The Tragic Hero in Sophocles´Antigone

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In Greek tragedies, tragedians always establish a tragic hero who descends from grace due to a fatal flaw as well as someone who is of nobility. Moreover this character may also experience peripeteia, anagnorisis, and of course, a terrible ending (“Tragic Hero as Defined by Aristotle”). One Greek tragedy that involves a tragic hero is Sophocles’ Antigone which portrays two characters who strive for what they believe in, either state law or divine law, which leads to their demise. These two characters are King Creon and Antigone. The concept of who is the tragic hero in this tragedy is controversial due to the fact that Antigone dies but Creon lives with many deaths upon his shoulders. With the definition of a tragic hero in mind, King Creon is the tragic hero of this tragedy due to his status as a noble, his hubris as his flaw, and his experiences that include peripeteia, anagnorisis, and his tragic fate; on the other hand, Antigone only exhibits the status of a noble, tragic flaw, and the tragic fate of death. To be a tragic hero, one must be of noble status and possess a tragic flaw. In Antigone, Creon and Antigone are both of noble status—Creon being a king and Antigone being the daughter of the late King Oedipus and Queen Jocasta. The second requirement to be a tragic hero consists of having a hamartia or tragic flaw. In Creon’s case, his hubris is his hamartia whereas for Antigone, her stubbornness and loyalty is her tragic flaw. In Antigone, both characters believe in two different laws—the state law or the divine law of the gods. Creon believed in the state law that those who betrayed the state should not be allowed to have a proper burial. On the other hand, Antigone believed in the divine laws of the gods that those who... ... middle of paper ... ...versial question of who is the tragic hero is answered with King Creon. Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone puts King Creon in the spotlight of the tragic hero because of his unyielding pride which blinds him from recognizing his mistake earlier. When he does realize his mistake, it is too late—he has lost his loved ones and now lives in despair. Furthermore, Antigone’s character was not as developed as King Creon because she never reached perpeteia or anagnorisis; she was headstrong in her determination to abide to the divine laws. Antigone teaches us that “There is no happiness where there is no wisdom… [that] Big words are always punished,/ And proud men in old age learn to be wise” (Sophocles et al. 1938, line 1039-1042). One cannot change others, but one can change oneself. One must realize their fatal flaw and yield before it is too late—only then will they be wise.
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