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The Tragic Hero: Creon Or Antigone?

1297 words - 5 pages

In the Greek tragedy Antigone, the characters Antigone and Creon can both be thought of as the tragic hero of the play. Though Antigone does show some of these characteristics of a tragic hero, Creon demonstrates the attributes more clearly and concisely. Creon is the King of Thebes, as well as the uncle of Antigone. Creon took the throne after a tragic quarrel between his two nephews, Eteocles and Polyneices. Despite his harsh governing and his crude ideals, he is not good or bad. Creon is the tragic hero of the play Antigone, because of his superiority in his society, his nobility, and his tragic flaw, self-pride.
Creon was known as the antagonist King in Antigone. A sample of Creon’s antagonist actions is quoted: “…Polyneices, I say, is to have no burial: no man is to touch him or say the least prayer for him; he shall lie on the plain, unburied; and the birds and the scavenging dogs can do with him whatever they like.” (Sophocles 1. 43-46) Though he is known for negative things, he is still perceived and still superior to every Theban. Antigone was known in the society as the princess; but, she did not show herself as a grand and known person. Creon is proud of his position in society and is prideful of his city and his decisions. Creon said proudly, “You forget yourself! You are speaking to your King!” (Sophocles 5. 66) Creon exhibits the trait of superiority almost to the point from this quote. Antigone, however, is only recognized for being the princess of the former king and committing an act of civil disobedience against King Creon.
Creon and Antigone are also comparable in the area of nobility. Creon was the brother of Oedipus, the former king of Thebes. Quoted by Choragus, “But now at last is our new King is coming: Creon of Thebes, Menoikeus’ son.” (Sophocles 1. 1-2) This quote states that Creon was raised in a noble family and he was set apart in a higher social class than most Thebans. Antigone was also born into nobility, as she was the daughter of Oedipus, but Creon was still in a higher position than she was. As addressing his servants, “Unfortunately, as you know, his two sons, the princes Eteocles and Polyneices have killed each other in battle; and I, as the next in blood, have succeeded to the full power of the throne.” (Sophocles 1. 15-19) The quote provided expresses the exact nobility Creon is related to. Although Creon’s nobility made him a very greedy and ungenerous person, his character fits a part of the perfect definition of a tragic hero.
Of the many characteristics that can describe Creon, prideful is one of the strongest descriptions of him. Throughout the tragedy, Creon reveals indirectly that he has a major tragic flaw: Self-pride. Antigone is considered to have the tragic flaw of excess ambition, exemplar by this quote: “…Is less of importance; but if I had left my brother lying in death unburied, I should have suffered. Now I do not.” (Sophocles 2. 79-81) Her ambition lies in this quote because she is...

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