Creon as Tragic Hero of Sophocles' Antigone
There has always been a bit of confusion as to the tragic hero of the Greek Drama Antigone. Many assume that simply because the play is named for Antigone, that she is the tragic hero. However, evidence supports that Creon, and not Antigone, is the tragic hero of the play. Examining the factors that create a Greek Tragedy, and a tragic character, it is clear that the tragic hero is in fact Creon.
A tragic hero has many definitions but Creons characteristics fit each single one. He displayed a fatal flaw that drove him mad near the end but also understood that his predicament was caused by him alone. Antigone cannot be the tragic hero because although she possesses several flaws, she experiences no true illumination. She does not met the required the traits for the tragic hero. Creon wanted to protect the state above personal cost, a task that was achieved in a way. Creon is the tragic hero in Sophocles Antigone because he can’t accept a diminished view of himself; he endures great suffering and is enlightened in the end.
In Sophocles’ classic play Antigone the main character Antigone faces the impactful and controversial choice between god’s laws and man’s laws, fate and free-will, and family versus government. With her heroic and ultimately fatal decisions, Antigone would normally be the character everyone defines as a stereotypical tragic hero, however, not many people take into consideration that her counterpart Creon, is the real tragic hero. Creon is often portrayed as the antagonist within the play, yet he has all the qualities that make an ideal tragic hero.
Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero is someone who makes an improper judgment where their fate leads them to their own destruction. One of the most important and eye-catching tragic heroes in the play is Antigone, a strong woman who is determined to give her brother Polyneices the burial he needs. In the play Antigone, by Sophocles, the reader learns about how Antigone’s loyalty to the gods, her disloyalty to King Creon, and her stubbornness leads to her ruin through her heroic traits and tragic flaws.
In Antigone Creon is the tragic hero. Throughout the story he displays the four tragic hero characteristics. He was a person of high character. Creon was the King of Thebes and he thought he was the most powerful person. Creon didn't think anything could stop him. Pride was Creon's downfall. It lead to the loss of many loved ones that were close to him. At the end Creon realized he was wrong. He tried to fix it but couldn't. What makes Creon a tragic hero in the story Antigone?
A tragic hero, in the classic Aristotelian sense, is a virtuous character whose error of judgment leads to their fall from grace. Their demise evokes in the audience a sense of pity for their terrible misfortune, and fear of experiencing the same fate. Both feelings are magnified by the hero’s belated recognition of his mistake. In Sophocles’ Antigone, the audience is immediately drawn to the titular character’s virtue and passion for social justice. It is more difficult to sympathize with Creon, who represents the oppressive factions--the government, the patriarchy, and elder generations--that abuse power. By the end, however, it is evident that Creon is the tragic hero. Creon, whose uncompromising insistence of the law for the preservation of the state leads to the
They said creon was a tragic hero because of an incident that made everybody that don't like him and called him a tragic.”Are you insolent you threaten me” creon he said then “she die and her death kill someone else.
Throughout literary history, tragic heroes have been defined as a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat. However, philosophers such as Aristotle tried to find connections between tragic heroes in Greek plays. This in-depth analysis of tragic heroes lead Aristotle to create six criteria for a true tragic hero: He or she has to be a Noble figure of royalty and noble in character, has to be imperfect by design, has a flaw or error that is a choice, is punished excessively for this choice flaw, has to undergo a downfall that leads to a realization, and the story of this tragic hero has to make the audience reach a moment of catharsis or purging of emotions. A prime example of a tragic hero that fits all of these criteria is Creon from the play Antigone, written by Sophocles in 441 BC. The story of Antigone is a tragedy that describes a stubborn and proud king named Creon who refuses to allow a burial for the brother of Antigone. Creon’s excessive pride leads to a series of unfortunate events resulting in the death of Antigone, his son Haemon, and his wife Eurydice. Throughout the course of the play, Creon undergoes each standard that is required by Aristotle’s terms to be a tragic hero.
In the play Antigone, the debate over who is the real tragic hero is and the controversy of Greek ideals in the Antigone continues on to this day. Who is the tragic hero in Antigone? Is it Antigone herself or is it Creon the ruler of Thebes? The belief that Antigone is, is a strong one. Still there are people who think Creon is the tragic hero. Antigone is widely thought as the tragic her. The play is named after her. In addition, she is the antagonist in it. Many people usually associate the antagonist, the good guy as a tragic hero. Look at much television shows, especially cartoons, the good person usually wins. Then there are those who might think Creon was the tragic hero because the gods were against him, and that he truly loved his country. There are five criteria or standards you must meet first in order to be a tragic hero. First, you must be a person of high character or status. The character must not be too overwhelmingly evil or good. Then they must be brought from happiness to misery. Then brought from happiness to misery. Second, the hero enacts a harmartia, "wrong act." This either may be a flaw in judgment or an error. Third, the hero experiences a perpateia, reversal of fortune. This is the tragic downfall or plot twist in the story. Fourth, the hero recognizes his or her responsibility. Fifth, the story ends with a catastrophe. The catastrophe either may be an emotional event, this even may be a death.
Due to his fatal flaw, Creon must suffer the consequences of his actions by losing his son, Haemon and his wife, Eurydice. After Creon sees Haemon dead, he says: “O the curse of my stubborn will! Son, newly cut off in the newness of youth, dead for my fault, not yours.” (Sophocles, 160) Antigone foresees anagnorisis when she realizes that she is going to die because she stood by her beliefs and obeyed the gods. Her moment of truth causes a catharsis in the audience, as a result of Antigone obeying the divine law and doing what she is supposed to do. In her last moments before death, Antigone says: “It was by this service to your dear body, Polynices, I earned the punishment which now I suffer, though all good people know it was for your honour.” (Sophocles, 150) Elements Anouilh used differ from Sophocles elements in terms of the depth that they were used in. Like Antigone in Sophocles’ adaptation, Creon also foresees anagnorisis when he comes to a realization that by trying to prevent problems in Thebes, he is actually the one that is causing them. It is tragic because Creon believes that by going against the gods, and following the law, he will get what he