Creon As The Tragic Hero Of Antigone by Sophocles
Greek tragedy would not be complete with out a tragic hero. Sophocles wrote Antigone with a specific character in mind for this part. Based on Aristotle’s definition, Creon is the tragic hero of Antigone.
Creon fits Aristotle’s tragic hero traits as a significant person who is faced with difficult decisions. Creon is significant because he is king. This makes him both renowned and prosperous. Creon is not completely good nor completely bad; he is somewhere in-between, as humans are. The audience can relate to this and they admire his qualities of intelligence in political affairs. They can also relate to his ability to make hard decisions with apparent ease. These hard decisions are what lead Creon to fit Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero. Creon faces decisions that lead to a no-win situation, with confidence, and he makes the best decision he can, based on his beliefs. He believes that Polyneices should not be buried because he was a traitor to his family. This decision affected Antigone greatly, and Creon knew that the decision would be hard on some people. Family and burials are very important in society, and Creon is asking Antigone to not consider them, to only consider that Polyneices was a traitor to his home city. Creon is then faced with the knowledge that Antigone went against his will and law, and buried her brother. Again, Creon is faced with a hard decision. He must choose to kill his own family member and uphold the law, or punish her less severely and show that he is not serious about death as a punishment to his law. Creon doesn’t want to show weakness, even for family, but he doesn’t want to kill Antigone, who is not only his niece and sister, but engaged to his son. The final decision that Creon must make is whether or not to revoke his death sentence on Antigone. Creon would be doing the right thing, but it would show that he was wrong in a previous decision and he does not want to admit that he was wrong.
Unfortunately, Creon does not always make the correct decision because of personality traits that he possesses. When Creon sentences Antigone to death, he is wrong. This decision is based on Creon’s downfalls. He has hamartia and...