• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In the Greek Tragedy Antigone, the playwright Sophocles uses Creons egotism as an authority figure to characterize him as prideful, which leads him to become a tragic hero

Extracts from this document...


In the Greek Tragedy Antigone, the playwright Sophocles uses Creon's egotism as an authority figure to characterize him as prideful, which leads him to become a tragic hero, ultimately portraying that pride and hubris are catastrophic faults of man. Creon is the king of Thebes and passes a decree to leave the enemy Polynices unburied, which is a crime against the natural law of the world. Creon's internal conflict stems from this, as he abuses his power and does not accept his mistakes, which leads to the eventual downfall of his whole family. As king of Thebes, Creon believes he has the ultimate authority, and his own ambition and egotism leads to believe that his power is equal to those of the gods, and that whatever decree he passes is just. Creon only wants more power, and his decree to leave Polynices unburied defies the natural law set by the gods. Despite this, Creon believes he is in the right, and even goes so far as to believe that the gods agree with him, as he believes that "it's intolerable - say the gods could have the slightest concern for that corpse?"1 He is arrogant in his beliefs and his own decisions as king. ...read more.


Creon is therefore portrayed as a character who is arrogant and quick tempered, as he has accused both his son and Tiresias of treachery against him. Instead of listening to others' suggestions, Creon believes that everyone is trying to manipulate him. His protectiveness and arrogance with his power portrays a sense of paranoia and distrust with Creon, as well as his own egotism. Haemon accuses his father of selfishness, and Creon arrogantly argues that the city is his and he can do as he pleases. Haemon tells Creon that he would male "a splendid king...of a desert island - [him] and [him] alone".4 Haemon's thoughts portray that Creon is ruling for himself only, and is not making laws in the interests of the citizens of Thebes, despite him believing that what he is doing is right. His belief of righteousness adds to his own arrogance and ego. Unintentionally, his decree actually harms the people of Thebes, who are sympathetic to Antigone who tries to bury Polynices. Because of Creon's crime against the natural law, a disease plagues Thebes. When others, including the blind seer Tiresias, tell him that he is wrong and committing a heinous crime, he doesn't listen to them. ...read more.


His wife, the queen, and Haemon both commit suicide, leaving Creon alone. Overcome by grief, he realizes that his own arrogance had led him astray, and that he has suffered for it. He accepts that he is "a rash, indiscriminate fool!"7, and in the end he learns a powerful lesson from the consequences of his own egotism. His downfall portrays Creon as a tragic hero, as he is a character who meets his fate which has been caused by his own personal flaws. In Antigone, Creon is characterized as a tragic hero and flawed character through his own sense of authority, paranoia, ego, and arrogance. Creon argues and condemns anyone who stands against him, even in their own good intent. His arrogance and feeling of self-importance lead him to make decisions that affront the gods, and are not in the interest of the people. He makes decrees on his own personal wishes, as he believes the city belongs to him. Creon believes that everyone around him is trying to undermine his power, causing him to be quickly angered at any criticism. In the end, these qualities lead to destruction of his whole family, creating a powerful impact on Creon. The downfall ultimately portrays him as a tragic hero, succumbing to the consequences of his own pride and hubris. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Monologue by Creon

    I looked like a workman refusing a job . Therefore , I accepted this throne , this ugly power . After the death of Eteocles ,Anarchic elements and bureaucrats were threatening the stability of this state for their own petty reasons .

  2. Macbeth as a Tragic Hero.

    Macbeth does have the thought of murdering the king and replace him. He is willing to do everything to fulfill his ambition. Macbeth not only successfully murders Duncan and his two servants, but also kills Banguo. He also plans to kill Fleance, Banquo's only son to go against the prophecy of Banquo being father of kings.

  1. English Wlit: Antigone and Visit

    In Miss Julie, phallic symbols such as the poplar trees, the Count's boots and the speaking tube - which is also symbolic of the Count bring out the gender conflict symbolically besides the evidence provided in the primary text. Jean ultimately dominating Julie and instructing her to commit suicide is

  2. An Examination of the diametric display of pride in Sophocless Antigone

    Another reason why we know that Creon suffers because of his hubris is because he admits it at the end of the play. In a moment of realization, he states, "Take me away quickly, out of sight. / I don't even exist-I'm no one.

  1. How and why George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-four used Winstons memory as the drive ...

    innocence of three Party figures which was later executed for the crime that they did not commit. A few years later, Winston held in his hands a newspaper showing the photos of the three at a function in NewYork at exactly the same date that they had confessed their betrayal to the Party.

  2. Discuss how good Atticus is as a father.

    Jem and Scout become firstly amazed and mesmerized that their father could shoot so well but at the same time confused about the fact that their father had not told them of this special skill. Scout wants to tell everyone about Atticus' shooting abilities but Jem tells her not to.

  1. The Peculiar Relation of Creon With the Underworld

    In a desperate attempt to find more arguments, Creon finally loses his temper and throws an unthinkable challenge to the gods: he would not allow to bury the body of Polynices in the grave, even if ?Zeus?s eagles rip the corpse/and wing their rotten pickings off to the throne of

  2. Reasons for Macbeths Tragic Downfall

    Macbeth barely changes expression upon hearing Lady Macbeth?s death, he believes, ?[Lady Macbeth] should have died hereafter;/ There would have been a time for such a word.?(5.5. 16-17). This thought reveals Macbeth?s downfall through his loss of compassion, intense love, and feeling which are the qualities of a human being.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work