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Antigone Vs Creon As Tragic Hero In Sophocles's "Antigone". Quotes Taken From Harcourt/ Dudley Fitts And Robert Fitzgerald Translation.

748 words - 3 pages

According to Aristotle, a tragic hero in a Greek drama must meet certain requirements. The tragic hero must be of noble birth, be basically good, must have a tragic flaw, and must have a moment of realization at some point in the work. Although Antigone is the namesake of the Sophocles play and is a hero in her own right, she is not a tragic hero. Creon is the true tragic hero of Antigone in the traditional sense of the term.
Both Antigone and Creon were born of noble blood as they are members of the same family. However, Antigone's birth is corrupted as she is the child of a brother and sister. This almost immediately disqualifies her as the tragic hero. Antigone is more than basically good; she never waivers from her position because she knows that she is right, whereas Creon stands somewhere in the middle of the road. He is basically good, but he can easily be lead astray by his own flaws as the reader sees immediately. Antigone never has a moment of recognition. From the beginning of the play she knows and accepts her fate for upholding her moral beliefs. This is not a consequence of a flaw, rather it is a virtuous trait. Creon's unknown fate becomes increasingly apparent throughout the play and is clearly a product of his dynamic character flaws. Antigone is a knowing victim of Creon's tyranny and mortal law, almost a martyr; Creon suffers because his pride causes him to transgress a higher law, the law of the gods. Thus, the critical difference between the tragic value of the two characters lies in the nature and cause of their suffering. In the end, Creon recognizes his flaws and in doing so reaches an elevated state of understanding. Though Antigone faces a tragic end she does not reveal as much about the human condition as does Creon, thus making Creon the focus of the play.
Antigone is established as a representative of the gods' laws and serves as a reminder to Creon of the will of the gods. He is the representative of mortal law. As such, he has disregarded the gods' laws with his edict prohibiting the holy burial of Polyneices....

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