How does Creon continue to underrate Antigone's courage and determination?how is Creon not seeing the importance of Antigone's courage and determination?

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ajmchugh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Antigone's blatant disregard of Creon's order to leave Polyneices' body unburied should have been Creon's first clue that Antigone is a courageous and determined woman. 

The root of Creon's problem is his arrogance.  He is unwilling to show mercy to Antigone, who gave her brother a proper burial as a bold act of love and loyalty.  In a bold act of courage and determination, Antigone willingly admits to--in fact brags about--defying Creon's order.  But, because of Creon's pride, he is unyielding in his decree that Antigone, his own flesh and blood, must be punished. 

In what many describe as Creon's attempt to "take the easy way out," the king orders that Antigone must be walled into a cavern, where she will be provided with an indefinite supply food and water.  (Indeed, readers understand that the food and water will inevitably run out and Antigone will die.  However, Creon insists that Antigone's death by starvation will not be his fault.)  Even though Antigone is betrothed to Creon's son, Haemon, Creon is unwilling to pardon her for her "crime."

In a final show of what can be defined as courage and determination, Antigone takes her own life. She dies with the firm belief that she has done an honorable thing in burying her brother, and it isn't until Antigone's death (and Haemon's, shortly after), that Creon is able to see the error in his ways.