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Pride Comes Before A Fall: Creon’s Antigone Tragedy


While it is likely that Oedipus Rex is the only personality that completely symbolizes Aristotle’s suggestion of a tragic hero, there are lots of personalities who possess enough of his defined attributes to qualify as the terrible hero of their respective drama. Creon, the King of Thebes in Sophocles’ Antigone, is one such character. A worthy and reasonably virtuous guy that loses everything he has as a result of his excessive satisfaction, Creon experiences a revelatory manifestation minutes far too late to undo his misdeed, thus making him the Aristotelian tragic hero of the drama.

As is needed of an Aristotelian unfortunate hero, Creon is of high social status, for at the beginning of the play it is made understood that he is the King of Thebes. On top of that, Creon’s high ethical character, as translucented his love for the state, the simply choice to punish Polyneices, as well as his good leadership, additionally makes him worthy to have the label of awful hero. When talking to the chorus, Creon states:

… if any type of [one] makes a buddy of even more account than his fatherland, that man has no area in my respect. For I. would not be quiet if I saw destroy, rather than safety, pertaining to the residents … remembering this, that our country is the ship that births us risk-free, and that only while she thrives in our trip can we make real good friends. (86 )

Creon thinks that the state is of the utmost significance, and thus the fact that he would certainly stop at absolutely nothing to secure his subjects shows that despite his activities, he has the best of intentions. Creon’s great nature is also seen in the fashion in which he hides Eteocles, who “with due observation of right as well as custom-made he has stocked the planet, for his honor amongst the dead listed below” (82 ). The fact that he declines to show Polyneices the very same respect even more testifies to his merit, for he values the state most importantly else as well as thus would certainly never “deem the nation’s foes a buddy to [him] self” (86 ). By refusing Polyneices an ethical interment, Creon is reasonably retaliating against the male who assaulted his nation. In addition, his topics, including his boy, Haemon, view him as a great leader. Haemon places such confidence in his father that in Creon’s “wisdom [he] trace [s] the policies which [he] shall comply with” (96 ). Creon is a sensible leader, and also thus his boy vows to follow the policies that he chooses to set.

Nevertheless, in spite of his inherently excellent nature, Creon possesses a heartbreaking personality defect that brings about his failure. Creon’s flaw comes in the kind of an extreme amount of satisfaction, as is seen in the way in which he talks to Ismene. When Antigone is sentenced to death and Ismene asks just how she will live without her existence, Creon states: “Do not speak of her ‘presence’; she lives say goodbye to” (94 ). His reply is a guaranteed indication of power, for he specifies that Antigone no more lives, when as a matter of fact she is standing beside him; he thinks to have the power over her life as well as fatality. Creon corresponds himself to the stature and power of the gods, who give and take life as they please. Additionally, Creon declines to pay attention to the wisdom of another, especially if it opposes with his very own views. When Haemon efforts to persuade Creon to save Antigone’s life with a debate deemed “wise” by the chorus, Creon reacts by presenting a concern of supercilious nature:” [are] males of my age … to be educated by men of [your’s]” (97 ). He is also egotistical as well as hence unwilling to discover something from the knowledge of another. In addition, throughout the course of the same conversation, Creon’s satisfaction surpasses his fairness, and also Haemon appropriately accuses his dad of “angering versus justice” (98 ). When Haemon discloses to Creon that the “Theban individual with one voice” differ with the implementation of Antigone, he replies arrogantly: “Shall Thebes suggest to me just how I must rule? … Am I to rule this land by other judgement that my very own?” (98 ). He is appalled at the suggestion that any person, particularly those under him, can tell him exactly how to rule his state. Creon’s too much satisfaction avoids him from getting the realization that his reasoning on the matter, despite its excellent objectives, is wrong. While the fact that Creon punishes Polyneice can bring about him being viewed as a virtuous guy, the manner in which he penalizes him mainly negates this sight of his character. Creon fails to see that when the state and the gods are in problem, the gods need to be followed, for they are of the highest possible authority. It is his too much satisfaction– his tragic problem– that causes him to “dishonor … legislations which the gods have actually developed in honor” (84 ). In addition, Creon declines to listen to the revelations of Teiresias. Before Antigone is killed, Teiresias advises him that

… it is [his] advise that has actually brought [the] health issues on [the] state. For the altars of [the] city as well as of [the people’s] hearths have actually been tainted one and also all by birds and dogs with carrion from the hapless remains, kid of Oedipus. For that reason the gods say goodbye to accept petition and also sacrifice at [the people’s] hands. (103 )

Creon is coldly told that the gods have been angered because their laws were broken when Polyneices was denied an ethical interment. Nonetheless, he refuses to recognize that his actions were incorrect, and also accuses of Teiresias of “towel [ing] disgraceful thoughts in fair words for lucre’s benefit” (104 ). His pride, as well as his idea that it is “alarming to yield,” blinds him against rational idea. (105 ). At this moment it is too late for Creon to save the state, for his arrogance, which caused errors in reasoning, has actually currently established his grim destiny.

Even though it is far too late to stop his very own failure, Creon still experiences a revelatory manifestation. After Teiresias leaves him alone to contemplate the scenario because of his prediction, Creon’s satisfaction and also arrogance retreats, as well as his just judgement surface areas. When the carolers specifies that Teiresias has actually “never ever been a false prophet to [the] city,” Creon recognizes that what the man said should be true, as well as therefore it is ineffective to challenge it: “by resistance to smite my pride with ruin– this … is an alarming option” (105 ). He is currently able to admit that the laws of the gods are over his legislations– the laws of the state– which “it is best to keep the well established regulations [of the gods], even to life’s end” (106 ). His enlightenment is most recognizable when he coldly admits his judgement was wrong which his son died because of this:

“Distress is me for the wretched blindness of my counsels! Sadly, my son, you have actually died in your youth, by a timeless doom, concern is me! Your spirit has fled not by your recklessness but by my very own!” (109 ).

Creon currently sees himself as a male blinded by conceit as well as too much pride. He understands that he has done incorrect, and also hence excepts his punishment, asking of the people to “lead [him] away,” for he is “a rash [as well as] absurd man” (110 ).

Due to Creon’s good intentions and also innately great nature, one does not view him as a bad guy, but instead really feels considerate towards him. His downfall is triggered by a heartbreaking character imperfection– satisfaction. It is this satisfaction that has caused the death of his partner, his son, and also of Antigone; it is this satisfaction that creates him to lose his precious nation and to live a lonesome life in which he is looked unfavorably upon by his own people. While at the end Creon acknowledges the incorrect in his reasoning, it is far too late to do anything about it. It is for these factors that Creon is the Aristotelian tragic hero of Sophocles’ Antigone.

Works Mentioned

Sophocles. “Antigone.” Greek Drama. New York: Bantam Standards, 1982. pp 82-110.

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