Creon's resolve to punish Antigone begins to waver when Tiresias tells him that his actions will come back to haunt him through the loss of his own children and the gods taking their vengeance upon all of Thebes itself. Horrified by this, Creon begins to change his mind about how to treat Antigone for her civil disobedience, which was more motivated by piety and love than a desire to hurt anyone.
Creon realizes he has defied the gods in burying a human alive. He decides to free Antigone, but it is too late. He condemns himself for all he has done.
At the end of the play, despite all Creon has done, one might feel pity for him. He realizes the error of his ways and mourns the loss of human life more than the loss of his own pride. Creon has become a sadder but wiser man, lending some redemptive quality to the tragedy.