Creon Defines the Tragic Hero in Sophocles' Antigone

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Antigone - Creon Defines the Tragic Hero

Antigone, written by Sophocles is a tale of a tragic hero who suffers with the recognition and realization of his tragic flaw. Although this short story is titled after Antigone, Creon is the main character and he provides the moral significance in the play. First, Creon withholds the respect of his citizens but it is clear to them he is not perfect through his pride (tragic flaw). Secondly, his radical reversal of fortune is made clear after he struggles with the recognition of his fatal flaw. Thirdly and lastly, his pity and fear flowers into an understanding of his prideful and destructive nature leading to his redemption. Nevertheless he is left with the burden of the deaths of his family, becoming a shell of misfortune and loneliness. Although Creon's actions cannot be labeled as courageous, his character traits pertain greatly to that of a tragic hero.

The power Creon had was the cause of his stern and haughty traits and irrational judgments. He needed an affirmation of his manhood and confirmation that everyone he ruled over would assuredly respect him and his decisions. In fact, he felt so intensely threatened by the feminine and dominant Antigone that he decides to destroy her. "This girl is guilty of double insolence, breaking the given laws and then boasting of it. Who is the man here she or I?" Creon, scene 2. Instead of punishing Antigone for burying her traitorous brother Polyneices and increasing the respect of his nation for their king, he pushes them further from him in fear and silent disgust. His people recognize his tragic flaw: pride. Instead of a reign filled with luxury and happiness and respect from his citizens he condemns hi...

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...know it and I say it...I neither have life nor substance..." He then finally receives the redemption he longs for, but the family he `killed' will never return.

His egotistical, arrogant, and tyrannical nature caused his great downfall. Creon had many opportunities to listen to the advice and pleas of his peers and family and except their alerting words. Unfortunately, his insolence blinded him and manipulated his fair judgement. In spite of the fact that the story is named after Antigone for her valiant deeds, and strong attributes, the twists are provided by another character, although corrupted, in the end Creon's misdeeds provide the ultimate definition of a tragic hero.

Source Cited

Sophocles. Antigone. Translated by R. C. Jebb. The Internet Classic Archive. no pag.
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