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Creon Defines The Tragic Hero In Sophocles' Antigone

831 words - 3 pages

Antigone - Creon Defines the Tragic Hero

   Antigone, written by Sophocles is a tale of a tragic hero who suffers with the recognition and realization of his tragic flaw. Although this short story is titled after Antigone, Creon is the main character and he provides the moral significance in the play. First, Creon withholds the respect of his citizens but it is clear to them he is not perfect through his pride (tragic flaw). Secondly, his radical reversal of fortune is made clear after he struggles with the recognition of his fatal flaw. Thirdly and lastly, his pity and fear flowers into an understanding of his prideful and destructive nature leading to his redemption. Nevertheless he is left with the burden of the deaths of his family, becoming a shell of misfortune and loneliness. Although Creon's actions cannot be labeled as courageous, his character traits pertain greatly to that of a tragic hero.

 

The power Creon had was the cause of his stern and haughty traits and irrational judgments. He needed an affirmation of his manhood and confirmation that everyone he ruled over would assuredly respect him and his decisions. In fact, he felt so intensely threatened by the feminine and dominant Antigone that he decides to destroy her. "This girl is guilty of double insolence, breaking the given laws and then boasting of it. Who is the man here she or I?" Creon, scene 2. Instead of punishing Antigone for burying her traitorous brother Polyneices and increasing the respect of his nation for their king, he pushes them further from him in fear and silent disgust. His people recognize his tragic flaw: pride. Instead of a reign filled with luxury and happiness and respect from his citizens he condemns himself to a life permeated with seclusion and woe, because of this emotionally fatal judgement.

 

Creon's stubborn nature is revealed by the sharp words of Teiresias (a blind yet insightful seer), he starts the painful task of righting his wrongs. He comes to the realization that he is flawed and has made an unjust and rigid ruling. He responds to Teiresias' guiding lecture with "That is true...It troubles me. Oh it is hard to give in but it is worse to risk everything for stubborn pride." Creon scene 5. He attempts to correct his...

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