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The Tragic Downfalls Of Creon And Antigone In Sophocles' Antigone

722 words - 3 pages

The hubris resonating throughout the play, ‘Antigone’ is seen in the characters of Creon and Antigone. Their pride causes them to act impulsively, resulting in their individual downfalls. In his opening speech, Creon makes his motives clear, that “no man who is his country’s enemy shall call himself my friend.” This part of his declaration was kept to the letter, as he refused burial for his nephew, Polynices. However, when the situation arises where it is crucial that Creon takes advice, he neglects the part of the speech where he says “a king... unwilling to seek advice is damned.” This results in Creon’s tragic undoing.

Being in power yields the assumption that everything is possible. In Creon’s case, he states that “never, if I can help it, shall evil triumph over good.” Creon’s pride in his position as King skewed his perception of what is just. He opens his Kingship commenting on this very feature of kingship, that “no other touchstone can test the heart of a man” like that of utmost power. Ironically, Creon reaches this touchstone, only to fail, causing many tragic deaths. Creon begins his rule with an ambiguous law, one involving family loyalty and honour. Antigone, being the sister of Polynices, could not allow for her brother’s body to be left unburied and unmourned. Creon overlooked this fact when making his proclamation of the fate of the two brothers. However, Antigone disobeyed him because of her own pride. This becomes apparent in her closing speech, where she says “you see me... on my last journey... my last leave...” her references to herself puts her in a selfish light where she did not bury her brother for the sake of honouring the dead or the gods, but rather for her own stubborn satisfaction.

Fate is another reason that Antigone buries her brother against the law of her uncle, the king. Assumedly, Antigone is receiving “the expiation... for the sin of your father” who married his own mother and bore children with her. Antigone believes herself to be “doomed to this death by the ill- starred marriage that marred my brother’s life.”...

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