Sophocles' Antigone - The Stubborn Antigone and Creon

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The Tragic Duo of Antigone and Kreon In the play Antigone, both Antigone and Kreon could be considered tragic heros. A tragic hero, defined by A Dictionary of Literary, Dramatic and Cinematic Terms, is someone who suffers due to a tragic flaw, or hamartia. This Greek word is variously translated as "tragic flaw" or "error" or "weakness". Kreon's hamartia, like in many plays, is hybris - Greek for overweening pride, arrogance, or excessive confidence. Kreon's hybris causes him to attempt to violate the laws of order or human rights, another main part of a tragic hero. Also, like all tragic heroes, Kreon suffers because of his hamartia and then realizes his flaw. The belief that Antigone is the hero is a strong one, but there is a stronger belief that Kreon, the Ruler of Thebes, is the true protagonist. Kreon's main and foremost hamartia was his hybris, or his extreme pride. Kreon was a new king, and he would never let anyone prove him wrong or let anyone change his mind once it was made. One main event that showed Kreon's hamartia and also caused the catastrophe was when he asked his son Haimon, who was engaged to marry Antigone, if he still loves his father. Haimon says he respects Kreon's ruling, but he feels, in this case, that Kreon was wrong. Haimon asks his father to take his advice and not have Antigone executed, but, because of Kreon's hybris, Kreon gets furious and makes the situation worse then it already was. He was way too proud to take advice from someone younger, and in his anger he decided to kill Antigone right away in front of Haimon's eyes. "'Just understand: You don't insult me and go off laughing. Bring her here! Let him see her. Kill her here, beside her bridegroom'" (Sophocles 919-921). This was too much for Haimon to take, and he runs out of the room, yelling, "'...her death will destroy others'" (Sophocles 908). Blinded by his pride and arrogance, Kreon takes that remark as a threat to himself, unknowing that it wasn't directed to himself, but was a suicide threat by his own son. Another example of Kreon's tragic pride is when the prophet, Teiresias, travels all the way to Thebes to tell Kreon very important news, but Kreon pride makes him ignore it and he accuses Teiresias of being bribed.

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