Antigone: An Analysis

As the Greek tragedy Antigone builds up to a climax, Creon is warned that "[a]ll men make mistakes, it is only human. But once the wrong is done, a man can turn his back on folly, misfortune too, if he tries to make amends, however low he's fallen, and stops his bullnecked ways. Stubbornness brands you for stupidity---pride is a crime." This warning by Tiresias stresses how Creon had gone against the will of the gods and the ideals of ancient Greek society. For Creon to act as if he was faultless and capable of no wrong was to act as if he was a god, an unthinkable offense. To show undue pride and stubbornness in the face of one's own mistakes was unheard of in Greek society and therefore punishable by the gods. Thus, in these lines Sophocles sums up the moral of his work and the philosophy of his society.

Through the statement "all men make mistakes, it is only human" the reader is assured that mistakes are natural and, while not condoned by the gods, definitely expected. Tiresias does not condemn Creon's original actions and mistake, rather Tiresias shows that error is anticipated and seen as a natural part of human experience. Tiresias shows Creon that there is indeed no shame in being wrong...

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