Creon The Tragic Hero of Sophocles Antigone
Every Greek tragedy must have a tragic hero. In Sophocle’s play, Antigone, the most tragic hero is Creon. He is an essentially good man of high position who takes pride in his role as king. He possesses the tragic flaws of excessive pride and an oversized ego. This causes the tragic reversal that leads to his emotional ruin and eventual remorse and repentance.
As King of Thebes, Creon is forced to make difficult decisions. As a new ruler, he feels it is necessary to prove himself to his citizens, therefore he rules his state with a firm hand. He believes that Polyneices should not be buried because he was a traitor to his country and family. Creon knew this decision would be hard on some people, but did not anticipate how greatly it would affect his niece, Antigone. Because Antigone goes against Creon’s will and law and buries her brother, she forces him into a position where he again has to make a difficult decision. He must choose to kill his own family member and uphold the law, or punish her less severely and show that he was wrong in a previous decision. Creon’s pride does not allow him show leniency toward Antigone, and he arrogantly defends his decision by stating, “ whoever may be the man appointed by the city, that man must be obeyed in everything, little or great, just or unjust” (line 608).
Creon’s arrogance and pride is the tragic flaw that leads to his inevitable downfall. He does not hand down a just sentence to Antigone because he wants to protect his image. He says, “if she triumphs and goes unpunished, I am no man – she is” (line 441). In addition, Creon also has an inaccurate view of his place in relation to the gods. He believes that man’s laws are more important than the laws of the gods. Antigone tries to defend her decision to bury her brother by proclaiming, “I do not think your edicts have such power that they can override the laws of heaven…If I transgressed these laws because I feared the arrogance of man, how to...