Oedipus Essay, Research Paper
Just as it was with Oedipus, Creon is also a victim of his own arrogance. To say
he is a victim is somewhat gracious, but he is after all, human. Arrogance being a chief
means of suffering throughout these plays, it continued its role in the third episode via
Creon. But of course, he doesn’t realize the destruction in the making until it is too late.
Not only does he lose the respect of his country, but he also loses his wife and his son.
Obviously, he isnot the only victim, but he is the source.
The conflict between Creon and Antigone is significant in that it shows just how
pompous Creon really is. He is under the impression that he has the right to establish
such edicts as those that restrict someone from honouring a family member. It is clear to
many of his poeple, and even to the guards of the body, as the sentry mentions at one
point, that Antigone has not done such a horrible thing. Also, Antigone brings up the fact
that what she has done is not unlawful as far as the gods are concerned, which to many of
Creon’s own poeple, is the rule of all. This does not, by any means, help Creon in
acquiring the respect and support of his country.
On accord of this conflict with Antigone, Creon is faced with another problem,
his son. Haemon can see something that Creon cannot and that is Creon’s overbearing
pride. A number of times he begs with his father to reconsider Antigone’s punishment of
death, but he has no effect on him. At one point he says this to Creon, “Don’t entrench
yourself in your opinion as if everyone else was wrong” (pg222). A very valid point
because Creon has been so stubborn that he cannot see that others have logic in what they
have said and done. Creon will still have none of it because after all, he is king and he
knows what is best for his country. In the ending complications, he loses his son.
His wife is the next thing to exhaust. She held Creon as being a “double filicidal
killer” (pg 250) and apparently no longer wants to be a witness to whatever else he is
going to do. She labels him as the source of her own death, as well. This is where
something finally clicks with Creon and for the first time he has a moment to mourn for
his own repugnant actions and the consequences that came with them. Finally, he
understands that he is nothing but “a rash weak foolish man” (pg 252).
This entire play is quite the example of cause and effect, one loss led to another,
all of which was caused by Creon’s insolence. But he was after all, doing what was best
for his country. A ’selfless’ act that was really anything but. His pride was the undoing of
his whole world and the play ends on a tragic note. For him, “it’s hard to eat my words
but harder still to court catastrophe through overriding pride” (pg240). Maybe sometimes
you need to compromise.