When a flaw overcomes a person with dignity, honor, and leadership, it becomes tragic. This tragic flaw conquers a man who has great leadership skills, and eventually causes death once it has taken over completely. This man, by definition a Tragic Hero, experiences a downfall from such a flaw. Creon, the Tragic Hero of Antigone, by Sophocles, possesses such a flaw. Of royalty and filled with pride, one of his nephews fought a war with his country. The other fought against it. He decides to not give burial rights to Polynecies, the state's traitor. With a burial, the soul of Polynecies will live on. Without it, it will certainly decay with the body. Creon's tragic flaw ultimately displays itself when he sentences Antigone, ignores Haemon, and rejects the prophet.
The sentencing of Antigone brings the first appearance of Creon's Tragic Flaw. Although against the common law of government but with the moral law of the gods, Antigone decides to bury Polynecies anyway. "I shall lie down with him in death, and I shall be as dear to him as he to me” (p. 941), said Antigone about her brother Polynecies, showing that she was willing to die for the moral law because of the love she had for her brother. Creon's pride forces him to reject moral reasoning to support his own image, and he shows this when he utters, "She is already dead” (p. 957). He will not even think of an alternative, saying that she has already died. This pride brings him to sentencing her and ultimately starts him down the path of his flaw.
Creon's pride, when confronted by his son Haemon, escalated and enters a new extreme. As Haemon, the husband-to-be of Antigone and heir to the throne, begs his father to "not be unchangeable” (p. 961), he constitutes a challenge to his father's ruling. Yet the truly unchangeable king, rather than coming back with an answer of compassion or of reason, shoots back at his son. He states sarcastically, "[Do] you consider it right for a man of my years and experience too go to school to a boy?” (p.