Creon: Antigone's True Tragic Hero

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 799
  • Published : January 31, 2008
Open Document
Text Preview
F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, "show me a hero, and I'll write you a tragedy." This quote is based on the definition of a tragedy, a story of a person who starts in a high position in society and falls throughout the story to end in a state worse-off than where he began. This person is known as the tragic hero. The tragic hero is the character who falls from grace due to fate and a weakness. In Sophocles play, Antigone, one could argue that there are many tragic heroes, however, the one who stands above them all as the hero is the character of Creon, the present King of Thebes, Creon is undeniably the tragic hero in Antigone as shown by his fall from grace as a result of fate and his own flaws.

In a tragedy, a tragic hero falls from grace as a result of his hamartia, a personal flaw or weakness. This so called "grace" is Creon's new position as King of the city of Thebes. In the first scene of Antigone, Creon announces his come to power, and now says that he is ready to be tested, since "no ruler can expect complete loyalty from his subjects until he has been tested in office" (196). This shows how Creon has an excessive amount of pride, or hubris, one of his tragic flaws. Throughout the play Creon struggles between two choices: either allowing Antigone to burry her brother legally, upholding "divine law", or proving to the citizens of Thebes that he is a strong ruler, in order to "pass" his test. His own stubbornness is yet another tragic flaw that inevitably leads to his downfall. A tragic hero's hamartia triggers a series of events that lead to his ruin. It is because of Creon's hubris and stubbornness that leads to his great misfortune. By sentencing Antigone to her death, Creon chooses his position of king over his familial and moral obligation. It is here that Creon's tragic flaws are most evident. The reader begins to focus on Creon's unyielding, uncompromising, and arrogant attitude. Even Teiresias tries to convince Creon to "yield for [his] own good"...
tracking img