Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10593/4540
Title: Zniekształcone odbicie, czyli Antygona i Kreon
Other Titles: Antigone and Creon or a distorted reflection
Authors: Bibik, Barbara
Keywords: Wisdom
Distorted reflection
Values
Death
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza
Citation: Symbolae Philologorum Posnaniensium, 2009, nr XIX, pp. 37-50
Abstract: In Sophocles’ play Antigone and Creon are confronted with each other on every level of the tragedy, so we can observe their opposite attitudes and behaviours towards death, love, gods, certain values, towards state, its laws and customs. Creon, though he wanted to be perceived as a reasonable ruler, when faced with the powers he cannot control, surrenders and loses everything, because despising all the bonds based on ı í , he drives his family to destruction and he himself experiences the reversal of death and life becoming a living dead, as he calls himself. He is also forced to acknowledge the world Antigone belonged to and the values of that world. Antigone however, who through the whole play remained faithful to her values, only in the end is recognized as a person who had the real wisdom, which was refused to her, and seems to be a mirror in which the negative stance of Creon is reflected.
Antigone certainly is a leading character in Sophocles’ tragedy. Although she is lonely and all the others who are around her do not understand her, her heroism together with her unshaken will and her determination are really great. She wants to defend, at any price (even sacrificing her life) the values which are the most important to her, and as the development of the play shows, also to the polis and others citizens. However there is no Antigone without Creon and there is no Creon without Antigone. These two heroes depend on each other and need each other. Their lots are closely interwined and exist as the complementary parts of one integral combination of certain behaviours and attitudes. The spectators after having seen the play should know how to distinguish its positive aspects, which are worth imitating, from negative ones, which we should avoid. The essence of Antigone’s greatness and of Creon’s mediocrity is revealed in the direct confrontation of these heroes and in the comparison of their behaviours, attitudes, beliefs and values. Their different stances are shown on every level of the tragedy and in every question or problem which this play raises. Antigone in her behaviour, first of all, defends the holiness and unity of her family and she fights for the respect for a dead body and for the funeral due to the dead as to human being. But, as the play shows, she acts in accordance with the established customs and laws of the gods as well as with the laws of the land. Antigone sees this necessary double basis on which a life of every person should rest. Creon however identifies the polis with himself and bases his reign solely on his opinions and his views. He suppresses emotions; he does not believe in higher powers; he denies any possibilty of the gods’ interference in human lives, but above all he disturbs the order established by gods and the arrangement of powers in the universe. Even absent, Antigone still is the spiritus movens of the whole action and she becomes in a way a Nemesis for Creon. To the very end Creon is confronted with her and through this comparison his fall is more severe and more distinct. He is also a certain reversal of Antigone and he suffers a defeat not because of what he was, but because of everything he could not be. Antigone and Creon are contrasted with each other on several levels of tragedy and they are presented in the play as the opposite images of attitudes towards the gods, values and other human beings. Antigone is like a mirror in which the negative stance of Creon is reflected.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10593/4540
ISBN: 978-83-232-2153-1
ISSN: 0302-7384
Appears in Collections:Symbolae Philologorum Posnaniensium, 2009, nr XIX

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