Creon Tragic Flaw Analysis

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Register to read the introduction… All tragic heroes must exhibit a tragic flaw. In Medea, Jason and Medea share a common tragic flaw—selfishness. Because of Medea’s devotion to loving Jason many years ago, she left her family and her home to follow him, even killing her own brother. This begins Medea’s lifestyle of thinking of no one but herself. In following with Jason and Medea’s story, Jason leaves Medea to marry Megareus because he desires to marry into a royal family instead of Medea’s barbaric lifestyle. His self-centered choice in marriage angers Medea to the point of ultimate loathing. Medea even goes so far as to poison Megareus through the misleading gift of a robe and crown. In the final scenes of Medea, Medea kills her and Jason’s two children because her raging anger towards Jason is stronger than the love for her children. Medea, an “unhappy woman” makes an act to condemn Jason for his selfishness in leaving her, but she does not realize that in her “harsh murder” of her own children, she too is acting selfishly (Medea 1496). Creon first introduces his tragic flaw by metaphorically explaining that the “ship of state” has “come safely to harbor at last” (Antigone 1.8-10). This statement proves Creon’s pride in himself that his ruling alone will bring about a peaceful time. Throughout the story, Creon continually refuses to listen to the Choragus’ thoughts and ideas because he considers himself completely correct. He also disregards Antigone’s accusations that he acts wrongly against the gods. His ignorance towards these two characters’ advice develops from his fear of them proving him wrong, leading to the belief that Creon’s selfishness does not necessarily prove responsible for his stubborn pride. He believes he is always true in his own knowledge, and as king, he cannot afford acting wrongly because he …show more content…
Caused by her “hard” nature “like [a] stone or iron,” Medea prevents herself from exemplifying a tragic hero because of her malicious acts (Medea 1517-1518). It is impossible to feel sympathy for Medea’s tragic downfall because she thoughtlessly killed her own children. The death of Jason’s children by his own ex-wife has “destroyed [him],” so some consideration of sympathy towards him develops (Medea 1562). However, Creon’s tragic downfall pulls at the reader’s emotions more than Jason’s downfall. These emotions come from Creon’s walls finally breaking down as he changes his heart and gives in that he has acted wrongly in convicting Antigone for the crime she committed. In learning that Creon’s tragic flaw generates from fear, one begins to reconsider previous dislike for him. The final scene of the drama leaves Creon with no family—his wife Eurydice has killed herself and so has his son, Haemon. Creon shows humbleness in the tragedy of losing his family because he recognizes that his continuous belief in his own self-importance has ended unhappily for him. In addition, the end of the drama foreshadows a self-committed death of Creon, providing ultimate sympathy for the reader.
With the tragic flaw of pride and Creon’s tragic downfall, Sophocles creates the best example of a tragic hero by generating sympathy for Creon because he is only human. All human beings make mistakes and rash decisions, and in knowing this, one understands the desperate calling to give compassion and understanding towards Creon. However, with Jason and Medea, their mistakes harm not only themselves, but also the feelings of others. Creon best embodies Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero through his reign of power, his tragic flaw, and his tragic

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