Honors English 2
Power Becoming Burdensome in Jean Anouilhâ€™s Antigone
One aspect of todayâ€™s society that many people do not take the time to recognize is the true strength that the leaders of our world must have, the pressure they carry, and the uncertainty they must struggle through every day. Although power is a privilege, the great responsibility often turns out to be more than some can handle. This unfortunate truth does sadly make its way into the story of Antigone by Jean Anouilh, showing its face through the character of King Creon. Creon truly does want to save his sonâ€™s fiancÃ©, Antigone, from execution, but he allows the pressure of leadership to sway him in his decision. The king struggles to accept both his feelings and his duties as a leader at the same time. Creonâ€™s trapped feelings reveal ...view middle of the document...
But, the lines between the kingâ€™s true desire and his obligations as a king to punish a rebel are becoming blurred. These mixed feelings cause him to feel frightened because of the pressure he is under to make such an important decision. As Creon begins to realize what huge responsibilities are attached to his power, this role begins to become more of a burden than anything else.
As the tale comes to an end, Creonâ€™s pessimistic attitude continues to expose the hardship that comes with extreme power. While Creon is explaining to his son Haemon why he cannot spare Antigoneâ€™s death the king says: â€œThe world is bare, Haemon, and you are alone. You must cease to think your father all-powerfulâ€ (796). Creon feels helpless in this passage when he does what he never would as a prideful leader and admits to his own son that he is not in fact all-powerful. This quote depicts the potential outcome for situations like this one when the pressure put on a leader becomes so great that they make a rash decision, which usually does not turn out well. The negative result turns out to be the killing of Antigone sparking so many extra deaths. In the aftermath the King begins to feel even more helpless and discouraged. King Creonâ€™s new negative outlook provides an even closer look at the extreme difficulties that present themselves when one holds so much responsibility.
The pressure surrounding Creon as a king to decide another beings life or death sparks the tragic ending of the play Antigone by Jean Anouilh. This great amount of power causes him to believe that it is necessary trample over his own feelings in order to maintain a leadership role and this is when the situation becomes a dangerous one. A realization of this burden that those in power truly do carry is one that should spark our sympathy and understanding that simply because someone holds authority does not mean that they do not hold emotion too.