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Creon's Tragic Flaw In Antigone

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How would you feel if you were locked away to rot by one of your own family members because you did something they didn’t approve of? In Sophocles play, Antigone, this is just the case for the niece of Creon, King of Thebes. After getting word that her “own two brothers [...] slaughtered one another and brought about their common doom” (Sophocles 318), Antigone is distraught. What makes her infuriated is when she learns that her uncle, Creon, has decided that one of her brothers, Eteocles, will receive a proper burial and be honored while the other brother, Polyneices, will receive no burial and be remembered as a traitor. Soon after, Antigone takes action and performs a secret burial and ritual on her dead brothers corpse, but she is also…show more content…
After the exile of Oedipus, Creon became the king of Thebes, which placed a lot of power in his hands. With this sudden shift in authority, Creon's tragic flaw becomes more noticeable. When in an argument with Haemon, Creon's son, he states his position on the opposite sex, “If we must fall from power, let that come at some man’s hand—at least, we won’t be called inferior to any women” (353). This reveals his excessive pride, hubris, because he worries that his image would be tarnished if ever doing something imposed by a women. With this condescending perspective, he is led to believe that he is above all others, which leads to his free choice. His free choice is represented by a quote from the guard surveying Polyneices body, “We saw this girl giving that dead man's corpse full burial rites—an act you’d made illegal” (337). Although Creon's own niece turns out to be the one that went against his word, he still chooses to follow through with the punishment even though the deed Antigone did was morally right. The punishment that he lays upon Antigone is excessive and unjust considering the crime. While in an argument with her, he calls to his guards proclaiming, “Take her and shut her up, as I have ordered, in her tomb’s embrace [...] Then leave her there alone, all by…show more content…
Possibly their biggest distinction is in their ideals. While discussing the issue of Polyneices and Eteocles deaths, Antigone and Creon take a very different stance. For Creon, he believes that Eteocles was the better man, so he deserves a proper burial, whereas he believes Polyneices is traitor, so he deserves no burial rights. On the other hand, Antigone firmly believes that not granting a dead man a burial is immoral and that no matter the person, everyone deserves a proper burial. After Antigone is confronted by the guard and brought to Creon she explains to him what she knows is morally right, “I did not think anything which you proclaimed strong enough to let a mortal override the gods and their unwritten and unchanging laws” (338). In this quote, she is trying to harn Creon that although he thinks very highly of himself, he will never be able to anything to disrupt the gods and their unwritten laws (being that all men deserve burial). Additionally, the word choice and tone used by the characters also differs. When Creon talks he makes it clear that he thinks of himself quite highly and is convinced that he is above everyone else because of his excessive pride and noble stature. This leads to a tone in his speech that is very obnoxious and off-putting. To the contrary, Antigone regards herself quite low and stands for
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