The Tragic Hero: Creon or Antigone?

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In the Greek tragedy Antigone, the characters Antigone and Creon can both be thought of as the tragic hero of the play. Though Antigone does show some of these characteristics of a tragic hero, Creon demonstrates the attributes more clearly and concisely. Creon is the King of Thebes, as well as the uncle of Antigone. Creon took the throne after a tragic quarrel between his two nephews, Eteocles and Polyneices. Despite his harsh governing and his crude ideals, he is not good or bad. Creon is the tragic hero of the play Antigone, because of his superiority in his society, his nobility, and his tragic flaw, self-pride.

Creon was known as the antagonist King in Antigone. A sample of Creon’s antagonist actions is quoted: “…Polyneices, I say, is to have no burial: no man is to touch him or say the least prayer for him; he shall lie on the plain, unburied; and the birds and the scavenging dogs can do with him whatever they like.” (Sophocles 1. 43-46) Though he is known for negative things, he is still perceived and still superior to every Theban. Antigone was known in the society as the princess; but, she did not show herself as a grand and known person. Creon is proud of his position in society and is prideful of his city and his decisions. Creon said proudly, “You forget yourself! You are speaking to your King!” (Sophocles 5. 66) Creon exhibits the trait of superiority almost to the point from this quote. Antigone, however, is only recognized for being the princess of the former king and committing an act of civil disobedience against King Creon.

Creon and Antigone are also comparable in the area of nobility. Creon was the brother of Oedipus, the former king of Thebes. Quoted by Choragus, “But now at last is our new King is comi...

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...t Creon was; however, he does understand how imprudent he was as a result of his own actions.

After reading this argument, it is hoped that readers recognize that Creon is the tragic hero of Antigone. Creon and Antigone are both main characters of the play, but Creon’s character explains a tragic hero more so than Antigone’s. Creon’s superiority to his society, his nobility, and his tragic flaw self-pride assists in proving this topic. Because of Creon’s in-depth characteristics and unusual position in the story, it makes Antigone’s character seem like a minor character once analyzed. Almost every reader claims that since Antigone is the protagonist, the main character, and a princess, she is certainly the tragic hero. All in all, Creon is the tragic hero of the Greek Tragedy, Antigone by only three characteristics: superiority, nobility, and self-pride.
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