. “The
man the city sets up in authority must be obeyed in small things and in just but also in their
opposites” (p.187 l. 720-723). Through this quote the reader realizes that Creon wants
obedience in everything he decides even if he is at fault. “Their is nothing worse than
disobedience to authority” (p.187 l. 726-727). This quote further supports Creon s belief
that everyone shall remain faithful to him even if he rules unjustly. This characteristic of
Creon makes him rule by his own judgment instead of through the well-being of the
city and the citizens. This is proved true when Creon says “Should the city tell me how I
am to rule them?” (p.189 l. 794). Creon has forgotten that the ruler is supposed to reach
for the best counsel for the city and the citizens. Creon expects and demands loyalty from
everyone even if he is a bad ruler.
Creon thinks very highly of himself. He is under the impression that he is a great ruler
and will improve Thebes although he ends up doing the opposite. In addition, Creon
believes he is always correct even if he isn t. Another characteristic of Creon is that he
wants to be in authority and expects loyalty from everyone. Creon is obviously an over-
confident and dominating figure that needs to readjust his view of life and his role in