The Arrogance and Hubris of Oedipus and Creon Essay

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In ‘Antigone”, Ismene says, “To them that walk in power; to exceed is madness, and not wisdom”. Her statement makes it clear, those who “walk in power”, allow it to corrupt them. Throughout the history of humanity there has been a correlation between those who have excessive power and corruption. Webster’s Dictionary defines corruption as, “impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle”. In the story of Antigone the tragic hero Creon, shows all of the common characteristics of corruption. Before one can analysis the character of Creon they would first have to look at the story of Oedipus the King.

In Oedipus the King, a plague has fallen upon the city of Thebes. Forced to take action Oedipus sends Creon to the oracle in Delphi to rid the city of this plague. Creon returns with the message, the plague will end when the murderer of Laius, the former king of Thebes, is caught and expelled; the murderer is within the city. Tiresias tells Oedipus that he is the murderer. Oedipus accuses both Creon and Tiresias of a conspiracy against the king; he charges the prophet with insanity and threatens to put Creon to death. In the end it turns out that Oedipus is the murderer, of Laius, his father, and is sleeping with his mother. Oedipus’s hubris behavior is seen when he refuses to accept his fate. His ignorance to see the truth leaves him blind, and unable to see the error of his ways. Oedipus’s blindness and corruption is clear to everyone except him. Creon exhibits similar hubris behavior in almost parallel circumstances. Creon believes his law goes above the law of God, which entitles everyone to a formal burial. Creon’s hubris behavior and arrogance also leads to his downfall, where everyone close to him has taken their own...

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...t is clear power corrupts. Those who have power usually become corrupted by it. Creon changes into a tyrant seemingly overnight when the position of King is thrust upon him. Oedipus and Creon’s arrogance and blindness and hubris behavior truly gets the best of them. Someone who displays hubris behavior similar to the antagonists is only setting themselves up for their own destruction.

Works Cited

"Anderson Crispim « “Power Tends to Corrupt, and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely”." Anderson Crispim « ::: Dispatches from My World :::. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2011. .

Dictionary and Thesaurus - Merriam-Webster Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2011. .
Sophocles. Antigone. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2003. Print.

Sophocles, and R. D. Dawe. Oedipus Rex. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1982. Print.

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