Creon As A Tragic Hero Essay

analytical Essay
2459 words
2459 words

Creon: Does He Classify as a Tragic Hero?

Can a person benefit from dying, or how about from losing all one’s influence, fame or fortune? According to Bernard Knox, this is most definitely the aim of tragic dramas (1). There are many characters in ancient Greek plays whose “fall” becomes something of great worth. We call them “tragic heroes.” Basically, their purpose is to fall so we can learn from them. Much has been written on what actually qualifies a character to be a tragic hero. In the play Antigone, there is a character named Creon (or sometimes translated Kreon) who fits many of these qualifications. After researching this topic, I have found that Creon fits the mold of a tragic hero quite nicely. To show this, I will first touch …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how creon fits the mold of a tragic hero, according to bernard knox.
  • Explains that it is important that the character starts off at some high position of power or authority before their fall. creon is the ruler of thebes due to the fall of his brother-in-law.
  • Explains that greeks describe that tragic heroes all possess a hamartia: some kind of flaw that leads them to their downfall.
  • Analyzes how creon's hamartia is his insecurities of being the ruler. he summons the council of elders to ratify his decisions.
  • Explains that being an insecure leader isn't a sin, nor is being bad listener; it's just hamartia or tragic flaw that may lead creon to his downfall.
  • Explains richard sewall's view that humanism is not a sin, but twisted judgment that makes one think he or she is greater than the gods, or the world revolves around them.
  • Analyzes how charles segal shows how creon is beautifully caught in a position where his hubris is shown.
  • Analyzes how jennifer wallace explains that tragedies are all "determined by the audience response". paul woodruff quotes aristotle to help us know what feeling pity and fear actually means.
  • Opines that if an agent is a type, they cannot feel for him as an individual. they may fear for themselves, in view of their likeness, or for the character that they share with creon.
  • Analyzes how woodruff, being a father, sees himself in creon, as he is arrogant and bossy. anyone with these titles are qualified candidates to feel fear after watching this tragedy.
  • Explains that aristotle's peripeteia means a change in the hero’s fortune, meaning he must be at least somewhat bad, but not to the point where we cannot feel sympathy in his suffering.
  • Analyzes how creon suffers a peripeteia caused by his arrogance, hubris, or lack of listening skills. he only realizes that his family is more important after they all die.
  • Analyzes how creon believed in the gods and antigone's belief in god was correct all along.
  • Analyzes how humphrey kitto argues that creon's actions were not due to his wickedness, but his boldness and firmness in his beliefs.
  • Agrees with kitto that the element to the play makes it all more real. being exposed to creon, it is easy for the audience to see his flaws.
  • Analyzes how griffith supports the idea that creon could be seen as a well-intentioned ruler. he argues that antigone is "at least partly (if not equally) responsible for the tragedy.
  • Concludes that creon fits the mold of a tragic hero pretty well. falling from high positions, suffering peripeteia, and all of the "pity and fear" that was pointed out, all support this idea.

As previously mentioned, the change of fortune should not necessarily be a result of wickedness but of a Hamartia. With this definition one might rule out Creon as a tragic hero by unsympathetically saying that he is pure evil and that he deserves every drop of suffering he receives. However, one could argue that Creon’s actions were not due to his wickedness, but his boldness and firmness in his beliefs. Humphrey Kitto, agrees with this and helps us understand this point of view more clearly. He says “[Creon] is more than the stubborn fool who kills [Antigone] . . . he has his own Honesty, his own justification, and his own sense of responsibility” Here, he argues that Creon has a sound mind when making his decisions. He later goes on to say that the “unwritten laws” in which Antigone believes, “are not for him (creon)” and that he is incapable of making them so, or that “he sincerely feels he has no business to”. Kitto continues by saying Creon is “confident” and experienced (134 emphasis added). This point of view sets a more professional light on Creon. This makes his errors look more like mere misjudgments more than malicious actions and therefore makes the audience capable of feeling more sympathy for him. Kittos words strongly suggest that Creon sincerely felt that he was doing something sensible and noble to the state and that his actions wouldn’t really be taken as evil because of this devotion to the state. Kitto raises the question by saying, “Creon was honouring the gods after his fashion, Antigone after hers. How can you tell beforehand which is the right fashion?”

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