Creon is Right to Deny Polynieces a Proper Burial
All human beings deserve dignity and respect both in life and death. In Sophocles’ Antigone, King Creon’s actions do not reflect this aphorism. Creon is wrong to deny Polynieces a proper burial. He defies God by leaving a carcass to rot. Also, familial ties possess more right over the state in any condition. As a matter of fact, Polynieces is actually the rightful owner of Thebes who deserves a decent state burial just like Eteocles but because Creon hates him for what he has done he has declared this law.
Honoring the dead is a must under any condition; it is an essential law of God. Refusing Polynieces a proper burial by relating precedent conflicts to his death, King Creon is defying the laws of God. It is the duty of all human beings to honor the dead with a burial. Aside from being a moral irresponsibility it is also important to note that leaving a body to rot in the open is a health hazard in itself. As Antigone says when Creon asks her whether she has heard about the law he passed, “It was not God’s proclamation. That final justice that rules the world below makes no such laws.”(208) She explains that god’s decree overrides that of tyrants like Creon and that “there is no guilt in reverence for the dead.”(210) God alone decides the commandment for mankind on earth; Creon cannot substitute in place of Him.
Furthermore, Creon’s opposition to a burial reflects his hatred for Polynieces which is not a valid excuse to deny him a state burial. He expresses this hatred when he says “Polynieces, I say, is to have no burial: no man is to touch him or say the least prayer for him; he shall lie on the plain, unburied; and the birds and the scavenging dogs can do with him whatever they like.”(197) This quote clearly explains that Creon deeply despises what Polynieces has done against his native city and therefore does not deserve a decent burial, while ignoring the fact that...