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The Tragic Downfalls of Creon and Antigone in Sophocles' Antigone Essays

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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....


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