An Analysis of Antigone by Sophocles

An Analysis of Antigone by Sophocles

Even though King Creon is thought of as someone who knows how to control a nation, he contains a tragic flaw noticed by others and himself, which results in an unpleasant death. In the story “Antigone” by Sophocles, King Creon’s pride and stubborn actions leads his son, Haemon to be disappointed and loose his trust towards his father. Through his ways of being unable to admit his mistakes, his anger brought him to a stage where he became associated with civil law rather than believing in his morals.

While Sentry is talking to King Creon about “the man” who buried someone, Choragus asks Creon if the gods have done this and he quickly rejects his question. “The gods favor this corpse? Why? How had he served them? Tried to loot their temples, burn their images, yes, and the whole state, and its laws with it! (947) Creon assumes that he knows how the gods think and feels as if he wants something more out of anyone who disobeys the law. He also believes that he’s above god and overpowers everyone with the thought of being able to control the country any way that he pleases.

His lack of being considerate proves him to be a selfish character and does not show himself as a true king. King Creon speaks in anger and decides to arrest Ismene and accuse her equally with Antigone. “Her mind’s a traitor: crimes kept in the dark cry for light, and the guardian brain shudders; but how much worse than this is brazen boasting of barefaced anarchy! ” (954) This illustrates that Creon is blaming an innocent person for the crime and thinks that his perception is always correct. No matter the consequences, he doesn’t care for others and punishes those for a small mistake which didn’t cause any harm to the nation.

He doesn’t understand the true meaning of believing his morals and instead, blames other people for what he thinks is a crime so he does not bring shame to himself. Teiresias proclaims to Creon about how people make mistakes and he should rethink his decisions. “Our hearths and altars are stained with the corruption of dogs and carrion birds that glut themselves on the corpse of Oedipus’ son” (971). Teiresias is pointing out that other parts of nature can make the gods angry and punish those who make mistakes also.

He sees Creon as someone who doesn’t let anyone disregard his rules and feels that he can give him wise opinions on this penalty. Without his clever judgment on this situation, Creon wouldn’t be able to see the good in himself and express his true feelings. After having a conversation with Teiresias about his beliefs, King Creon made a bold statement to Choragus. “Oh it is hard to give in! But it is worse to risk everything for a stubborn pride” (973). He admits that he got so caught up with being king that he forgot what it means to see things in your own perspective and find that true self within.

The king realizes that nothing is worse than loosing the ones you love over a futile situation and believing in a law which brings Antigone to suffer for her selfless actions. Creon is demonstrating his sensitive side by declaring that it’s too difficult to resign, but being able to become a different person, and that conceited people recognize their imperfections which have caused them suffering. While King Creon expresses a tragic flaw of excessive pride, he finds that his son doesn’t appreciate his decision and later, decides to overcome his stubborn actions and put aside civil law to believe in his own principles.