The Hubris-Nemesis Complex Hubris, the feeling of self-confident pride and superiority, is one of mankind’s many vices. Left unchecked, hubris can lead to strife, hardship, and unforeseen consequences. Hand-in-hand with hubris is its equally dark twin, nemesis: the desire to exact vengeance upon a foe, especially if they themselves are hubristic (Ronfeldt vii). In Sophocles’s “Antigone”, the evils of hubris and nemesis are a central theme. Both Creon and Antigone display hubris and nemesis by defying the laws of a power higher than themselves, while attempting to exact justice against each other for doing so. In the end, both suffer greatly for their transgressions. Hubris and nemesis being central themes to “Antigone” is demonstrated by the edict put forth by Creon to not have Polynices buried:
That Polynices who, returning home
A banished man, sought to lay waste with fire
His household Gods, his native country . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
His body shall be left to be devoured
By dogs and fowls of the air. Such is my will. (Sophocles 8-9)
Creon attempts to justify his actions using Polynices’s having attacked Thebes, but his true intentions are betrayed by his sudden declaration that Polynices’ body “shall be left to be devoured by dogs and fowls of the air”,…show more content… However, as the play unfolds, the chorus shifts, siding with Antigone’s views that following the decrees of the gods is only just, abandoning their hubris (Sophocles 41). Nemesis seems not to factor into their actions at any point, and as they attempt to advise Creon as senators, not defy him, siding with Antigone does not bring them in line with her hubris; they are arguing what they see is right, and in a way that honors and reveres what is right, unlike Antigone or