Creon as the Main Character of Antigone
Throughout the Greek play Antigone by Sophocles, there exists a dispute as to who should receive the designation of main character. Antigone, the daughter of the cursed King Oedipus, as well as Creon, stately king of Thebes, both appear as the key figures in this historic play. I believe that Creon, king of Thebes, should be considered the main character in this work of Greek theater. Three points can be used to make this argument: Creon suffers greatly, he learns a lesson, and is a tragic hero.
Creon, like all main characters in Greek drama, suffers many losses and undergoes emotional pain and anguish. A target of the curse on the House of Oedipus by relation, Creon was already a victim of fate. His destiny has already been predetermined by the curse on the house of Oedipus, so he must either undergo suffering, death, or even both. He loses his future daughter-in-law, Antigone, by initiating her death, his son through suicide, and his wife by suicide as well. Antigone broke a decree of Creon's: not to bury the traitor Polynices. The sister of Polynices, she breaks this new law because she knows that in order to please the gods she must so the right thing and bury Polynices. When she does Creon sentences her to death by sealing her in a cave. After realizing that he has made a critical error, he and his followers unseal the rocky tomb to find that Antigone has taken her own life. Creon's son, Haemon, the to-be husband of Antigone, rushes into the cave in mourning. He attempts an attack on Creon, but fails to connect with his sword thrust, and in anger and remorse kills himself with his weapon beside his dead love. Creon, overwhelmed with anguish, returns to the castle. But when Creon's wife, Eurydice hears of her son's death, she slips away quietly and stabs herself in the heart with a dagger before Creon's return. Creon realizes that all of the blame for these deaths rests on him alone, and undergoes great suffering, just like other central figures in Greek tragedies. For example, in the play Medea, by Euripides, Medea suffers the loss of her family, friends, land, and children. Creon faces this same kind of suffering, and wishes for his life to end to stop his suffering. He poetically states in the play, "Come, thou most welcome Fate, Appear, O come; Bring my days' final date, Fill up their sum! Come quick, I pray; Let me not look upon another day!" (51). So with all this suffering, one might ask what the purpose of such a depressing play might be, or what lesson Sophocles attempts to teach us. This brings up the concept of morality. Creon did not get out of this sticky situation without getting something from it.
Creon learned valuable lessons of morality, moderation, piety, reverence, wisdom, and humility. Throughout all Greek dramas, myths, and even architecture, the idea of moderation has always been the front-runner in lessons. Creon, a rather overconfident king, wants his...