Too Late Too Often

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Everyone has made mistakes, big or small. We all try to fix them—but often all too late. This is no exception for Creon, king of Thebes. However, while we can usually move on, Creon is forced to suffer for the rest of his life. He is more tragic than Antigone or Oedipus, as he is a dynamic character, trying to change and make amends, yet fails miserably, and is the only one in the end without a means to escape his enormous suffering.

Creon, letting his pride in justice hinder his good sense, sentenced Antigone the punishment of living the rest of her life in an underground tomb, tortured with meager rations of food. But later on, prophet Tiresias foretold that his beloved son, Haemon, would die if he did not repeal Antigone’s sentencing. Having a sense of remorse, he agrees.“Oh, it’s hard, giving up the heart’s desire…but I will do it-- no more fighting a losing battle with necessity”(117). He realizes how cruel Antigone’s punishment was and acknowledges the fact that he should have revoked it earlier on. He is determined to personally rescue Antigone. “I and my better judgment have come round to this-I shackled her, I’ll set her free myself”(117).However, he is quickly met by a gruesome sight—it was too late. By the time Creon had arrived at the cave, Antigone had already hung herself, with a wedding veil Creon had cruelly, and now ironically, handed to her before. Tiresias had, sadly, but as always, stayed true to his word—lying next to Antigone, was the blood-spattered body of beloved Haemon. Furthermore, when given the news, Queen Eurydice killed herself, the pain too unbearable. “I murdered you…wailing wreck of a man, whom to look to? where to lean for support?” (127) Bearing the responsibility of king and unable to have a legitimate heir, Creon, faced with all this terrible pain, is unable to join his family in peaceful death; he is forced to live in torment for the rest of his life, and has no way to cope with the pain. Meanwhile, Antigone and...
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