Creon: A Tragic Hero Essays: 'Antigone' By Sophocles

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Mamelak 1
Aaron Mamelak
Mrs. Connolly
English 2
3 October 2014
Creon, A Tragic “Hero” “There are two kinds of pride, both good and bad. ‘Good pride’ represents our dignity and self-respect. ‘Bad pride’ is the deadly sin of superiority that reeks of conceit and arrogance”-John C. Maxwell, American author. In Antigone by Sophocles, Creon, the king of Thebes, typifies the tragic hero and Maxwell’s quote. Initially, he makes a huge error in judgment that eventually leads to his downfall. Also, his pure arrogance caused to go against the will of the Gods. After he gets over his self-pride, his view shifts away from that of ignorance. In punishing Antigone for burying Polyneices, Creon makes the wrong decision that ultimately leads to his defeat.
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If Creon is not so narcissistic, he could escape his downfall by listening to Teiresias’s advice. Instead, Creon decides to ignore the warning signs because he feels that the “prophecy is for sale” (v 60) In disregarding Teiresias, Creon forces the Gods to act by punishing him for his wrongdoings. Creon’s punishment is one of much peril that forces him to rethink his views and the views of the Gods. “Fortunate is the man who has never tasted God’s vengeance! Where once the anger of the heavens has struck, the house is shaken forever” (Ode 2 1-3). This is foreshadowing to Creon’s situation and is giving insight that him and his family will be cursed. While he is always one to critique others, Creon can never seem to take his own advice. While talking to Antigone, he criticizes her by saying “and yet you dared defy the law” (ii 56). The irony is very prevalent in this statement because Creon defies the laws of the God’s, which are of much more importance than his own laws. Creon’s arrogance inability to take his own advice leads him to anger the Gods and set himself up for…show more content…
He fells that people are already starting to do that at the beginning of his rule and says, “there have been those who have whispered together, stiff-necked anarchists, putting their heads together, scheming against me in the alleys” (i 113-115). His paranoia causes him to feel that people are plotting against him, which causes him to not accept input from other people. Because he is so clear that he does not want rebellion, Creon is very unhappy when Antigone buries Polyneices and feels that this is some form of rebellion. Instead of just accusing Antigone of the illegal burial, Creon blames her for “a double insolence, breaking the given laws and boasting of it” (ii 80-81). Though Antigone never boasted about defying the law, Creon is so self-conscious that he sees the act as much more than it really is. Finally, Creon does realize that he must break away from his ignorant ways. By the time he realizes that he should “not fight with destiny” (v 101) and that “the laws of the Gods are mighty” (v 108), it is too late. He was too oblivious and caught up in his own self-consciousness that he was not able to make the right decision quickly enough. Though Creon did eventually understand his mistakes, it was not enough to save him from the wrath of the
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