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Creon - The Tragic King in Antigone

            In the play Antigone, Sophocles at first portrays Creon as a respected leader who formulates a rational basis for his laws and punishments, and has a generally positive reputation among the people of Thebes. By the end of the play Creon's excessive pride, known as hubris, begins to control his actions, which leads to an eventual reversal in fortune. Until Tiresias's prophecy is relayed to him, he is not consciously aware of his incapability to effectively deal with problems. By then it is too late, and thus he follows the path of a tragic character, displaying the characteristics as described by Aristotle: The character has a hamartia1, which is a characteristic that is seen as a fatal flaw, which, in most cases, is the excessive pride that Creon demonstrates. The character then goes through a peripetia1, which is an epiphany where the character recognizes their fatal flaw and logically determines that they will place themselves in circumstances that are less than ideal. Finally, the character has an anagnorisis1, which is his epiphany that makes them realize their hamartia and see their place in the universe. It is this manner that Creon can be seen as the tragic character in the play Antigone. .
             Creon's stubbornness prevents him from being influenced by any other character. He refuses all advice that is in his best interest, which eventually causes his downfall. When Creon is conversing with Tiresias, he dismisses the prophecy as a hoax, as he refuses to even consider the fact that he may be incorrect in assuming that Antigone has done no serious harm. Creon even says, "Whatever you say, you will not change my will."(Sophocles, pg 33) His sanctimoniousness causes him to feel superior in mind and body to everyone else. "The State is King!" (Sophocles, pg 23) is one of his defining lines, and it exemplifies his belief that his judgment is superior to that of the gods.

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