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Being A Fair Leader

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Autor:   •  June 12, 2011  •  1,032 Words (5 Pages)  •  735 Views

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Gods, pharaohs and kings are leaders and examples. To control and guide people in the right direction is what all the leaders aim for throughout their life. Being the main person in the group certainly means that the individual has a lot of power over the public and is able to influence people as he wishes. People with power such as kings are often forced to chose between families and laws they make often in their lives. In the play "Antigone" by Sophocles, King Creon has to make such a decision. He issues the edict to outlaw the burial of a traitor, his nephew, Poleneices. In reaction, his niece Antigone disobeys the law, thus she disobeys Creon as well, and buries her brother out of loyalty to her family. When brought on trail she "den[ies] nothing" (1334). Creon is now faced with the decision to uphold the laws or pardon his family member. Creon's decision to punish Antigone is a right decision and is one that any good leader would make. While a leader is also looking for the respect of his countrymen, all those who disobey the law must pay the price.

King Creon's major decision throughout this play is to punish Antigone for disobeying the laws of the State. Creon's philosophy of government helps elaborate his reasons for his punishment of Antigone, knowing she is a family. Creon "[has] nothing but contempt for the kind of Governor who is afraid, for whatsoever reason, to follow the course he knows best " (1328). In other words laws must be held over all, and also over what course a person chooses for his/her State. Since Antigone does not uphold the laws, Creon knows that the best thing to do is follow the laws. By not upholding the law against Antigone, Creon would be going against his precedents. To Creon "the man who sets private friendship [or family matters] above the public welfare. . . ." (1329) is useless. If Antigone is excused and put over the public welfare then Creon would be made a hypocrite.

"No Ruler can expect complete loyalty from his subjects until he has been tested in office" (1328). Creon's test is whether or not to hold the law against Antigone. If he does not he is failing his test and would not be accepted by his State. This would lead to chaos amongst his people. To have complete order all laws have to apply to all people. If Antigone is excused from the laws, havoc is bound to break out all over the State because people would see the State's laws as biased. Creon is trying to live up to what he thinks is right and what he only knows. All he knows are his own expectations of what a good king or good ruler should be. Creon's decision to punish Antigone leads to fatal consequences, which does not affect the validity to punish her in the first place. The most critical part of the consequences of Creon's actions is Haimon's suicide. Haimon is Creon's son who is in love with Antigone and feels she should have mercy. Mercy on Antigone is wrong because she disobeyed the laws, that she had full knowledge of. Antigone chooses her own path and knows what she would encounter. When her sister Ismene asks Antigone if she has knowledge of Creon's edict she replies yes. Haimon is not the only one Creon looses, but he also looses his wife, Euridice, and Antigone suicide as well. Eurydice commits suicide after knowing her son has committed suicide. Creon is left alone, but a king is left with the full confidence of his country and their submission to his laws.

The character flaws of Creon


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