In many, a tragedy do the tragic heroes have flaws that lead themselves to their own demise. The main character always acts exactly on his or her own emotions; thus aiding their tragic flaw and leading to their own demise without giving them the time to stop the repercussions of their emotion driven actions. In the play “Antigone” by Sophocles many of the characters are simply too headstrong and passionate about their beliefs to realize that they would greatly regret the decisions they are making.
All of the characters share this characteristic; it is alluded to in the play that this is caused by their blood relation to Oedipus and how they are too cursed. Creon displays his tragic flaw on his sleeve; this is seen in the scene where he refuses to listen to his son and chooses instead to let his pride blind his eyes to the consequences of his actions. He says, “Am I to rule this land by other judgment than mine own? ” to Haemon, in this statement he not only denies any existence of the gods or their wrath but also that no opinion will ever influence his views.
Creon does not regret his decision to imprison Antigone, which he did to save face as a king and appease his pride, until it is too late to reverse its tragic effects. The story moves itself forward, as if the Gods are setting revenge upon him for disobeying their laws, before he can manage to humble himself down enough to try to fix his mistake. If Creon had thought about his brash decision and how going against the gods and society overall as well as the impact this decision would have on his life, things might have turned out differently.
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He instead chooses to solely act upon his own emotions, causing his tragic flaw of pride to create a whirlwind of events before he could correct his actions. Antigone also shows similar brash qualities that allow her tragic flaw(s) of pride, stubbornness, and unyielding passion to influence her decisions and lead to her tragic death. She follows her heart and buries her brother against Creon’s decree, Antigone says “Nay, be what thou wilt; but I will bury him: well for me to die in doing that. She chooses to go along with the laws of the gods, knowing that her stubborn and fervent actions will ultimately lead to her death. Nevertheless, her existence in itself is looked down and cursed by the gods and as if fate had called for it, she kills herself to appease her stubborn and prideful nature. Her emotions fuel her decisions and before Creon can even begin to regret his own decisions and come to release her, she is dead along with the majority of his loved ones.
Haemon, much like his father, has his own tragic flaws of his loyalty and undying love for his would be wife Antigone. Who at the end of the story ends up making a tragic exit and Haemon after failing to convince his father, Creon, to release her chooses instead to hastily follow suit and meet his own tragic demise next to his lover. He makes a emotional and heartbroken choice out of pure desperation for his lost love, without considering how it would affect the people he left behind.
Unlike Creon, he didn’t have to face the fact that he caused his mother to kill herself out of despair for her lost son and left his father surrounded by the dead bodies of his loved ones. Haemon had to bear the weight of Creon’s and Antigone’s impetuous decisions after he could not stop and ended up losing to his tragic flaw of love and killing himself. These heroes’ tragic flaws would hardly amount in any despair if alone, but paired with a Greeks heroes’ tendencies to make split decisions based completely on their own emotions it becomes the key to their tragic ends.
This passionate nature is a common point among all the characters and is a major factor as to why things often go irreversibly wrong before the tragic hero has a chance to regret their choice. Without this common point aiding the tragic flaw seen in Greek characters, many stories would not end in such a despairing way.
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