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Scott Woodgate

English 9A MYP
Period 1 9/29/10
Creons Hamartia
Leaders who ignore the desires of their people will suffer catastrophic repercussions.
When that leader is a tragic hero, he will also face pain or loss. In Sophocles tragedy Antigone,
Creon has the characteristics of a tragic hero. Creon has an inherent goodness in his desire to
protect his city; however, he possesses a tragic flaw, y not oserving religious eliefs, which
leads to his downfall and the prophecy of death within his family.
Creons inherent goodness is his desire to protect his city and his people. !fter a attle
etween the two sons of "edipus, Creon assures safety for his people in his speech, #$y
countrymen, the ship of state is safe% &'()*'+,-. .urthermore, Creon elieves he has a duty to his
people aove himself. /y foridding the urial of the traitor 0olynices, son of "edipus, Creon
ignores the religious eliefs of his city. 1he patriot 2teocles gets the urial #ut as for his lood
rother 0olynices 345 a proclamation has foridden the city to dignify him with a urial% &666*
66+-. /y passing a law that forids people to ury the traitor, Creon protects his city according to
his principles, #never at my hands will the traitor e honored aove the patriot% &676*677-. In
order to protect his people he feels it is necessary to ignore the eliefs of his people. Inherent
goodness of Creon is his strong desire toward the protection of his city, 1hees.
Sentencing !ntigone to death is a result of Creons huris, which eventually leads to his
downfall. 1he law has een ro8en when the Sentry tells Creon, #the ody*someones 9ust uried
it, 345 sprin8led some dry dust on the flesh% &6((*6+,-. Creon is now forced to punish the
lawrea8er, !ntigone, the daughter of "edipus and sister of the traitor and the patriot. 1o avoid
punishing !ntigone, Creon as8s #were you aware a decree had foridden this:% &;)<-. When
!ntigone admits her guilt; Creon ound y his own law and pride to punish despite her etrothal
Scott Woodgate
English 9A MYP
Period 1 9/29/10
to his own son decrees #wall her up in the tom. !andon her there alone and let her choose
death or a uried life% &)(7*)(;-. =ue to Creons huris he ma8es a mista8e y ignoring the
eliefs of his people towards urial.
Creons tragic flaw of ignoring the eliefs of his people and the gods leads to his
downfall. 1iresias relays the gods prophecy #one orn of your own lions, your flesh and lood,
a corpse for corpses given in return% &''+;*''+>-. Creon fears the death of one of his own and
egins to reali?e his mista8es y ignoring the eliefs, the prophecy, and his own son. 1he
prophecy comes true as hes #holding the oys head in his hands% &'7+)-. Creon elieves the
gods have punished him through his son, which is directly related to the death of !ntigone and
putting his own principles aove their eliefs. However, Creons punishment is not over ecause
his wife 8ills herself over the death of her son. Creon lames himself #and the guilt is all mine*
can never e fi@ed on another man, no escape for me. I 8illed you I, god help me, I admit it all%
&';;'* ';;;-. It too8 death for Creon to see past his own arrogance of his principles eing more
important than the eliefs of his people in their gods.
Creon is pitiful, destroying his own family 9ust to prevent a loving sister from urying her
rother. Ignoring the eliefs of others is arrogant and leads to catastrophic repercussions as seen
in Sophocles tragedy Antigone. 1he inherent goodness of caring for others is a good trait until
ta8en to the e@treme y ma8ing restrictive laws that prevent e@pression and demonstration of
asic moral eliefs. !rrogance was Creons downfall.