Essay on Power Is Corrupt, And Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

1590 Words Apr 14th, 2016 7 Pages
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” said historian Lord Acton. In Sophocles’ Antigone, Oedipus the King of Thebes has newly departed after disgracing his people, and his successors to the throne Polynices and Eteocles have died in battle, leaving his brother Creon to inherit his throne. From the beginning, Creon uses his newfound power to impose excessive punishments against not only the innocent people of Thebes, but also his family. As a result, the people of Thebes recognize this abuse of power and express their fears through not only the chorus but also his son, whom he both chooses to disregard. Finally, Creon not only abuses the people of Thebes with his power, but also uses it to offend the Gods by intentionally breaking their divine laws. Through King Creon’s use of power in the autocratic society of Thebes, Sophocles exposes a key flaw within the government system of monarchy; abuse of power.
From the beginning, Sophocles introduces the audience to the core conflict that ultimately leads to the tragedy; the duality between characters of whether or not to follow the divine laws set forth by the Gods, or the laws set forth by Creon. Antigone strongly believes in the divine laws rather than Creon’s, and therefore a duality is created between the characters. Antigone’s brother Polynices fought on the opposite side of the Theban army, and as a result Creon set forth a law that “forbids anyone [from burying] him, even [mourning] him”…

Related Documents

Policing in a Diverse Community | David Bailey | HD Liza Marklund's Annika Bengtzon