Essay Creon's Pride

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Throughout Greek literature, the blind prophet Tiresias makes several appearances. In Sophocles’ plays Oedipus the King and Antigone, Tiresias tries in vain to warn the kings of Thebes of their wrong doing. In Antigone, Creon, the king of Thebes, refuses to reason with Tiresias after sentencing his niece Antigone to death for burying her brother. Throughout the text Tiresias and the Chorus to help Creon see the errors he has made, but he is blinded by his stubbornness. When Tiresias arrives in Thebes to speak to Creon it at first appears that Creon will obey the advice the prophet has to offer. This can be seen through their exchange where Tiresias says, “I will teach you. And you obey the seer.” (1094) to which Creon responds, “I will,/ …show more content…

And so the gods are deaf to our prayers, they spurn The offerings in our hands, the flame of holy flesh.” (1123-1129)

This quote explains the main conflict of the play. Creon has ordered that Polynices, Antigone’s brother, cannot receive a proper burial because in Creon’s eyes he is a traitor. Polynices fought against his brother to claim the throne of Thebes, the pair ended up killing each other. Tiresias tries to tell Creon that he is wrong to do this because it is angering the gods that he is denying them a body. Tiresias even warns Creon not to be stubborn, “Stubborness/ brands you for stupidity-pride is a crime.” (1137-1138). Pride in Greek tragedies is most often the cause of a characters downfall and Creon is no exception. Even after Tiresias explains to Creon of his wrong doing, Creon refuses to change his mind and begins to insult Tiresias by claiming the prophet is only out for money. In anger, Tiresias unleashes a brutal prophecy to Creon, giving him one last warning: “The chariot of the sun will not race through So many circuits more, before you have surrendered One born of your own loins, your own flesh and blood, a corpse for corpses given in return, since you have thrust to the world below a child sprung from the world above ruthlessly lodged a living soul within the grave- then you’ve robbed the gods below the earth, keeping a dead body here in the bright air, unburied, unsung, unhallowed by the rites.” (1183-1191)


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