Break Down of the Tragic Character
Thesis: Although both Antigone and Creon experience supreme pride and a sense commitment, only Creon the tragic hero of the play, experiences transfiguration.
Creon, the new ruler of Thebes decides that Antigone’s brother Polynices will not be given a proper burial because he betrayed his homeland. Antigone tried to give him a proper burial and is supremely proud of her deeds and herself because she believes them honorable and if she must be punished for them, she will bear it honorably. While Antigone is being dragged into Creon’s palace by the guards, Creon demands that Antigone beg for mercy, but “She shows her father’s stubborn spirit: foolish/ Not to give way when everything is against her” (396-97). The chorus is predicting in this quote that Antigone’s hubris will be her downfall. She is, the chorus thinks, being “foolish” in sticking to her principles when she might be punished for doing so. But Antigone simply believes that she is right; She is supremely proud. Creon too believes that he is right. He believes that he is the best king yet, he can lead his kingdom to greatness. Creon’s demonstration of supreme pride allows him to behave in a foolish manner. He also believes that if he sticks to his principles others will eventually bend to his will. In a calm, cool manner, Creon slowly tries to figure out why Antigone does what she does, and states “the over-obstinate spirit/ Is soonest broken” (398-99). Creon is building up his confidence while trying to diminish Antigone’s bravery. Creon is full of himself, and believes that he and his family are superior to other people. After Antigone is taken away, Creon and the chorus are talking and the chorus asks how Creon can take away his son’s fiancé. Creon boldly replies “oh, there are other fields for him to plough”(486). Creon shows here that he believes Haemon is superior to other men because he is the son of a king. Antigone and Creon both...
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