Antigone By Sophicles, Creon Tragic Hero Essay

725 words - 3 pages

A tragic hero in a play is a character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy. In Antigone Creon, the king of Thebes, is portrayed as the tragic hero. During the play Creon is forced to live, knowing that threepeople are dead because of his ignorance, which is a punishment worse than death. Consequently, Creons arrogant pride, unescapable fate, and war within himself defines Aristotle's explanations of a tragic hero. Throughout Antigone Creon is filled with arrogant pride and power, but his ego quickly deteriorates as he realizes the tragic outcome of his events. Creon displays arrogance when he is talking to Teiresias, claiming he has never failed in any of his duties, "there was never a time when I failed to heed it, father," 152.Creon looks down on Antigone because she is a female. ...view middle of the document...

He tells Creon that the gods are unhappy. Teiresias tells him that a man who makes a mistake, and then corrects it, brings no shame on himself. Creon, being the impulsive ruler that he is, thus accuses Teiresias of being a greedy manipulator. Teiresias warns him that in a few days, one of his children will die, a life for a life, because he kept one above the earth who should have been buried, while putting below the earth, one that should walk among the living.Directly after Creon punishes Antigone, sentencing her to starve in a cave, he changes his mind. When Creon calls for the guards to release her they find that she has hung herself. Here Creon recalls the talk he had with Teiresias and now see's the catastrophic events to come, but understands he can not retake his actions. The Chorus talks to Creon saying, "To death, in payment for Death," 154. Here the Chorus is telling Creon his fate: the deaths he caused have only activated more. Creon made the choice whether or not to punish Antigone, this one decision defines his fate and that of his family. Creons inner war indludes keeping order in Thebes and his duties as a king. Creon has self centered functions that cause pain. These functions include when Creon, against his desire, sentences Antigone to death. Haemon confronts his father believing it would be wrong to kill Antigone, "Has she not rather earned a crown of gold? " 145 . After Antigone's incident of burying her brother, Creon wants to keep the event secret to keep order in Thebes. Antigone argues this issue saying she wants to be punished and she desires death. Creon is upset about this dilemma because he does not want to unveil controversial issues. In summary, Creon is the tragic hero in Antigone. He started off being the noble king who had everything, until a young woman tested him by following her beliefs. He let his pride get in the way of what was important and caused his own destruction losing almost everyone in his life. Creon did finally understand how this whole episode could have been prevented, but it is just unfavorable that he realized it following the events.


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