What is Creon's punishment?

Creon's punishment is to lose his family when Antigone, Haemon, and Eurydice kill themselves. This robs his life of all meaning.

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Creon is punished through the loss of his family for refusing to bury Polynices and for condemning Antigone to death. Antigone hangs herself before Creon is able to tell her that he has reversed her death sentence. Then his son Haemon, whose was betrothed to Antigone, stabs himself to death in response to his grief over losing Antigone. Finally, Eurydice, heartbroken over the loss of her son, also stabs herself to death, cursing her husband, Creon, as she dies.

Creon, his family gone, feels his life no longer has any meaning. He realizes too late that becoming a tyrant and defying the gods has led to him losing everything he values. At the end of the play, he only wishes for death.

As in Oedipus Rex, this play illustrates the tragic fate that befalls those who think they can defy the will of the gods. Creon wants to display his power and punish those who defied him by leaving Polynices's corpse to rot in the open air without a proper burial. However, this violates a deeply important moral law that states that all Greeks are entitled to a decent burial. Creon pays a high price for overstepping the bounds of his power.

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