Essay on The Arrogance and Hubris of Oedipus and Creon
724 Words3 Pages
In ‘Antigone”, Ismene says, “To them that walk in power; to exceed is madness, and not wisdom”. Her statement makes it clear, those who “walk in power”, allow it to corrupt them. Throughout the history of humanity there has been a correlation between those who have excessive power and corruption. Webster’s Dictionary defines corruption as, “impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle”. In the story of Antigone the tragic hero Creon, shows all of the common characteristics of corruption. Before one can analysis the character of Creon they would first have to look at the story of Oedipus the King.
In Oedipus the King, a plague has fallen upon the city of Thebes. Forced to take action Oedipus sends Creon to the oracle in…show more content…
In the scene where Oedipus sends for Tiresias, the blind prophet, Tiresias says to him, “So, you mock my blindness? Let me tell you this. You with your precious eyes, you’re blind to the corruption of your life” (Oedipus Rex Line 468). It is pretty ironic actually, that a blind man can clearly see Oedipus’s corruption when, Oedipus himself is left unaware. In most cases of hubris behavior the individual believes they are so prideful, they actually believe they’re on the same level with God. It is clear that Oedipus has the same perspective of his life, and of his power. Hubris behavior is a tragic flaw, in which the individual is only setting themselves up in order to fall.
In one scene Oedipus says, “You pray to Gods? Let me grant your prayers” (Oedipus Rex, 245). From this quote it is clear Oedipus believes he is on the same level with God. The position and power, as the King has gone to his head. He wants to be worshiped, and in being worshiped he will grant the wishes and prayers of the people.
In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus believes Tiresias and Creon are working together to overthrow him. During this time Creon gives a prolonged speech, how he doesn’t want to be the King, but in Antigone, Creon is seen as a unswaying sovereign, unwilling to listen to anyone. Creon is likewise blinded by his own corruption. His excessive pride gets the best of him. Antigone, Haemon, and Tiresias warn Creon
Essay about Tragedy in Sophocles' Oedipus The King and Antigone
1403 Words6 Pages
Tragedy in Sophocles' Oedipus The King and Antigone
The Greeks considered tragedy the greatest form for literature. However, the tragic ends for the characters were not ordained or set by fate, but rather caused by certain characteristics belonging to that person. Such is the case with the characters of Sophocles' plays Oedipus the King and Antigone. Oedipus from King Oedipus, and Antigone and Creon from Antigone posses characteristics, especially pride, that caused their tragic ends. As the play progress, other characteristics appear and further add to the problem to such a point that it is inevitable that it will end in tragedy. Therefore the tragedies were not a result of a plot by the fates, but rather a result of the…show more content…
His confrontation with Antigone brings to light this trait, where he speaks, "We'll have no woman's law here, while I live."(p.140) and "But, as I live, she shall not flout my orders with impunity."(p.139). His pride becomes even stronger when others attempt to defy his will. His heated argument with his son, Haemon, demonstrates this where he states, "Better be beaten, if need be, by a man, than let a woman get the better of us."(p.144) and when he asks, "Since when do I take orders from the people of Thebes?" (p.146). Therefore Creon demonstrates the strong pride of the whole family, perhaps stronger than both Oedipus and Antigone. Nonetheless pride amongst this tragic family is their flaw or hamartia, and it leads to all their tragic ends.
However, pride is not the only characteristic, which contributes to their tragic end. For Oedipus, there exists his temper, his unrelenting pursuit of the truth and his suspicion. His temper is exhibited in the argument between Teiresias and himself, where Teiresias states the truth and Oedipus replies, "Do you think you can say such things with impunity?"(p.36) and later calls Teiresias a, "Shameless and brainless, sightless, senseless sot!"(p.36). His suspicion was also shown in this exchange where he says, "Creon! Was this trick his, then, if not yours?"(p.36). Lastly his unrelenting pursuit of the truth is demonstrated when he believes he is the murderer and that Polybus was not his