The Conflict Between a Father and Son in the Play Antigone Essay Example
In any society, a person who is inflexible and opposed to change will struggle. To survive in a world that is evolving everyday, adaptations must be made based on the current state. If the changes are not made, then this person will be unable to agree with a majority of their peers. In a government looking for flexibility, democracy is the best approach which is established through the conflict between a father and son in the play Antigone. The conflict between Haemon and Creon is used to portray that democracy cannot exist without compromise, due to the fact that arrogance and inflexibility are present.
From the start of Haemon and Creon’s argument over making a final decision on how to deal with Antigone, Haemon is placed in a very hard spot. Haemon, as the son of the leader, and as the voice of the people is a citizen in the city himself. He must choose to either disagree with his father or let down the whole city of Thebes. With the humanity that Haemon has and that Creon lacks by being self absorbed, it is clear that Creon will not listen to anyone but himself.
Haemon recognizes the need for flexibility within a leader and tries to help his father save the city. He does this by telling him that he should be more open minded and take the advice that all of Thebes agrees on. He even remarks that if he does take the advice that he will still be considered the wise man he hopes to be seen as. Creon refused to listen to Haemon’s advice by being extremely arrogant, and continuing to only view him as his “son”. He thinks that Haemon should be obedient to him and that his ideas are inferior, even though Haemon speaks the ideas from the whole city of Thebes.
Creon thinks he is the best man for his job, and that his opinion is the only one that matters. This is very untrue, considering laws should not be based on one person's morals alone. The way that Creon is forming a government creates a dictatorship formed by his own insecurities. He creates a law impulsively for his own benefit to further his point, that he is now in charge. This will plan will fail due to the fact that his morals are not matching up with what the city feels is morally correct. When this occurs it forms a flawed and fractured government. By him being closed off and inflexible to his son’s and the towns ideas, he is causing the death of the democracy all by himself.
Through the death of Haemon a clear point is made, that democracy will die if the people are ignored in favor of the leader’s wishes alone. Haemon acts as the ideal character of the play, by being a great son and fighting for the people, and he still ends up being the one that dies. This is a surprise because Creon was the one that failed the city miserably. From the majority of the town the consensus on wanting the death of Creon opposed to Haemon’s demise is relevant to the play. This tragic event helps amplify the reasons the play is categorized as a tragedy. Creon’s death happens in order for him to suffer unimaginable pain, caused by no one but himself. Haemon tried hard to prove his point to his father, but Creon’s arrogance was too strong and ultimately led to not only Haemon’s death but his wife’s. As Creon is left with virtually nothing but pain and suffering, the aftermath of not agreeing with change is shown.
Creon is left to suffer in his agony of all that he has destroyed all alone with no immediate family left. He is soon to realize that having more flexibility could have prevented all of the tragedy, and will become humbled by the experience. Creon did everything for his own benefit leading to the death of his son along with the hopes for democracy to die. These action are used to express that a democracy cannot exist when a ruler is so arrogant and self-centered by refusing to accept anything but their ideas alone.
Through the play “Antigone” and the fight between father and son it is proven that democracy will not exist when change is not accepted, along with ignorance and the lack of flexibility are present.