Character Creon in Sophocles’ play Antigone

1267 words (5 pages) Essay in Literature

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The Fall of King Creon

 The character Creon in Sophocles’ play Antigone was an extremely controversial character. To truly and fully understand king Creon, it is important that we understand politics and the role of monarchy. In the beginning of the play, Creon is seen as a self-dignified, prideful and immutable human being that does not focus on the well-being of Thebes rather, he is more interested in upholding his reputation and being seen as a stern king in the citizens eyes. . “So I must guard the men who yield to order,/ not let myself be beaten by a woman./ Better if it must happen, that a man/ should overset me.” (Sophocles 40-3). In this essay I will analyze the character of Creon and critique his performance as king.

 Creon is a tyrant that transforms throughout the play. In the beginning of the play Creon expresses to Haemon, his son, that as the king he will not go back on his word and that his decision is final regardless of what the people of Thebes say. He disregards the chorus, or elders, and decides to heed his own counsel, this is when problems start to arise. Throughout the play you will notice even Creon’s closest allies including his wife and son turn their backs on him. 

 The main issue of the play is that King Creon has decided that Polynices, Antigone and Ismene’s brother, can’t be covered or grieved for and must be left to be eaten by creatures. Tiresias disclose to Creon that his declaration to not enable Polynices to have an appropriate entombment isn’t what the divine beings need. Creon criticizes what Tiresias needs to state, despite the fact that Tiresias’ prediction was correct. Antigone, the loyal daughter of Oedipus, does not perceive any equity in Creon’s choices and chooses to give her sibling the correct internment. Antigone is gotten for her wrongdoing and condemned to death. She is left in a cavern to kick the bucket. Haemon, the child of Creon and future spouse of Antigone, can’t help contradicting Creon and gets down on him about his choices. He endeavors to persuade his dad to not execute Antigone. At this point in the play Creon has mentally lost his son and he doesn’t even realize it. Haemon goes to discover Antigone and has discovered her dead, hung by a noose. Thusly, Haemon murders himself with his own sword. At this point of the play Creon has physically lost his dear son Haemon. Creon having tuned in to Haemon and the residents of Thebes he goes to set Antigone free and finds both Antigone and his child dead by their own hands. At the point when Creon discovers them both dead he understands that it was his capacity as ruler that has made this occur. He starts to understand the missteps he has made. Through his enduring we start to consider him to be a human as opposed to an incredible despot. This is where some might argue that Creon changes, but I believe that he didn’t change he just regrets the way things ended for his family. He didn’t have a change of heart but he did take responsibilities for his actions.

 In my eyes, Creon is viewed as the tragic hero in the play since he perseveres through all segments of a disaster. Being a lord, he is clearly in high standing qualifying him to be a tragic hero. Next, he experiences an unfortunate imperfection or downfall, which is hubris also called over the top pride or self-assurance. His decision/reversal was him deciding to not go back on his word to kill anyone who buried Polynecies. The downfall of Creon settles on a choice while conversing with his child Haemon that he won’t backpedal on his statement since that will demonstrate an indication of shortcoming and harm his pride. So does this make him “right” as a monarch? It makes him right as far as law is concerned because he did follow the rule that he set in place but, the law did not involve the cares of the people so morally the decision was not right and that is why king Creon ended up sorrowful and full of regret.

 Creon is well deserving of the outcome he receives. It allows him to self-reflect and come to terms with decisions he has made. His embodies the saying “you’ve made your bed, now lie in it.” The prophet told Creon exactly how things were going to end for him but Creon didn’t care and he ultimately paid the price for his actions. It is appropriate that Creon receives the outcome that he does to humble himself and make him and others realize how dangerous excessive pride can be. It shows how immorality can turn your world upside down. It also reminds people to listen to elders and take advice from others because we don’t know everything. The main reason Creon needed to end up the way he did was to show men how toxic masculinity will only lead to the downfall of men.

 The play Antigone had many take home messages. The significant themes in “Antigone,” the play composed by Sophocles in or before 441 B.C., incorporate common law, pride, gender roles, common noncompliance, family dependability, and choice versus destiny. It likewise suggests the contention between the individual and the state, just as the contrasts among good and perfect law.

 The subject of destiny versus unrestrained choice, plainly known as fate versus freewill is a typical one in Greek literature and writing, with destiny regularly choosing the result of the two activities and ways of life. The suggestion that characters are bound for significance or weakness, achievement or disappointment. While free decisions, for example, Antigone’s choice to oppose Creon’s proclamation, are huge, destiny is in charge of a considerable lot of the most basic and obliterating occasions of the set of three. By lifting the significance of destiny, Sophocles proposes that characters can’t be completely in charge of their activities.

 Antigone contrasts two kinds of law and equity: celestial or religious law on one hand, and the law of men and states on the other. As a result of the centrality of destiny and the standard of the divine beings in the lives of the primary characters of the play, religious rituals and customs are hoisted to the status of law. While inquiries of law and equity assume a job in every one of the three plays of the Oedipus set of three, they are most noticeable in Antigone, in which Antigone’s guidelines of perfect equity conflict with Creon’s will as the head of state.

 King Creon is the obvious tragic hero in “Antigone”. He goes through all the major components of a tragic hero with his main tragic flaw being hubris, or pride. While he may not be an ideal leader, he did try to abide by the law that he had set in place. It wasn’t until after he received the prophecy that he decided to ask the elders for advice. So does he change or does he just want to fix the mess that he has made?

Work Cited

  • Sophocles. “Antigone” Sophocles_Antigone_(AS08).PDF. Translated by Elizabeth Wyckoff, 2008.

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