Study Guide

Antigone Creon

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Antigone and her uncle Creon don't get along... like, at all. In fact, Creon has been one of main antagonists of Antigone's life. In some versions of the story, he's the guy that insists that Oedipus be exiled. Later, he attempts to kidnap Antigone, so that he can blackmail Oedipus into being buried at Thebes. And, in the end, he's the guy that sentences Antigone to death for burying her brother's body again Creon's will.

Despite all the bad stuff that Creon does, it's important to note that he's not just some evil villain. In the early parts of the Oedipus myth, he actually comes off as a pretty nice guy, who's only got what's best for Thebes in mind. Even later on when his actions become pretty darn questionable, he's still got the good of the city in mind. When he tries to kidnap Antigone, it's to save the city from the threat he sees in Polyneices. Even the law that Polyneices' body should not be buried can be seen as an attempt to reestablish order and to discourage future rebellions.

Even if he does have good intentions, though, Creon's somewhat ruthless policies end up causing a whole lot of trouble. Despite the fact everybody's telling him to let up on Antigone, he refuses and sentences her to death. In Sophocles version of the story, this not only causes her death, but also the death of Creon's son, Haemon, and his wife, Eurydice.

Shmoop has lots of other coverage on this controversial guy. Click here for our exclusive files on him. Also click here for our take on his character in Sophocles' Oedipus the King and here for his character in Antigone.

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