Tragedy at its Finest
In the Greek play Antigone, Creon and Antigone can both be claimed the title of Tragic Hero. Creon was made king when Oedipus Rex fled the kingship. Creon is the brother in law of Oedipus, and was giving the kingship only because Oedipus’s sons, Eteocles and Polyneices were killed trying to fight for the thrown. Antigone is Oedipus’s daughter and Creon’s niece. When it comes down to who the tragic hero is, Creon most definitely walks away with the title.
A tragic hero by definition is ordinary person neither good nor bad, is in a better social standing, falls to misfortune, and contains a tragic flaw. This person goes through a series of reversals all the way up till they make an error in judgment. After their error in judgment they soon go to the final reversal stage. The final reversal leads to the downfall, death, or psychological downfall of the person.
When reading Antigone, right away you think Antigone is the main character because she is named after the play. This makes it easier to see why people believe she is the tragic hero. She may be a hero to her family and to the gods, but she is not the tragic hero. “Dear god, shout it from the rooftops. I’ll hate you/all the more for silence – tell the world!” (Sophocles 100-01)This quote explains how Antigone believes she is going to be a hero and should be praised for what she has done. Just because Antigone is one of the main characters doesn’t mean she is the tragic hero.
When it came down to being an ordinary person, Antigone fits the bill. She was in fact a princess, but a princess whose father sentenced himself to exile. She is held to a better social standing then most but not as great as King Creon. Antigone is considered to have the tragic flaw of excess ambition, “I’ll bury him myself./ And even if I die in the act, that death will be a glory.” (Sophocles 85-6) Here you see that Antigone is showing her ambition by defying king Creon. Ambition is one trait that is...
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