Essay on Creon As The Tragic Hero Of Antigone by Sophocles
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Creon As The Tragic Hero Of Antigone by Sophocles
Greek tragedy would not be complete with out a tragic hero. Sophocles wrote Antigone with a specific character in mind for this part. Based on Aristotle’s definition, Creon is the tragic hero of Antigone.
Creon fits Aristotle’s tragic hero traits as a significant person who is faced with difficult decisions. Creon is significant because he is king. This makes him both renowned and prosperous. Creon is not completely good nor completely bad; he is somewhere in-between, as humans are. The audience can relate to this and they admire his qualities of intelligence in political affairs. They can also relate to his ability to make hard decisions with apparent ease. These hard decisions are…show more content…
Creon doesn’t want to show weakness, even for family, but he doesn’t want to kill Antigone, who is not only his niece and sister, but engaged to his son. The final decision that Creon must make is whether or not to revoke his death sentence on Antigone. Creon would be doing the right thing, but it would show that he was wrong in a previous decision and he does not want to admit that he was wrong.
Unfortunately, Creon does not always make the correct decision because of personality traits that he possesses. When Creon sentences Antigone to death, he is wrong. This decision is based on Creon’s downfalls. He has hamartia and he judges wrong, and he also suffers from hubris. He is excessively prideful and believes that his choice is the only correct one. Creon also has an inaccurate view of his place in relation to the Gods. He believes he is in a position to know what They want and know what They feel is best. No mortal truly knows what the Gods want, but Creon believes he does because he cannot imagine that what he believes is wrong, even to the Gods. Antigone’s death is a bad decision that Creon makes based on his beliefs that the Gods view Polyneices as a traitor and would not want him honored in death.
Creon’s bad decision leads to his eventual downfall and demise. Creon realizes his hubris and his wrong decision a little too late. Antigone is already dead, and he cannot correct his wrong-doing. This makes the audience feel pity for him, for he
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In the Greek tragedy Antigone, the characters Antigone and Creon can both be thought of as the tragic hero of the play. Though Antigone does show some of these characteristics of a tragic hero, Creon demonstrates the attributes more clearly and concisely. Creon is the King of Thebes, as well as the uncle of Antigone. Creon took the throne after a tragic quarrel between his two nephews, Eteocles and Polyneices. Despite his harsh governing and his crude ideals, he is not good or bad.
Creon is the tragic hero of the play Antigone, because of his superiority in his society, his nobility, and his tragic flaw, self-pride. Creon was known as the antagonist King in Antigone. A sample of Creon’s antagonist actions is quoted: “…Polyneices, I say, is to have no burial: no man is to touch him or say the least prayer for him; he shall lie on the plain, unburied; and the birds and the scavenging dogs can do with him whatever they like. ” (Sophocles 1. 43-46) Though he is known for negative things, he is still perceived and still superior to every Theban.
Antigone was known in the society as the princess; but, she did not show herself as a grand and known person. Creon is proud of his position in society and is prideful of his city and his decisions. Creon said proudly, “You forget yourself! You are speaking to your King! ” (Sophocles 5. 66) Creon exhibits the trait of superiority almost to the point from this quote. Antigone, however, is only recognized for being the princess of the former king and committing an act of civil disobedience against King Creon.
Creon and Antigone are also comparable in the area of nobility. Creon was the brother of Oedipus, he former king of Thebes. Quoted by Choragus, “But now at last is our new King is coming: Creon of Thebes, Menoikeus’ son. ” (Sophocles 1. 1-2) This quote states that Creon was raised in a noble family and he was set apart in a higher social class than most Thebans. Antigone was also born into nobility, as she was the daughter of Oedipus, but Creon was still in a higher position than she was.
As addressing his servants, “Unfortunately, as you know, his two sons, the princes Eteocles and Polyneices have killed each other in battle; and I, as the next in blood, have succeeded to the full ower of the throne. ” (Sophocles 1. 15-19) The quote provided expresses the exact nobility Creon is related to. Although Creon’s nobility made him a very greedy and ungenerous person, his character fits a part of the perfect definition of a tragic hero. Of the many characteristics that can describe Creon, prideful is one of the strongest descriptions of him.
Throughout the tragedy, Creon reveals indirectly that he has a major tragic flaw: Self-pride. Antigone is considered to have the tragic flaw of excess ambition, exemplar by this quote: “…Is less f importance; but if I had left my brother lying in death unburied, I should have suffered. Now I do not. ” (Sophocles 2. 79-81)
Her ambition lies in this quote because she is defying the King Creon. However, many characters in stories have the ability to obtain the trait of ambition; whereas self- pride is a more unique trait. Creon’s pride may have gotten him into a bad situation and his trait may have caused him to pay for his own consequences, but a tragic hero has the ability to learn from their own actions. Creon learned from his consequences, had Antigone learned from hers?
This quote from Creon helps support the reasoning behind the argument: “Good. That is the way to behave: subordinate¬- Everything else, my son, to your father’s will. ” (Sophocles 3. 13-14) Creon’s tragic of flaw self-pride explains another piece of why he is the tragic hero of the Greek tragedy, Antigone. Why would readers presume that Antigone is the tragic hero of Antigone? When readers start reading the Greek Tragedy, you assume that Antigone is the main character because she is named after the play, thus making it understandable why people deem that she is also the tragic hero. She ay be a hero to her family and to the gods, but she is not the tragic hero.
“I should have praise 1 / 2 and honor for what I have done. All these men here would praise me- Were their lips not frozen shut with fear of you. ” (Sophocles 2. 113-115) This quote explains how Antigone believes she is a hero and should be praised for what she has done. Readers, after reading the play, believe that Antigone was such a great and respectful character, and she should be rewarded the title of Tragic Hero. Lastly, readers often theorize that since Antigone is the protagonist, then she is the tragic hero.
This quote demonstrates an act that makes her the protagonist: “Creon is not strong enough to stand in my way. ” (Sophocles Prologue. 36) This quote may demonstrate her role as a protagonist, but there is a fine line between protagonist and tragic hero. A tragic hero is said to have at least three of the following: superiority, near to perfection, a tragic flaw, a noble birth or upbringing, supernatural involvement, or he discovers that his downfall is a result of his own actions.
As stated in previous sections of this argument, Creon presents the haracteristics of a tragic hero more suitable than Antigone’s character can. For instance, did most Thebans look more up to King Creon or Antigone? On account that Creon is the King of Thebes, he is superior to the city. This quotation supports this point: “This is my command, and you can see the wisdom behind it. As long as I am King, no traitor is going to be honored with the loyal man. ” (Sophocles 1. 47-49) This shows Creon’s authority. Antigone may have once been superior, but that ceased when her father, Oedipus was sentenced to exile.
Creon’s character again proves that e is the tragic hero by his nobility. Who is nobler: the brother of the former king and the current king, or the daughter of the former king? Creon’s longer family background defeats Antigone’s stand point in nobility as well. As affirmed in other components of the argument, the tragic flaw of self-pride is more unique and it is less common to characters. Whereas Antigone’s tragic flaw, excess ambition is more likely to be given to main characters in a story in hopes of giving them a heroic aspect to them.
Sophocles made Creon the tragic hero of his Greek Tragedy, Antigone ecause he desired to make a point that not all heroes had to be pleasant and favored to be a hero. Near the end of the story Creon admits, “…I have been rash and foolish. I have killed my son and my wife. ” (Sophocles Exodus. 142-143) This shows how unpleasant Creon was; however, he does understand how imprudent he was as a result of his own actions. After reading this argument, it is hoped that readers recognize that Creon is the tragic hero of Antigone. Creon and Antigone are both main characters of the play, but Creon’s character explains a tragic hero more so than Antigone’s.
Creon’s superiority to his society, his nobility, and his tragic flaw self-pride assists in proving this topic. Because of Creon’s in-depth characteristics and unusual position in the story, it makes Antigone’s character seem like a minor character once analyzed. Almost every reader claims that since Antigone is the protagonist, the main character, and a princess, she is certainly the tragic hero. All in all, Creon is the tragic hero of the Greek Tragedy, Antigone by only three characteristics: superiority, nobility, and self-pride.
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Author: Brandon Johnson
Antigone or creon whose the tragic hero
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