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Pride and Downfall

  • Date Submitted: 02/29/2012 04:44 PM
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Antigone: Pride & Downfall

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Antigone: Pride & Downfall Essay

In the play "Antigone", pride caused the downfall of both Creon and Antigone. Creon's pride took the form of hubris; in Greek tragedies, hubris referred to arrogant pride. It often led a flawed character into conflict with the gods; the gods then seek retribution, which leads to the characters' downfall. Antigone's pride was expressed through her actions and in respecting her family and honoring the gods. Her pride did not place her into conflict with the gods, but it too led to her downfall. Although pride brings the downfall to both Creon and Antigone, it is Antigone who we truly respect.

Creon fitted perfectly with the concept of hubris, as his arrogant pride led to his downfall. As the king of Thebes, he believed that he should receive unquestioning respect and obedience, claiming "He whom the state appoints must be obeyed to the smallest matter, be it right or wrong." His stubbornness was shown through his unwillingness to listen to advice, for " No more; each word you say but stings me more" and when he questions, "Since when do I take my orders from the people of Thebes?" he was too proud of his status and would not admit that his actions and judgments were wrong, stating, "Wrong? To respect my own authority?" all of his personal qualities accounted for his decision to punish Antigone and leave Polynices unburied. This action angered the gods, and as a result, the gods punished him by sending his son and wife to death, leaving him behind with nothing.

Antigone's pride was not self-serving like Creon's, but it still led to her downfall. She believed in the laws of the heavens and that "we have a duty to the dead." With...


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