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Creon's Tragic Insecurity In Sophocles' Antigone

1008 words - 5 pages

Creon's Tragic Insecurity in Antigone



In ancient Greek tragedies at least one character has the misfortune of having a tragic flaw. The flaw usually effects the protagonist and leads to his down fall. Normally, the characters close to the protagonist are all affected by his flaw. In Antigone, by Sophocles, Creon's tragic flaw is that he is insecure. Creon's insecurity leads to the death of many people and to his own downfall. At many times, Creon feels that people are directing everything toward him, when of course they are not. Consequently, he takes action to make sure people take him seriously. He hopes his actions will teach people not to walk all over him ...view middle of the document...

  He once even said to his son, Haimon, who was about to marry Antigone, "The woman dies. I suppose she'll plead family ties. Well, let her. If I permit my own family to rebel, how shall I earn the world's obedience?" (19)  This quote shows that Creon feels that to prove himself to the country he needs to earn the "world's obedience". He thinks the only way to gain his country's trust is to enforce his severe laws strictly. Little does he realize he is subjecting his life, and that of others close to him, to pain and strife.


Creon is so worried that people are against him that he refuses to take advice from others. He calls people names so that he can assure himself that he is making the right choices when he is not listening to them. Creon's own son, Haimon, is even exposed  to this verbal battery after he tries to give his father advice. Creon insults Haimon by announcing, as though he is not there, "You consider it right for a man of my years and experience to be schooled by a boy [Haimon]?"(20) However, if Creon is so experienced he should be wise enough to realize that anyone's preachings should be listened to. It is obvious to a wise man that even if the preacher is a boy, one can never discover the validity of a lesson if he does not listen. However, Creon builds a barrier between himself and everyone else because he feels that anyone giving him advice is really trying to sabotage his kingship.  If Creon felt more secure he would have believed it was safe to listen to the opinions of others and would have avoided a great deal of pain and suffering.


In Creon's case he assumes what people say is always about him. For instance, Haimon warned that if Creon was going to kill Antigone there was nothing he could do about it, so he cautioned, "But her death will cause another."(21) Creon...

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