Like Nephew, Like Uncle
In Antigone, Sophocles portrays Creon is as a leader, but as most Greek tragedies evolve, nothing remains the same for long. As shown in the play, Oedipus the King, Oedipus comes to power when he solves the riddle of the sphinx. His reign ends with a catastrophic death. After Oedipus’ death, his two sons, Polyneices and Etoeocles, tragically kill each other in battle. As a result Creon ascends to the throne. In Sophocles’ Antigone, Creon represents the tragic hero due to the tragic flaw, hubris, which he shares with Oedipus.
Creon takes on the new leadership role as the King of Thebes, he begins to believe that his laws are more important than the laws of the gods. He displays entitlement while he talks with Choragos; “—Polyneices, I say, is to have no burial: no man/is to touch him or say the least prayer for him; he shall lie/on the plain, unburied; and then birds and the scavenging/dogs can do with him whatever they like.” (1.43-46). Creon quickly gains loyalty and favoritism from the citizens, and believes his word to be law. Displaying this sense of entitlement, Creon believes his statutes override the gods. “The State is the King!” (3.111), Creon’s announcement, exposes his arrogance about his power and kingship compared to the gods and his belief his ruling is godly and supreme, if not higher. Both, Oedipus and Creon have similar characteristics and flaws. However, it was Creon’s hubris that eventually results in his inability to deal with situational conflicts. On the other hand, Oedipus, ironically, curses himself to his own miserable doom. They both behave with a shared trait of ignorance towards the reality of many situations. In addition to, hubris Creon and Oedipus share the character trait of arrogance. As well as arrogance, Creon and Oedipus react similarly to Teiresias’ visions of their future; “No doubt. Speak:/ Whatever you say, you will not change my will.” (5.73-74). As Teiresisas reveals Creon’s fate, it...
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