The classic plays of Ancient Greece are characterized by their use of hamartia to teach the audience not to make the same mistakes as the tragic hero. Hamartia and tragic flaws, such as hubris, are seen throughout Sophocles’ Antigone. However, the tragedy experienced in the play is all caused by one character’s flaw which causes a domino effect that leads to the ruin of the entire kingdom. Creon’s tragic flaw, his hubris and pride, is what essentially causes the demise of the other characters. His struggle to protect the lives of his family and kingdom all backfires as the rest of the characters, instead, chose death and honor than to defy the gods and live. This clash between life and death begins long before the start of the play and dictates his actions, causing him to establish policies he believed would protect the city from the aftereffects of the siege. Yet, his policies and the obstinacy to change them is what causes his greatest fear; the death of those around him. His tragic flaw kills those around him, leaving him to deal with the pain and loss he, himself caused. Through the use of other characters virtues, Creon is turned into the villain of this story. In Antigone, Creon’s flaw leads to the creation of a cruel law that sets off a chain of events that ruins every character.
Antigone is the tragic hero of this play, however, unlike other plays, it is not her flaw that leads to her downfall but Creon’s instead. Antigone is “rash…wild, irrational… like father like daughter, passionate, wild” (Sophocles 115-527-28). She is strong and never backs down from what she believes in. She “stood up to it all, denied nothing” (Sophocles 1.1.485). One could read that Antigone’s tragic flaw is her loyalty to her de...
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...prisonment for the rest of her life by Creon, thus his egotism leads to her death. Despite the humble appeals by his own son, Haemon, and the city’s seer, Tiresias, Creon is unable to see the error in his ways. Mark Button argues the idea of the Creon complex, the reasoning behind why leaders become dictatorial despite the evidence against their flawed policies (Button). Due to his stubbornness and excessive pride, Creon’s tragic flaw results in the death of his son by his own hands. However, his hubris continues to come back to him even though he has seen the error in his ways. Due to the death of his son, his wife also kills herself. She is unable to live with the agony of the fact her husband killed his own son. Creon, now left alone is faced with the consequences of his hubris. He lost his family and his throne all due to pride and his need to protect his kingdom.
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