How does Creon react to being spared?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Creon’s life is spared when his son Haemon tries to kill him with a sword after he discovers Antigone has killed herself rather than submit to Creon’s punishment to be buried alive, he begins to understand his own tragic fate. Haemon misses but with the same sword kills himself instead.  Finally Creon understands and deeply regrets what he has done, and he takes responsibility for all he set in motion by refusing to allow Antigone to bury her brother. The Chorus says “Too late thou seemest to perceive the truth,” and Creon replies “By sorrow schooled. Heavy the hand of God,/Thorny and rough the paths my feet have trod,/Humbled my pride, my pleasure turned to pain.” Creon would just as soon die (Come, my best friend [Fate], / And speed my end!), but the chorus reminds him he has a chance for redemption if he lives a good life in the future. He feels humility at the end, and he gains knowledge concerning his pride.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial