Antigone - Creon's Fatal Flaw
A master artisan and innovator of the Greek tragedy, Sophocles'
insightful plays have held their value throughout countless time periods
and societies. Through the use of common literary techniques, Sophocles
was able to express themes and ideas that reflect all of humankind. On
particular idea was that Sophocles believed that hubris is destructive and
will eventually lead to one's demise.
Creon, the proud king of Thebes has such a fatal flaw. His hubris
alienates Teiresias, Haimon, and his people. Teiresias attempts to
explain to Creon the severity of Creon's actions, but Creon only shuns
Teiresias. No matter how potent the signs, Creon "would not yield,"
(Scene 5, Line 47). Creon's hubris prevents him from recognizing his self-
destructive behavior. Instead, he accuses Teiresias of disloyalty and
succumbing to bribery. He feels Teiresias has "sold out" (Scene 5, Line
65) and that Creon was "the butt for the dull arrows of doddering
fortunetellers" (Scene 5, Line 42). Such inventions of Creon prove to be
both counter-productive and foolish, for Teiresias did speak the truth and
Creon is only further drawn into his false reality dictated by hubris.
Creon's fatal flaw overcomes him in a discussion with his son.
Haimon confronts his father about Creon's reckless and unreasonable
actions dealing with Antigone. His hubris transcends his better judgement
and causes Creon to become defensive. Creon then ignores his son's
recommendations on the basis of age and seniority as follows: "You
consider it right for a man of my years and experience to go to a school a
boy?" (Scene 3, Line 95). His anger intensifies until he explodes at his
son, "Fool, adolescent fool!" (Scene 3, Line 114). At that...