Creon & Macbeth as Tragic Heroes Both Creon and Macbeth struggle with the decisions they make, pertaining to their new fond power, because they are over taken by their power, by make wrong choices that make their characters change. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, Macbeth, dishonorably takes the crown. Looking out for himself, he is despised by everyone for what he had done and is forced to spend his short reign in paranoia. Creon on the other hand, experiences a contrary reign as king.
He falls into power due to a chain of events that aren’t caused by him, but by the disgusting crime Oedipus has committed. While Creon is looking out for his people he attempts to regain the natural order, but to only realize he has abused his power. Creon and Macbeth’s character flaws and actions, when faced with their fates, contrast the two tragic heroes. Macbeth’s character flaw is his inability to resist temptation and outside influences. After becoming Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth begins to consider the prophecy the three witches have envisioned him to.
Out of human nature, Macbeth is tempted by the idea of being king; he starts to think satanic thoughts. He says to himself, “… My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, shakes so my single state of man that function is smothered in surmise and nothing is but what is not. ” (38; 1:3:139) In the plot to kill Duncan, in which, he still isn’t convinced to do it, that is until Lady Macbeth’s ambition and manipulation gets to him. Lady Macbeth pressures him into killing Duncan by interrogating his manhood until he feels he must prove her wrong by committing murder.
She creates a plan for Macbeth to kill the king because Macbeth isn’t capable of doing such thing. If Macbeth wasn’t easily influenced or pressured by Lady Macbeth, he would have been able to control his temptation of power to become king. Variant than Macbeth, Creon’s character flaw is being hubris, having arrogant pride. Throughout the story of Antigone, he spills his flaw all over the pages. Such acts are committed when Antigone confesses to burying her brother and argues with Creon that she had done no wrong.
Similar to Creon, she was only trying to do the right moral thing, yet his pride holds him from sympathizing with her. Haimon, Creon’s son tries to be reasonable and tries talking him out of making the wrong decision. Even though Haimon is in love with Antigone, Creon refuses to back down on his decision to execute Antigone because then the people will look down upon him. Another example of his arrogant pride is when the prophet, Teiresias, comes to Creon to advise him and to consult about his decision and that it is going to bring about troubles.
Teiresias tells Creon, “These are not trifles! Think: all men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride” (232), but Teiresias words doesn’t change Creon’s mind and refuses to yield and accuses him of selling him out and being paid to tell Creon his wrong doing. After losing his sophrosyne, Macbeth deals with his actions much differently than Creon. Killing Duncan, dangerously transforms his personality, from his good nature into ruthlessness.
Instantly he develops psychological problems and sleep apnea. Instead of recognizing his wrong doing and trying to go back to fix it, he continues to dig himself into a bigger hole. He kills everyone he sees as a threat, going as far as killing Macduff’s family, and goes back to the witches where he gets apparitions. Although there isn’t much Macbeth can do now to fix anything, he still keeps denying his wrongs to save himself from execution rather than regretting his actions and trying to fix things like tragic heroes do. I’ll fight, till from my bones my flesh be hacked. ” (5:3:32) Knowing he is coming to an end; he fails to anguish over his actions and looses battle with Macduff, just as crookedly as he gained the throne. Clashing Macbeth, Creon makes the effort to go back and fix his actions, but little to late and things get out of hand. Soon after the prophet, Teiresias, advises him to fix his mistakes, he realized that Teiresias was right and has never been false. Creon quotes, “…Oh it is hard to give in! ut it is worse to risk everything for stubborn pride. ” (235) After some quick advice from his choragos he hypersonically goes to build a tomb for the body of Polyneices, gives him a proper burial frees Antigone from her vault. When he reaches Antigone in her vault, he finds she had killed herself and by her side his son, Haimon. After a missed attempt to kill his father, Haimon turns the sword on himself. To make matters worse, when this news is spread to the Queen, she kills herself.
In contrast to Macbeth, Creon does not die, but suffers a far worse fate; a fate of being left with nothing in consequence of his actions. Tragic heroes, Creon and Macbeth have different self-destructive character flaws and the way they deal with their loss of sophrosyne. Macbeth’s character flaw is his inability to resist temptation of being king, along with the prophecies of the witches and the manipulation of Lady Macbeth have brought upon him, he makes irrational choices in order to gain power.
However, once he loses his sophrosyne, he continues to use violence in attempt to save himself. On the converse, Creon’s character flaw is being hubris, which holds him back from making right decisions, until it is too late. He sends Antigone to a vault to die, but in attempt to fix his aberrations, he loses everything. A life’s lesson can be learned by the audience as they build catharsis for the tragic heroes and make connections to the real world. Everyone makes mistakes and if they come to realization, things can be fixed to avoid any further damage to themselves and their loved ones.