The nature of the tragic hero of ancient Greek tragedy was first discussed by Aristotle in Poetics in the fourth century BC. Using Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus the King as a model, Aristotle identified four characteristics necessary for a tragic hero: position (power, royalty, good intentions), tragic flaw (a character’s fault that leads to the hero’s downfall), reversal (the downfall itself), and recognition (the hero’s realization that he has caused his own downfall). In Antigone, another of Sophocles’ tragedies, King Creon becomes king of Thebes after the deaths of Oedipus’ sons Eteocles and Polyneices. As, the proud, stubborn Creon abandons the gods’ law and refuses to consider the advice ...view middle of the document...
The tragic flaw of Creon is displayed when he bans the burial of the Polyneices’ body and doesn’t listen to other people’s advice. Creon’s mistake of banning the burial creates a sense of desire to help the needy in the hearts of those closest to Polyneices; these people are his sisters, Antigone and Ismene. Creon’s flaw of not allowing the burial causes for Antigone to take matters into her own hands and bury him:
Be as you choose to be; but for myself
I myself will bury him. It would be good
To die, so doing. (71-73)
The tragic flaw is also displayed when Creon does not listen to the advice of the blind prophet, Teiresias; Antigone, a girl; and Hamon, his son. Teiresias gives an alarming account of what is going to happen to Creon for sentencing Antigone to death. He prophesizes that Creon will not see many days before the death of one of his children, to make amends for the life that he is about to take.
After Creon had made this tragic flaw, events lead up until he is left with a life of suffering and misery. Creon’s stubbornness to listen to the prophet, his wife and son causes a chain of events that cause him to lonesome in the end. Once Creon has sentenced Antigone to death, he realizes that he has done the wrong thing. After it is to late he is to late to stop the suicides of his son, wife,...