In “Antigone,” Creon’s fatal mistake is his overweening pride, or hubris, which leads him to make disastrous decisions that eventually cause his downfall. This is seen in his refusal to listen to the advice of others and his strict adherence to the law, even when it goes against his own sense of morality. An example of this is when he sentences Antigone to death for burying her brother, Polynices, against his orders. Despite the pleas of his son, Haemon, and the warnings of the blind prophet, Teiresias, Creon insists that his authority must be respected above all else, which leads to a tragic series of events, including the suicides of Haemon and Creon’s wife, Eurydice. As the play progresses, it becomes clear that Creon’s tragic flaw is not only his pride, but also his inability to recognize the consequences of his actions. He is so focused on his own power that he cannot see the human cost of his decisions until it is too late. This is evident in his confrontation with Teiresias, who warns him that “the anger of the gods” will fall upon him if he does not relent. Creon responds by accusing Teiresias of being a false prophet and insulting him, further demonstrating his hubris and lack of insight. In the end, Creon realizes the full extent of his tragic flaw, acknowledging that “wisdom is the supreme part of happiness” and that “pride breeds the tyrant violent and base.” This realization comes too late to save him from the consequences of his actions, but it serves as a warning to future generations of the dangers of excessive pride and the importance of humility and wisdom.
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