In Sophocles’ play Antigone, the character of Creon exemplifies a tragic hero more than the characters of Antigone or Medea because he experiences a fall from grace and his prosperous position, possesses a tragic flaw, and accepts the responsibility of his actions in a way that does not blame anyone and “shows enlightenment and growth”, all in accordance with Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero. (“Connections: A Theory,” 2000).
In the play Antigone, Creon falls from grace and loses everything, which is an important aspect of Aristotle’s tragic hero definition. According to Aristotle, a tragic hero should be someone “highly renowned and prosperous” (“Connections: A Theory,” 2000). This is essential to the plot of the tragedy and the feelings the audience is supposed to have after the play is over. The hero must be renowned so that the audience is humbled by the fact that the tragedy could happen to someone so great, causing the audience to also think about the things that could happen to them being of low stature. As Creon makes decisions within his first few days in office he makes it clear that he has “no use for the man who sets private friendship above the public welfare.” (Ant. Scene. Line). Little did he know that his own personal interests would be tested soon. Eventually the king of Thebes is left alone to mourn the deaths of his son and wife, just as others are, because of no fault but his own. Due to his stature and position, Creon is more qualified as a tragic hero than Antigone because even though she is royalty, he is a better suited hero because he is a king. Her tragedy would not produce the same effect on the audience as Creon’s would because the point of the tragedy is to humble the audienc...
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... wife and son, he blames his own pride, not the gods. Creon’s tragedy would successfully evoke a humbled response from the audience, thus producing the desired effect that play writers expected from a tragedy. Creon’s tragedy would cause an audience to examine their own lives and prevalent flaws and see the danger in them. Therefore, Creon is the best example of a tragic hero in either Antigone or Medea because he identifies most with Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero.
“Connections: A Theory.” Elements of Literature, Fourth Course with Readings in World
Literature. Ed. Richard Sime and Bill Wahlgren. Dallas: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 2000. 739.
Euripides. Medea. Trans Ian Johnston. Johnstonia. N.p. Web. March 20, 2011.
Sophocles. Antigone. McDougall Littel: Literature. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2011.
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