Antigone; Creon’s Tragic Flaws

Antigone; Creon’s Tragic Flaws

Gabrielle Dozier Essay “Antigone” In the play Antigone, told by Sophocles, Creon, ruler of Thebes, is immoral, close minded, and stubborn in his choices, ultimately resulting in the tragic death of his loved ones. First, Creon decrees a law to forbid anyone from burying Polyneices. “Polyneices, I say, is to have no burial… whatever they like (945). ” By forbidding Polyneices’ eternal peace, Creon is proving to be uneducated in what is right to the gods, rather than what is right in the moment of his resentment towards Polyneices implications on his kingdom.

For the ancient Greeks, It was considered a right, rather than a privilege to have a proper burial. At first, Creon shows no guilt in feeding Polyneices dead body to the animals, exemplifying his corrupt choices that lead to a tragic ending only for himself. Next, his son, Haemon, emphasizes that a man who “knows it all” is a man who is never going to learn the correct way. “Do not believe… Turns out empty (961). ” Creon responds negatively to his sons advice. You consider it right for a man of my years and experience to go to school to a boy? (962)” Creon does not allow Haemons words to sink in before immediately firing back with an authoritative response. This characterizes Creon’s close mindedness and lack of ability to imbibe wise words of another, no matter how accurate they may be. He allows his son’s age difference and lack of authority to come in between the specific point that is attempting to be made.

This illustrates the narrow minded and unpersuasive characteristics of Creon that prevent him from making decisions based off the well being of others. Lastly, Teiresias warns Creon of his consequences. “Then take this… in a better head (972). ” After arguing back and forth with Teiresias, Creon finally admits the difficulty of revoking his decision, due to his pride. “That is true… for stubborn pride (973). ” Creon is adamant with his decision of executing Antigone up until this moment.

His authority and position stop him from looking at the situation in a perspective other than his own. He finally admits to the pride that came between him and what was considered right. Sophocles is very clear to make a point that pride and authority can easily separate a person from doing the right thing. Creons lack of the capability (or want) to distinguish right from wrong, narrow vision, and stubborn relentlessness result in the tragic downfall of the play.